Tammy Mike Laufer
Tammy Mike Laufer lives and works in Israel. She is an international contemporary artist and art director. She graduated from high school with an architecture and art major, and received her professional education from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Graphic Design, and the continuing education program for designers at Sivan College, Tel Aviv. She has worked with Digital Media for almost two decades and participated in exhibitions in museums and video art projects around the world: Venice, New York, Italy, Greece, Japan, Pennsylvania, Portugal, Latvia, Israel, among others.
1) What or who inspired you to want to be an artist?
The decision to become an artist has grown over the years out of a desire to constantly engage in painting, design, and art. I drew from a very young age in different media. I was exposed to art, whether in museums or books. When I was a young girl I slept with art books that my parents had given me as gifts under my pillow. I even dreamed of designing cars. I studied architecture and art in high school, and after my military service, I studied in the Technion [Israel Institute of Technology] extension in Tel-Aviv in their Graphic Design program. I also studied in the continuing education program for designers at Sivan College in Tel Aviv. Art and design were always together in my life. It was not a decision to one day being an artist but rather an inborn tendency, coupled with drawing talent, many years of study, and a great love of digital media. The artists who have influenced me mostly are Salvador Dali, M. C. Escher, Samuel Bak, and Frida Kahlo.
2) What was your creative journey that has brought you to where you are in your career today?
I was always engaged in art, architecture, and design, but in 2009 I decided to work totally in the field of digital media art. I participated in a video art project at the 53rd Venice Biennale, and I gave a solo exhibition at the Janco-Dada Museum in Israel. I participated in many group exhibitions, among them the Imai Art Museum in Nigata, Japan. I represented Israel in art exhibition in Pennsylvania that showcased in the Middle East. I took part in the Israeli artists book showing at the Museum of Jaffa in Tel Aviv, in a huge art screening in Times Square in New York, in a group exhibition about the Holocaust at the museum in Riga, in the Holocaust exhibition at the Jewish Film Festival at Warsaw, and in the Experimental Art Museum of Mexico City. I also took part in the Second Israeli Internet Art Biennial. In addition, there have also been articles written about my art, and I participate in fundraising exhibitions for at-risk youth in Israel. To keep track of my activities you are invited to my official website.
3) What do you need as an artist today?
Beyond the creation and participation in exhibitions, I decided in 2012 to found the online contemporary art magazine 44 DEGREES. I developed the concept and am the magazine’s producer, editor, curator, designer, site-builder, and manager. The magazine is published once a month, dealing with a different issue each time. The first issue was published early in 2013 and so far we have published seven issues. The magazine presents an impressive and fascinating collection of contemporary art. You can view the magazine without subscription fees, and you can make direct contact with each artist by clicking on his or her e-mail address. The magazine supports the “green” trend and is not printed on paper, but is ready for viewing on your computer, iPad, and smartphone. Right now I do it without a budget but to continue to work on this unique project I hope to get sponsorship from the organization like the AICF. Please see the 44 DEGREES website.
4) What creative project are you working on now?
I am currently working on the eighth edition of 44 DEGREES. This time the theme is Portrait. I am also currently working on a project on the issue of empowering women: a mosaic of successful women. I also have another big project for a digital painting exhibition, based in three dimensions.
5) Where do you see yourself and your career in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope that my creativity will continue. I hope to continue to help Israeli artists to promote themselves using 44 DEGREES and to introduce the world to Israeli contemporary art. On a personal level, I hope to continue with my art and presenting in unique exhibitions around the world. Maybe I’ll get asked to present an exhibition at the MOMA museum in New York.
6) What does it mean to you to be an Israeli artist?
For me being an Israeli artist is about dealing with issues that relate to Israeli society, such as the Gilad Shalit Exhibition [an Israeli soldier who was captured] in which I have participated. To deal with the memory of the Holocaust is also essential to Judaism, and this is a subject with which I often engage. I also participate in exhibitions fundraising for at-risk youth in Israel, and in exhibitions where I am invited to represent Israel in the Middle East conflict.
7) What does it mean to you to have an organization like AICF available in the art world?
The America-Israel Cultural Foundation helps and affects Israeli culture. Artists from various fields receive support, ensuring continued artistic creation. With the Foundation’s social network, each artist gets a page and can display text and images. The artist gains exposure, and can promote his or her activities. I hope that with the AICF, I can continue my activities in promoting Israeli artists around the world, by the art magazine I founded 44 DEGREES that features Israeli artists exclusively.