Denise Buisman Pilger

August 16, 2015 by queenwestartcrawl

“The role of the artist in society is always changing and evolving.”

“The role of the artist in society is always changing and evolving.”

What and who has inspired your art work?

My art work is inspired by my frequent travels, living abroad drastically changes your view on the world. When you move to another country you take away everything that is familiar and little everyday details that are different really jump out at you. I’ve now been away from my home country long enough that I’m almost able to experience it in that way as well, which is going to make for an interesting project in the future.


I’m particularly interested in the urban landscape, my art is a way to explore and make sense of my environment. I’m a horrible person to travel with, because I’m always lagging behind taking pictures of seemingly everyday items. I love little urban icons like fire hydrants, I mean, have you ever really looked at them? They come in such a wide variety of shapes and colors, there must be somebody out there who designs these things and makes them look cool, I don’t know who it is but he’s my hero!

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Integrity, perseverance, a little bit of business sense and a thick skin. The first one is obvious, your work should come from you, it should be honest and from the heart otherwise what’s the point? As an artist you have the freedom to do anything which makes integrity all the more important. Perseverance is essential not only in the creative process where you might have to push through the occasional artist block, but also because as an artist you are the only one who can keep you going. Being an artist is not just about making the work, you’re also running a business and that comes with all kinds of tasks that are less then fun. The art world is one of the most competitive environments out there and without integrity, perseverance, a little bit of business sense and a thick skin it is almost impossible to navigate.

What role does the artist have in society?

I think the artist has many different roles, our society is becoming more and more visual so the role of the artist is becoming bigger and more diverse. In our current society there much more space for art on different levels, it is not just in museums and galleries, with the internet art can literally be enjoyed everywhere. This means that many more people come into contact with it and they come up with new ways to integrate art into their lives. In general I think artists make the world richer and have the ability to make people look at their environment differently, but it can also entertain, educate, question, comment, I could go on.

What art do you most identify with?

I identify most with contemporary art, I mostly gravitate towards work with strong contrast, bold colors and heavy textures. I adore the work of Toronto artist Amy Shackleton and Montreal artist Bev Wight.

Why art?

I’ve always felt the urge to create stuff, as a child I was always drawing, or painting, or making something with my hands, so I think it was inevitable.

Currently based in Montréal, visual artist Denise Buisman Pilger is a frequent globetrotter, taking each relocation as an opportunity to explore the world, gathering inspiration for her urban mixed media paintings along the way. She will be at booth F12 on September 12-13 at Trinity Bellwoods Park, as part of the Queen West Art Crawl. You can follow her urban mixed media art on Facebook and Twitter.