Editor-in-Chief of contemporary arts publication Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, Danijela Krha Purssey and her husband, Richard, recently made the tree change to Armidale. Danijela is an entrepreneur with a vision … she shares her passion for all things art …
Hi Danijela. Please share with us a little of your career background and interest in the arts.
For the first part of my working life I was an Executive Personal Assistant. I really just fell into this career path, and by the age of 37 I was completely bored with the role. My career saw a critical change just over six years ago. This was the point when I finally found what I wanted to do with my life and started to pursue my true passion. I founded Beautiful Bizarre Magazine in July 2013 and have since been on an incredible journey of learning, growth and evolution, both in a business and personal sense.
I feel so incredibly grateful to be living an authentic life – one that is in line with my passion. I also feel very fortunate that my husband, Richard Purssey, shares my passion for the arts and has supported me throughout my journey.
You and Richard recently moved to Armidale. What brought about the tree change?
We moved from Sydney to Armidale in November last year, and I couldn’t be happier with our decision. We plan to make Armidale our forever home!
The tree change was inspired by my husband getting a new job; when he received the offer, we both knew right away it was the right decision. I am fortunate to work from home, so the transition was easy.
What was the idea behind establishing Beautiful Bizarre Magazine?
Richard and I started Beautiful Bizarre Magazine because we, like many artists, collectors and art lovers in Australia and around the world were bored of conceptual and abstract art – sick of walking into galleries and looking at walls and rooms filled with work that doesn’t create any sort of personal connection to the viewer.
Excitingly, I had tapped into a new movement of art that once again embraces technical mastery, where the viewer can once again appreciate the skill and many hours of practice that go into creating true works of art. The nomenclature of this movement is up for debate, but for now let’s call it “New Contemporary Art”. At its core, it is a resurgence of representational art across all styles and mediums. The internet and particularly social media have enabled this, allowing artists, collectors and art lovers to have their own voice – to say, “This is what we want to see on our feeds, in our galleries, and on our walls”! It has taken many years, but museum galleries and commercial fine art galleries around the world are finally beginning to listen to this collective voice.
Art is very much in the eye of the beholder. How important is to you to provide a platform for all creatives to share their work?
Indeed, art is very subjective, which in my opinion allows for many different styles and mediums to flourish and find an audience in the current digital world.
Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s “VISION” is to help shift the paradigm in the global contemporary arts industry regarding what is defined and accepted as contemporary art. I am proud to say that Beautiful Bizarre Magazine has indeed become a voice, a tribe, and a platform for creatives whose work is under represented, and doesn’t always fit neatly into the traditional Fine Art “box”.
What do you personally consider to be “art”?
I think anything that is created with creative intent, to share the artist’s voice/experience with the audience through an artistic medium is “art”. This, however, doesn’t mean that the end product is good “art”. I personally feel that a painter must learn to paint – this learning how to work with and master a chosen medium is a vital step, as is practice, experimentation and a unique vision.
What was your biggest learning curve of 2018?
2018 saw the re-launch of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine. Issue 20 [March 2018] was our 5th anniversary issue and saw the next evolution of the brand, which included wearable art designers for the first time. We also transformed the format and stock, enabling us to bring down the price of each issue to $19.99, therefore growing our readership.
Beautiful Bizarre launched its inaugural Art Prize last year. What was the overall response?
The Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize celebrates excellence in the representational visual arts, in all mediums and genres, from Realism and Hyper-realism, to Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow.
The overall quality of last year’s entries was exceptional! We also received many enquiries from digital artists and photographers wishing to enter. This year the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize welcomes entries from traditional and digital 2D + 3D artists and photographers.
The Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Art Prize is an international non-acquisitive art prize, which provides artists with the opportunity to receive global exposure, participate in the prestigious Beautiful Bizarre Magazine curated exhibition in New York alongside the world’s best contemporary artists, and win cash and product prizes worth over US$18,500!
You can find out all about the 2019 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize on the new Art Prize
website: beautifulbizarreartprize.art – entries open 1st February.
You also curate exhibitions both in Australia and overseas. What’s on the exhibition agenda for 2019?
This year is particularly exciting! I will be travelling to Berlin for the opening of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s first museum exhibition. After curating seven exhibitions in Australia, Japan, and the USA, I am thrilled to be working with the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Art. This exhibition will include the work of over 50 of the world’s best contemporary figurative artists, working across genres and mediums, who will individually and collectively bring to life an incredibly important theme – the conservation of our planet. We are currently living through a new mass extinction event, the “Holocene Extinction”, which tragically is entirely due to humanity’s effect on the earth and environment. The exhibition’s theme, “Gaia Reborn: A Future Utopia”, aims to inspire society to once again see, appreciate, and care for the natural world. The time for change is now – before it is too late!
Artists are society’s visionaries, so it is our hope that through this collection of work we can inspire thought, discussion, and a deeper connection with the Earth. Only if we as a society once again truly value and respect Gaia, our Mother Earth, can we create a future Utopia – one in which all of her creatures can survive, and even thrive.
Where can we find out more/subscribe to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine?
You can find more information about Beautiful Bizarre Magazine and projects on beautifulbizarre.net or our social media network, that is currently 900,000 followers strong! @beautifulbizarremagazine
Readers can subscribe through the shop page on our website beautifulbizarre.net/shop or contact one of our Australian stockists listed on the Stockist page of our website.
Interview: Jo Robinson.