We speak to the Australian artist about his ethereal artworks for the likes of Tame Impala and Lykke Li
Connecting visual streams between the forces of nature, psychedelia and altered realities, newly Berlin-based Leif Podhajsky has been commissioned to create his ethereal artworks for the likes of Tame Impala and Lykke Li, to The Vines. His stunning and surreal blog, VISUAL MELT collates his inspirations from lush wavey-witchy electronic music to influential artworks, often tipping into the world of the occult and mysticism.
Dazed Digital: How would you describe the art that you make?
Leif Podhajsky: I create work that explores themes of connectedness, the relevance of nature and the psychedelic or altered experience and by utilizing these subjects I am attempting to coerce the viewer into a realignment with themselves and their surroundings. In a lot of my work I am pursuing a symbiosis between digital techniques and organic feeling outcomes. My artwork is really an exploration of creativity and imagination with the intent in finding answers to my own life and the things I sense and feel but can't explain in words.
DD: Where do you draw your inspirations for the ethereal and psychedelic themes from?
Leif Podhajsky: From nature, from music, in harmony, balance, knowledge, wisdom and love. I draw on these elements and try and be as open as I can be and appreciate every moment as special. When I am making something and locked in that zone of creative freedom is when I am most happy and amazed to be alive and where I gain most inspiration from.
DD: Are there any artists/photographers whose work you find particularly inspiring?
Leif Podhajsky: All the artists and musicians that I feature on my blog VISUAL MELT mean a lot to me, artists like Remedios Varo, Caspar David Friedrich, Bas Jan Ader, Yves Klein, Michael Cina, Neil Krug, Jonathan Zawada, Young Magic, Schiele, to name a few.
Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the amount of great artists and artwork that I like to remove myself somewhat from seeing or hearing to many things. I believe this allows me to develop my own style naturally and focus on what I want to create without distractions. Its especially true in this digital age with endless amounts of inspiration at our fingertips.
DD: Why have chosen to collaborate with musicians by designing cover artwork?
Leif Podhajsky: Music plays a big part in how I create, not just for record labels or bands but across everything I do. I find it helps me turn the part of my brain that over analyses and makes things logical switch off. This helps as it lets me form compositions in a more natural and fluid way. So it felt really organic to begin creating artwork for musicians, I have always loved album art and think it can really add to the whole experience of an album.
DD: Do you try to accompany your style with the music on the record?
Leif Podhajsky: Yes I definitely listen to the music and create something that harnesses its essence whilst still keeping my own sense of style. For example I just did some pieces for Shabazz Palaces and I must have listened to their album 15 times through from start to finish whilst developing and creating the artwork. As I mention above music plays a key role in how I create and I love making artwork for musicians, creating visual identities for musical journeys.
DD: What are you working on now/most excited about next?
Leif Podhajsky: I have just moved to Berlin so I am very excited to be in a new city which is so full of creative energy. I am also looking forward to making some sculptural pieces and diving into some more motion work too. More of everything please.