June 18, 2014
Location:New York, New York
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970, Sebastian has lived in New York since going to Parsons School of Design in 1993. For collage, he uses hand made papers that he’s collected for the past two decades. Wahl mimics the beautiful diversity of Manhattan in ways that make for surreal scenes. Mused by sacred geometry and shamanic visions he attempts to also channel these inspirations into his work in the form of psychedelic landscapes, mandalic and spiritual mayhem. The works have a story to tell and always reveal something new, much like a book that is read for a second time.
Consenses Interview with Sally Taylor:
Your Name: Sebastian Wahl
Where you live: NewYork City
Where you are from: Sweden
Your Medium: Collage and resin
The name of your work: Pineal Masseur
What made you want to participate in this project?
Curiosity, The concept sounded amazing. I did not know who was going to interpret my piece but it sounded fun no matter who it would be. I just found out it was turned into a scent, how awesome! I can’t wait to find out what my work smells like.
What was your first reaction to the song? (thoughts, images, emotions, memories, tastes, smells etc?)
First reaction was: I like this.
When I received the track I listened to it on my headphones and WOW! the low end vibrations felt as if they were massaging my brain. It brought aquatic landscapes and outer space images to mind, good stuff!
What was this song about in your mind?
In my mind it was about a self transforming machine elf playing the didgeridoo inside the brain of a time traveling shaman.
What did you title your work and why?
The title of the piece is Pineal Masseur.
The pineal gland is a gland that is located at the center of the brain but still separate from the brain.
It is by many considered the God Organ and the connection our bodies have to the divine, the seat of the soul.
It is also believed to be an intricate part of the mystical experience, so after my headphone / brain massage and after I found the image of the shaman the title of the piece was coined.
What part of the song informed you’re interpretation the most (lyrics, instrumentation, vocals)?
There are no lyrics or vocals in the song : ) but I would say it was the vibrations that transmitted most of the information about this song to me.
It was the vibrations I felt hearing the song in my headphones that brought up the images and gave birth to the title.
What part of your collage came to you first?
The first thing was the emotion the song created, the feeling of weightlessness floating in space or in some underwater canyon exploring uncharted territory. Once I started to look thru my image library and found the image of space and the shaman used in the collage the title was coined and then it all just fell into place just like magic.
What was your process? How did you take your original reaction and turn it into this piece?
My process is is multi faceted it usually starts with me looking for images I then isolate the images from their original background and assemble them in photoshop on different layers. Once that is done I print all of the individual images and cut them out. I then start with a piece of plywood the size of the piece I’m making. Next step is following the order in which the images are layered in photoshop to layer them in between thin layers of clear resin to create depth and dimension. My process is a lot easier to wrap your head around once you have seen my work in person but I would describe the final result as a kind of incapsulated 3-d collage.
How do you normally create? How was this experience different?
This experience was different in that I was interpreting a song so I started by listening. I usually start out with a theme like a landscape or a mandala or a portrait or whatever it is and then I go from there so this was very different.
Are there certain choices you made which mean something specific to you that the observer might not know?
With my work I attempt to ignite peoples imagination, most people live a very structured life where imagination is not part of their daily routine. I like to look at a piece of art and have it transport me into the imaginary world of that artist. Back to your question, do I hide things of specific meaning in my work that the observer might not see at first glance or ever? The answer is yes, hiding these little gems is my attempt to awaken the imagination of the observer and have him or her enter my imaginary world.
Extra credit: Did you enjoy this project? More you want to say about your experience?
I loved it! Thank you for including me in this imaginary pot luck I can’t wait to hear, smell and see the rest of it : )