Studio Secrets with Artist Mirko Baselgia
What does a typical day in the studio look like for you?
There are no typical days for me in the studio. I work on different projects at the same time or per day. I usually start working in the studio at 8am and finish at 6pm. Over lunch I take an hour break with my family.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I am working on a large commission for an international company. The four interventions are made of wood in different media. There are inlays, reliefs and hanging sculptures. Basically, I'm looking for more opportunities to realise my works out of the materials that surround me and my studio. I go out into nature as often as possible and look for materials that help me to realise my works more locally.
Do you have any rituals connected to your practice?
I don't have any rituals any more. I take each day as it comes and get straight to work. This brings me into a sense of flow and then I become absorbed in it.
What can't you live without in your studio?
The studio is a mirror of my inner state and my personality. I need tools to work with the materials I choose. But I don't want to create dependencies from it. If I don't have or can't have something, I invent something that will do the job. I believe the ideal studio is empty and yet offers everything I need to move forward. My studio is the nature that surrounds me, but even there it doesn't matter where I am. There is something to work with everywhere.
How has tech most shaped your practice?
For me technology does not necessarily mean modern machines. I think of techniques that help me to realise my work. A principle in the studio is: hand before machine. But when it is necessary and possible, I am of course happy to use technical aids. They allow to shape the works differently and, depending on the case, they distance the work further from me as an artist. I have reached a point where I try to use technology more consciously.
How do you think Arcual can help shape the future of the art ecosystem?
Arcual sounds to me like human rights in the Wild West of the art system. The cow-boys in the art system are becoming civilised.
Which artist/s working today most inspires you?
The list would be too long for this answer and it would already be out of date tomorrow because it is always changing. But I always find great inspiration in listening to the humility of the Japanese bamboo basket weavers. This is not about personality cult or big egos. Even Epicurus already knew that a life in secret makes one happier than one in the public eye. I therefore feel rather sorry for artists who are dragged into the limelight as persons. I prefer to let my works speak and stay busy with my art practice in the studio.
Which Arcual feature do you think is most beneficial to your practice?
As far as I can tell, I find the Smart Contracts and the payment methods particularly useful. However, I think it needs one more step to really establish the product in the art market. Arcual is like one more tool that needs to be operated with more effort. When I think of a gallery or the way I work, it needs a direct link to the inventory programme. Ideally, Arcual is the programme I use to record and register artworks, create offers, generate lists and exhibitions and print certificates. Then the effort is reduced and transparency is increased.
Do you have a favourite art fair?
Because I live in Switzerland, I would say Art Basel and artgenève. Nevertheless, I think that fairs need to reinvent themselves. It is not acceptable that so many transports and so much waste are generated for a few days. From an environmental point of view, fairs are a disaster.
What would you be if you weren't an artist?
I would be someone who cares about what is happening around him and then react creatively to it, and thus make my contribution to society.
Learn more about Mirko's work on his website and instagram: @studio.mirko.baselgia.
Image credit: Mirko Baselgia photographed in his studio by Simon Habegger