Sandro Kopp

Germany/new Zealand / °1978 / /
Interview in Italian / English; scroll down to find English:

Born in Heidelberg, Germany, of New Zealand and German descent.

Grew up in Germany and emigrated to New Zealand in 2000, after graduating Abitur, majoring in fine art and English. Lived and studied in Wellington, New Zealand.

Since 2006 based in the Highlands of Scotland, working primarily on portraits painted from Skype conversations.

"...including portraits of his partner, Tilda Swinton, and the artists Chuck Close, Michael Stipe and Rashid Johnson. Kopp has long painted portraits over Skype ... but with FeedbackLoop, he takes the process a step further: the portraits are presented in a series of 3 or 4 — a string of canvases, each increasingly abstract. “It’s this way of connecting a classical painting practice, which is something I really love, with something very contemporary and very now,” says Kopp.

To create the portraits, Kopp sits with each person (sometimes having a “long conversation; sometimes we’re silent,” he says) for up to 5 hours on Skype. He creates a finished painting, and then takes it down the long corridor of his studio, where the WiFi is patchy. He sets up a laptop and video chats the portrait back to a computer in his studio. He then sets out to create a painting of the painting, capturing all of the granulations from the interruptions. The result is an image with a lot of interference — a grainy version of his original portrait; which, as Kopp puts it, is the point. He paints that abstracted rendering, and then repeats the process — yielding an even grainier result. The result is a series of gridded pixels — a famous face reduced to abstraction. “I like the idea that there is a mediation of someone’s presence within... Continued at
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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