I am so excited to be working with student published ARKHAM magazine on their third edition. Watching the whole process has been eye opening and entertaining. I am doing some writing for this edition and I wanted to share some of the questions that didn’t make it into my final edit. The artists that I have interviewed so far were Jo Nobile a fine artist and Jean-Pierre Villafane (skemongo) an architecture and graffiti artist.
Jean-Pierre Villafane interview outtakes:
Both these images are from SKEM Facebook profile. Go check him out and give him a follow!
I call Savannah, Alice in Wonderland.
What is your scariest life experience to date?
Scariest. Painting. It’s definitely painting. And I have to remember what it was… Let me think. If I look at pictures I will remember. Well one time I had this friend, well he’s still my friend, he was a lot more risky than I was. I usually consider things twice when I am painting and he wanted to get on top of this overpass. It was 8pm it wasn’t that late, it wasn’t that dark. We got on top of the overpass, you know what an overpass is? Those signs that go over the highway, we got on top and so as we are painting you would think this thing was really sturdy but it wasn’t. AS trucks would go under it this thing would swing and you’re on top of it in the middle of all these trusses and I was really scared. You could say the scariest part was that there was a church right next to that and there was mass at that time and it finished right as we were about to come down from the overpass and everyone was coming out of the church looking at us. And my car was parked right in the parking lot of that church, so it was scary we thought they were going to call the cops on us.
Do you have a ritual or routine when you create your art?
Yeah I do have one. I definitely have to put music on. I listen to a lot of Deephaus, this artist called Nicholas Jar, I like to feel that I am being transported somewhere else when I start painting. It’s a stress reliever but definitely the music has to be on. I cannot work on studio for architecture projects or a painting or anything if I don’t have any music. Music is really important in the process of anything for me. I like to do a lot of research before going to a canvas I love going, in savannah we don’t hae a lot of museums but for example when I was in New York I got out of the MOMA and I just wanted to go running to a canvas because there was this explosion of ideas. It could be industrial revolution inspiration or whatever and I would have to write these ideas down. It’s very important to me to do a lot of research before doing a canvas. I don’t like sketching, I sketch on the canvas and that’s it but I do like to write the ideas down. Words, key words of what I am going to do.
It’s not something that bothers me, but sometimes people think that there is no process to this type of artwork that I do and that I just arrive at a canvas and start painting it and I pick cool colors. That is not really true I think that just studying how the typography works together, the tagging, the graffiti, the letters how they work together that’s a really complicated process. And if you would talk about what my process is then that’s definitely something you would have to think about is how those letters work together and how they work with your background and foreground as a composition. Having positive space and negative space and there is a part that you don’t really control how its going to come out. I do try to control it as much as I can and that is the dripping, you are working with gravity here and that’s a really important factor a hard thing to do. If you mess up you have to start all over again.
Jo Nobile Interview outtakes:
So you used your emotional state as inspiration, was there anywhere else you looked to gain inspiration from?
Mostly self-reflection, perhaps a little bit of nihilist philosophy as well. I started reading philosophy and it speaks a lot about perception and how people view an object. That was very important to me, because what artists are doing is making objects for you to experience. I feel like they should be educated on what the viewer is getting out of it. So yes the experience was very important to me.
You work mostly in paint have you worked with any other mediums and sort of ended up at paint as a favorite?
I don’t like to describe myself as a painter, exactly just a fine artist. Saying painter is a bit limiting. I’ve worked with installation, digital video, collage of objects, and performance. Paintings are more of a way to get your name out there, selling your work a monetary way of your career. The rest is something you can do out of passion. It’s definitely something I would be interested in continuing.
What is your dream job? Do you want to continue making art for yourself or?
Yea, fine art painting would be my dream job. You take four years of classes that really give you no idea what you’re going to do when you leave school and then finally the last class you take in your major you’re like “oh, now I get it. Now I can see what I can do”. They give you all this knowledge that you don’t know how to apply until your last quarter. We are learning now about residencies and grants and things of that sort. Opportunities to get paid and sustain your life making fine art so ideally I would work for galleries or do residency programs at colleges. And maybe for some sort of income do some work for museums. There is a lot going on in the Hudson Valley area in New York, that’s where I’ve got my eye set right now. I am from New York. I am from Weschester county its about an hour away from Hudson Valley. With this developing art culture it seems very exciting to be a part of making this a bigger thing. For a long time it was pretty much just New York City, Miami and LA now there is more for a chance in other places.
Do you have a ritual or a routine when you are creating your art?
I think typically I go through this anxious process of trying to formulate an idea, I go through this process of rationalizing every mark that I am going to make, every object that is going to be present it has to mean something to me. Even if it inherently doesn’t mean anything it has to mean something to me, it has to contribute to the artwork. You’re responsible for everything you are presenting to the viewers, I think a lot about that before I even touch a physical object. It’s more of a process of thinking before acting. That is the closest thing to a process that I have.
These are outtakes from my interview and are not to be used out of context of my work, please do not steal them and just enjoy a sneak peak into what ARKHAM 3 is going to contain!