FEATURE: Xander Bliss “When I was young I thought art was all about money and snobbery but it isn’t.”

Xander…a unique and individual name reflective of a unique and individual artist. Labouring under the belief that ‘art keeps us alive’ his work focuses on reflecting people and their personalities. With his influences including a drag queen and a big breasted acquaintance, its easy to see why his work is so splendidly distinctive. An artist whose ideas ‘literally itch until they are out onto my canvas’, he articulates these thoughts through a series of art forms and designs including painting, sculpture and furniture. Xander talks to The Kaje about his future plans, his influences past and present and the importance of art in our modern world.

Could you sum up who Xander is? What does his work represent?

I’m an out-going, culturally driven person with an ambition to do something great. It’s always been my aim to do something that people might remember for years to come and considering I’m not that good at anything else, I thought I’d give art a try. I started painting about a year ago and I’ve already sold over 100 paintings so I must be doing something right.

My work represents how I feel the day I do the painting. Since I was little I’ve been sewing, building and creating things. I’m a huge fan of ‘Site-Specific’ work and always take elements from my surroundings and put them into my work. If I get to paint then I’m happy.

“I like people who stand out and can be themselves
despite the pressures of the world.”

What elements inspire your art work? What people, places, feelings?

I think people inspire me the most. The feelings I get from them and their personalities. My partner Liam has inspired me a lot, because he’s such a strange and slightly off-putting person. If he doesn’t like my work, he’ll tell me and then I’ll tell him he simply doesn’t understand me as an artist. I’ve heard people talk like that on TV so I’m pretty sure it’s a good response to negative feedback.

I like people who stand out and can be themselves despite the pressures of eatthe world. I’m a fan of Jeffree Star. He’s a drag queen like no other and focuses on bright colours with demonic personalities. I love his abuse of the things people mentally link to as “happy feelings”.

I’m also a fan of places. I lived in Bath for three years and I’m fighting to move back there. I love the people, the buildings and just the pure happiness I get when I’m there.

“When I was young I thought art was all about money
and snobbery but it isn’t.”

Which artists do you admire? Past and present?

Present artist has to be a boy from Birmingham called Jak Flash. He’s a photographer and photo artist. I modelled for him and normally I hate modelling, but I loved the outcome. He’s very edgy and controversial and likes to play with the body.

I also like the French body artist Orlan. She has plastic surgery to change her features into what should be “the perfect woman”. I like the idea that the body is a blank canvas.

Past Artist it’s Gustav Klimt. I love his dark and his colourful work, his use of gold and his placement of people and objects are just beautiful.

How important do you think art is today in the modern climate?

It keeps us alive. Without it life wouldn’t be worth living. People think it’s a problem that there are so many artists now but I think it’s a great thing. It’s a meditation, a way of expression and a hobby. I think there should be more artists in Britain and people shouldn’t be so scared to do it. When I was young I thought art was all about money and snobbery but it isn’t, once again I was lied to by the media. I’ve learnt to trust in myself…after all, it’s my art. When I get an idea…it literally itches until it’s out onto my canvas.

Where can our readers see more of your work?

I am arranging to show some of my new work at The Heritage Centre in  Nuneaton which I shall be advertising on my website. So all are welcome. I am working together on a clothing line with my friend Dave who is and artist based in Bristol and incredibly talented. We also share a website devoted to our art.

Words: Sophie Baczynski  Images: Xander Bliss

NEWS: Issue 3 of The Kaje is out now!

July Issue!!

Another month has flown by – though as June ends, July begins and it seems the summer is with us! So we are certainly not complaining. A new month also brings, rather excitingly, another issue of The Kaje. As you will see, we are honoured to have Ballet Boyz grace our cover.  Read on to find out who you will find in our pages this month…

Read it here!

Email us at thekaje@thekaje.com to ensure you get updates on our future issues. You can also follow us on Twitterand Facebook.

The July issue contains:


Ballet Boyz “We are not superstars with sunglasses and fur-coats.”
Xander Bliss
“When I was young I thought art was all about money and snobbery but it isn’t.”
The Good Natured “I like it when an artist makes things personal.”
Craig Houston “We have such limited time on this planet, why waste it?”
Lail Arad “Nothing has felt like this is the moment that has completely changed my life.”
Giorgio Faletti “Luck is an essential component of success.”
Ingrid Michaelson “Be a musician because you can not be anything else.”
Monica Mancini “It was my mother, who was a singer, who really inspired me to do what I do.”
Max Hardberger “I get a chance to risk my life as much as I want.”
Graffiti 6 “We had that connection and decided to explore it.”
Dawn Foster “We have a responsibility to treat our fellow man with dignity and respect.”
Yetunde “I always describe my sound as my emotions.”

WIN!!!!: Signed Jil Is Lucky CDs, Signed Monica Mancini CDs, Ingrid Michaelson CDs, Nicky Swann CDs, Sixteen Shades Of Crazy Paperbacks, Signed Delta Goodrem CD/Posters

Forgotten Gems:-
Album: Delta Goodrem “Innocent Eyes”
Book: Ernest Hemingway “A Moveable Feast”
Film: The Piano
Jason Newton’s Life Lessons: “Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”
Designer of the Month: Helen Woodward Design
Steal My Style: Tyler
The Way I Saw It: Las Vegas

Albums: Seth Lakeman “Heart + Minds”, Stuart Newman “Single But Defective”, Monica Mancini “I’ve Loved These Days”, Katrina Leskanich “The Live Album”, Superhumanoids “Urgency E.P.”
Singles of The Month: Graffiti 6 “Annie, You Save Me”, Subset “Ambrosia”
Live Music: Lissie, Leona Lewis, Keane, Natalie Merchant
Theatre: Fresh Meat, Desert Boy, Dangerous, Amateur Transplants
DVD: Lovely Bones, Valentine’s Day, Clash Of The Titans, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Books: David Nobbs “Obstacles To Young Love”, Sam Bourne “The Chosen One”, Lindsey Kelk “I Heart Paris”, Rachel Tresize “Sixteen Shades Of Crazy”

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