Art Talk: Ryan Falzon

Artist in Studio (Credits : Sam Vassallo)

Artist in Studio (Credits : Sam Vassallo)

Meet Ryan Falzon, a cynical pop artist based in Malta and Berlin, discussing politics and society with colour, acrylic and print. 

We talk about Malta, political commentary, and 2018 goals. 

 

 

 

Describe the social and political landscape of Malta? 

Malta is a small European island, comparable to a small village in Europe where everything is intense: the sun, the swearing, the traffic, the meals, the partying and the construction boom. Malta has been independent since 1964 and a republic since 1979. It joined the European Union in 2004.  It had a troubled political history in the 80’s and a rush to catch up with the rest of Europe in the 90’s.  

How does culture effect your identity?

The Maltese tend to have a rather fragmented self-identity gathered through centuries of the islands being ruled, and exploited, by foreign rulers. My understanding of our identity is that it is a rather constructed one, that the Maltese never had time to come to terms with its true identity.  Although Malta has been part of the European Union for 14 years now, strong elements of post colonial mentality are still visible and effecting the social and political sphere.

Francis, all the birds are stuffed, Acrylics and Oil Pastel on Canvas, 90 by 70 cms, 2016 (Private Collection)

Francis, all the birds are stuffed, Acrylics and Oil Pastel on Canvas, 90 by 70 cms, 2016 (Private Collection)

How does Malta feature in your art?

A substantial input in my art is a personal interpretation of situations I encounter daily. I spend most of the year in Malta, so it is only natural that various Maltese situations and facades spring out in my work.

Your art feels very political, is it?

It is, and I make no apology for it.  It is not political in a partisan way, nor is it meant to work as a caricature. I hope it is much more subtle than that.  I try to infuse my paintings with back stories which support the multi-layered treatment.  This could be a line in an international newspaper to village gossip and urban legends, or a rich local pop culture which expresses our national identity issues. Living in a country where it takes less than an hour to cross, may give a mistaken perspective of dimensions, a false sense of control. Combined with a grandiose understanding of our place in world history – such as Malta’s past victories against the Ottoman invasions in the 1500s, and the victory against the Axis powers in World War 2 - might encourage the idea that Malta is God’s gift to the world, this sunny paradise that can be barely seen on the world’s map.

Could you explain this?

Of course. This mentality is fertile ground for ego boosts. Take for example, the painting “Satan as an Angry Teddy Boy”. It was triggered off during one weekday morning, where while out and around, I passed the village square. Resting in the shade of the main church in my home town was a group of elderly man, with one in particular sporting a Teddy Boy hairstyle, boasting that he doesn’t want to go to heaven when he dies, but would prefer to go to hell, “where the porn stars and the Cadillacs are”. Such a mind frame intrigued me, the idea that one can control afterlife based on taste. So I created this work where Satan is angry because all Maltese bribed their way and went to heaven, leaving the Malta section in hell empty.

Sokkors, Acrylics and Oil Pastel on Canvas, 190 by 190 cms, 2016

Sokkors, Acrylics and Oil Pastel on Canvas, 190 by 190 cms, 2016

How important is art in affecting politics/social issues?

I wish it were, but I don’t think it is as important as we wish it to be. Art often becomes a reaction to political and social decisions, but hardly ever leads them. In Malta most art is not typically political.  While in the past, art served to reinforce the status quo, today nothing much has changed.  My art is atypical in that it is expressly concerned with commenting on current issues as I see them.

How would you describe your style?

As regards my personal style, I see my art as having an editorial function, in that I literally use collage and the juxtaposition of elements to create a reaction to things I feel strongly about. My art can be either a backlash towards issues that annoy me, others that I think are quirky and a good laugh, with loads of dark humour thrown in to balance things out.

How does technology affect your practice?

Today art is in perpetual competition with the saturation of images from social media. When exhibiting, I always feel that artists are in competition with the little device in the viewer’s pockets or handbags, waiting to show the latest updates about individuals in one’s network, individuals one has an established relation with, and this may harm the viewer’s assimilation and bonding with art, especially art which isn’t easily digestible.

You make both paintings and prints, which medium do you prefer?

The preferred medium is always the one that fits best the theme I’m working on. Elements in a theme are pushed and amplified best in painting, others in different printing disciplines. It is merely an investigation of formal elements of each medium in relation to the concept. In my last two solo exhibitions, I used to different techniques. In Quick Fix: A Morality Tale, I showed a series of 14 lino prints depicting a morality tale, on an almost medieval style.  In  WE LOST THE WAR,  I showed 24 large scale paintings. 

Young Love, Lino Print, 2012

Young Love, Lino Print, 2012

Is there an inherent tone in each?

Yes, I think so.  I tend to push the medium I’m working with to give me just the effects I need. While printing tends to be more technical, in painting there is more room for experimentation and overlapping of media. My paintings combine acrylics, charcoal, pencil and oil pastels, with digital prints, monoprints, linoprints, and  acetone prints.  The main shared aspect of paintings and prints in my work is definitely an element of flatness and collage. Most often I treat a surface, whether paper, canvas, wood, as flat and I do want to create a realistic 3D illusion on it. I like creating layers of meaning, giving the audience hints to unveil and decipher the work. I need my audience to engaged with my work, to bring their knowledge and experience, to read a work.  I leave a wide margin for personal. I hate spoon feeding and I’m easily bored, so I try and place myself as one of my viewers when creating works to be exhibited.

 

Is either restrictive in any way?

Not at all. I think all good artists, digital, traditional, all know the limits and potentials of their media and rightly so, it is part of being professional. Some ideas to be successful as artworks need a high definition, hyper real rendition of the subject, other themes are best explored in abstract works. The only way to break down restrictions between media and concepts is by undergoing processes of creating bridges and compromises.

What is the meaning behind your imagery?

My imagery can be best described as cynical pop art, or pop art without entertainment. Most often it is a mixture of two opposing forces, good and evil, sacred and profane, love and hate. Linking back to what I said earlier about reacting to my immediate environment, in my work there is a predominance of religious iconography, often presented in a raw, expressionistic manner.

My generation (I am 29) discovered the magic of cut and paste on their desktops, and that is echoed in my works. I manually select, edit and paste borrowed imagery with the same facility that digital editing allows. In this sense, I have chosen to stick to traditional techniques because I believe they portray the feel and tactile elements I want in my works.  I believe in the talismanic power of the hand drawn object and symbol, the artist’s touch being a conscious aesthetic choice on how to portray an object.  The artist knows that his touch makes all the difference in how an audience reads that image. Objects can be rendered as realistic or, with the artist’s touch, as defective, imperfect and thus more human. My work is transgressive, often displaying humanity in its imperfection and dysfunctionality.

What are themes you think are important to explore?

The personal, the political, and dark humour. I feel they are my three main outlets, and like my works, there are layers or sometimes personalities in me that needs an outlet, and these outlets require different media and language to be fully executed, amplified and understood.

Are you happy now, Mr. RAF? Acrylics, Collage and Oil Pastel on Canvas, 190 by 190cms, 2016 (Credits : Elisa von Brockdorff)

Are you happy now, Mr. RAF? Acrylics, Collage and Oil Pastel on Canvas, 190 by 190cms, 2016 (Credits : Elisa von Brockdorff)

Could you walk us through, ‘Are you Happy Now, Mr. RAF?’.

That painting is one of the largest I did so far, 190cms by 190cms. The idea after reading an online article about the situation of the Left these days, and the debatable question whether one is to have a pacifist approach towards oppression or one we could call an eye for an eye reaction. The colour scheme is politically loaded, showing a skull with round glasses – the skull showing that this is an old argument within left wing politics, and the glasses have a double interpretation, they are old fashioned glasses but also hipster ones. The background shows a Xeroxed poster of the West German group RAF, on which the main motifs are imposed. The question at the bottom right refers to the initial reason why RAF formed, that is as a reaction towards the involvement of America in Vietnam. It is a rare piece in the sense that it doesn’t carry any Maltese reference, which can be due to the fact that although the work was executed in Malta, the idea for this work, as well as a politically charged series of never exhibited paintings was conceived while I was working as a designer in Berlin.

Target Pracise, Lino Print, 2015

Target Pracise, Lino Print, 2015

What is one thing you would like to achieve by this time next year?

Currently I have a number of prints exhibited in a group show at Heike Arndt Gallery in Berlin, and the aim for next year is to solidify and increase my trips between Malta and Berlin - it is so refreshing being based in two vibrant places at once, travelling keeps boredom at bay.

Keep in touch with Ryan: 

www.ryanfalzon.com

Follow his Instagram

 

Art Talk: Jessie Brooks-Dowsett

Jessie Brooks- Dowsett.

Jessie Brooks- Dowsett.

Meet Jessie Brooks- Dowsett, an abstract artist, an arts psychotherapist and all round wonder woman.

We chat about art as a form of therapy and as a career. 

What is an arts psychotherapist?

Arts based psychotherapy is a form of therapy that engages creative modalities, including visual art-making, music/sound, dance/movement, the written and spoken word, with therapeutic outcomes.

 

Arts based psychotherapy can restore or provide a sense of cohesiveness to individuals and communities, by supporting people to learn more about themselves and providing a space where people can make sense of how they live and consider how they might prefer to live.

How does art help?

The creative engagement brings us into the present moment, it puts us in touch with who we are and helps us to connect with others. It engages our preverbal and pre-reflective self, empowering the expression of feelings and strong emotions and deepening the exploration of recurrent issues and behavioural patterns.

When did you decide this was a path you wanted to go down?

I think I’ve always travelled this path, I just didn’t realise it had a name, that it could be harnessed and shared with others as a form of therapy.

Sketchbook pages Watercolour, graphite, coloured pencil 134 x 422mm. 2017

Sketchbook pages Watercolour, graphite, coloured pencil 134 x 422mm. 2017

Has it helped you?

I’ve always held firm to my creative endeavours and used them to cultivate my own wellbeing, I found that communication through artistic pursuits could speak to things in a way that I could never manage with verbal language. I love writing and listening to music, reading books and poetry, but using my hands to create has been a primary form of expression for as long as I can remember.

 

 

I have dyslexia and a fair amount of social anxiety, so I really struggle to match the thoughts in my head and the sensations of my body with the words that come out of my mouth. When I am making marks I don't falter, I feel confident, like the artwork has the potential to capture all that I have to convey in a raw and authentic way. The truest form of my whole self speaking.

Going Underwater Watercolour, graphite, pastel 23 x 30.5 cm. 2017

Going Underwater Watercolour, graphite, pastel 23 x 30.5 cm. 2017

How do you find time to practice art?

I make time! I find it useful to have a loose routine, that helps me set aside time to focus on my practice, but if i’m being honest, most of my artwork is done by seizing every opportunity that arises and carrying art materials around with me most of the time. 

How would you describe your artistic style?

Gestural abstract expressionism. I use the gestures of my body in combination with art materials to express sensations or reflections about my personal experiences. I find this way of working, a powerful way to reflect and process my recollections, as it captures an implicit dimension of my experience, something that sits at the edges of my conscious and as such is unavailable to my purely cognitive, sometimes self-critical thought.

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

Is art for everyone?

Yes, unequivocally and emphatically. Art can hold significance for everyone, the maker and the audience. It evokes a myriad of dialogues at the same time, provoking thought and reflection. 

How can art affect people who are not associated/interested in art itself?

Maybe I’m an idealist, but I truly believe there is an art form which can engage and affect every individual. I don’t believe you need a certain education or cultural pedigree, I think it’s just in everybody. Art has existed from the very beginning of human evolution, in rock paintings, song and dance, I feel like it is in the fibre of our being as a way to connect with others, to explore and reflect on our human experience, as individuals and as part of a community.

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

What do you wish people see when they look at your work?

I hope they feel something more than see anything. I think there’s a beautiful dynamic that is available between the viewer and the artwork, that can exist in the absence of the artist. Something that comes alive and resonates for each person. I found that people generally have an instinctual response to my work, they feel things they can't verbalise or give rational thought to, which makes me feel wonderful, because that's how I am when I am creating.

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

What defines something as art?

The maker and viewer.

It could be suggested that art is defined by the intention of the maker, but I think the parameters then become too formal. Art is subjective, it has the power to make you think and feel, it is not only found in formal setting like galleries, but can be everywhere.

Art is a mercurial form of expression, its capacity to be defined varies. But it lives in the moments of creation and the reception of an audience.

How important is it that art remains unrestricted and continuously developing?

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

Shots from The deafening sounds of these drawings exhibition at Kings ARI gallery.

I think art, by its very nature, exists in a liminal realm. It is the expression of emotion and thought and nothing good will ever come from censoring those aspects of ourselves.

How has social media affected the art world?

Impotent Fury Acrylic, gouache, graphite. 30.5 x 30.5cm. 2017

Impotent Fury Acrylic, gouache, graphite. 30.5 x 30.5cm. 2017

I feel like social media has made the art world more accessible. It bypasses the commercial aspects of art (marketing and exhibiting to gain exposure) and the financial restriction emerging artists feel exhibiting in a traditional gallery space. Additionally it reduces the aristocratic stimaga that surrounds art by exposing the machinations of the artist, whist simultaneously creating a global community of creatives. I have nothing negative to say about the impact of social media on the art world,i believe art is for everyone to create and enjoy, social media makes that and easy thing.

What is one goal you’ve already completed in 2017?

I wanted to publicly exhibit my work, I’ve done that twice now already.

How did that go?

My most recent show felt incredibly satisfying, I was given a short residency in a gallery to explore my response to sound. I worked intermittently for 24hrs to develop a body of work that I feel incredibly proud of. Having such a large space to work in saw me explore mark making on a much larger scale, I was able to use my whole body to respond and make marks. The extended and focused duration of the art making session allowed me to really immerse myself and unfold the process of response.

 

What is a goal you have for the rest of the year?

I’m heading back to complete my masters this semester, so with two young kids, work, my art practice and a thesis to write, my goal for the rest of the year is keep my head above water.

Keep In touch:

Art Talk: Dimithry Victor

Art interview 3.jpg

Meet Dimithry Victor, the only thing more incredible than his talent is how young he is. He is hoping to change the world one sketch at a time. 

We chat about artistic opportunities, Instagram followers, being a young artist and technology.

How did you discover art?

I first discovered art by accident while at church as a kid. When I was around 4, I would often fall asleep during sermon, so my mom would give some paper and a pen to keep me occupied. I always ended up using it to draw, and I eventually decided to try to learn how to do more of it on my own using references photos from the internet and cartoons. Around the age of 8 I got my hands on this comic book anatomy book, and then I finally learned how to draw humans, animals, environments and more. That book made me even more interested in art, and from there I spent everyday practicing until I could finally make what I wanted.

You are still so young, yet so talented! Within the past three years you’ve also worked up quite a hefty CV. How do you find these opportunities?

Well it took some time to actually find those opportunities. A lot of art opportunities involved being 18 or older, so I had to regularly spend hours trying to find magazines, or galleries that would accept my art despite my age. The hours I spent looking for opportunities eventually paid off, because I would end up being featured.

Art interview 1.jpg

You also have a decent following on instagram. Do you have any advice for people wanting to direct more attention to their page?

I noticed most people on Instagram view the photos for a few seconds and then move on. So, my advice would be to just be consistent enough when posting to attract more followers. The more often they see your art, the more likely they are to follow you. Having a style that attracts people would help too.

 

Your work involves a very interesting mix between traditional pencil sketches and modern, digital artworks. Which practice do you prefer?

I enjoy both equally. I love learning as much as I can in one medium before I move onto the next. Pencil sketches and digital artworks just so happen to be what I have my focus on for now.

Why is it important for you to display such a diverse style?

I find it important to be diverse because having one style limits my creativity in a way. Even if I found a distinct and unique style I wouldn’t want to limit myself to only one style for my whole life, there is so many other styles to experiment with I would be doing a disservice to myself not to try them.

Art interview 2 copy.jpg

What can you offer as a young person to the future of art?

I think I offer a different outlook on art. Kids nowadays don’t treat art as a form of popular culture like they would Rap or Pop music, and that’s largely due to how most people view art. I don’t want people to see my art as some form of prestige or high class one day, I would much rather have it seen as something everyone, at any age can enjoy. So, I try to make art that would make people say “that’s pretty dope!”

Art interview 4.jpg


How is this affected my technology?

Technology helps a considerable amount! With technology, more people are exposed to art than ever before no matter their background. Technology also gives me the ability to create so many new and cool things. Amazing art pieces like The Infinity Room by Kusama or Dismaland by Banksy would’ve never been created if it weren’t for technology. As I learn and grow more as an artist, technology helps me a ton.

'Birds' by Dimithry Victor.

'Birds' by Dimithry Victor.

How is this affected by the current political culture?

I don’t think my art is affected much by politics at all. I think maybe down the line I’ll incorporate it, but as of now I see politics as only a way to divide people and not bring them together.

Do you think art can change the world? How so?

Yes, I believe art can change the world. Everything we use from, clothes, phones, cars, and buildings are all made by artists. Art has the ability to define the entire aesthetic of an era as seen with Andy Warhol in the 60s and The Memphis Group in the 80s. Art can also carry symbolic meanings which impact people on a global scale, artists like Jean Jullien, Pablo Picasso, and Shepard Fairey have all made powerful images. So there’s a lot of ways art can impact the world.

'Supper' by Dimithry Victor.

'Supper' by Dimithry Victor.

Who is your current favourite emerging artist on instagram right now?

My favorite right now is Maggie Munroe. She’s around the same age as me and her style is just so awesome! I just love looking at all her work.

 

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?

I’d like to see myself improved as an artist. I would also want to find a way to share my art to as many people across the world whether it be through galleries, television, or any other outlet.  In 5 years time I hope I can be financially stable from art so I can keep doing it as a full-time job.

'Gratification' by Dimithry Victor

'Gratification' by Dimithry Victor

 Is there one piece of advice that has stuck with you until this day?

Although this may sound corny, the one piece of advice that I’ve stuck with is to never give up. There are many people that try to make me feel as if my goals are unattainable, and that being an artist isn’t a “real job”, but once I ignore the negative comments and I just keep going at it, the more I start to realize that it really is possible. So I would suggest to just keep going at whatever you want despite the negative criticism,  the work will eventually pay off.

 

 

 

Keep in touch with Dimithry:

Art Talk: Marcus Scott

Marcus Scott with 'The Other Body', large installation sculpture (190 x 90 x 90 x 190 cm) made from plaster.

Marcus Scott with 'The Other Body', large installation sculpture (190 x 90 x 90 x 190 cm) made from plaster.

Meet Marcus Scott, a young artist based in London using paint and plaster as a form of social and political commentary.

We chat about how he found art, the London art scene and the politics landscape our time.

When did you discover art?

Up until the age of sixteen if you told me that I would ever end up going to art school I would have laughed. I come from a family with zero artists in it and most of my friends are either in apprenticeships, studying engineering or not at university at all- so you could say that I didn’t come from the most creative beginnings. It was when I was at school that I first discovered art; I had a bit of a bust up with another kid and was sent over to the art building for some ‘time out’, if you can put it that way. When I got there I met a teacher who genuinely believed in both my artistic ability and me as a person. I found over the next few years that I spent more time at that art department than anywhere else; it really felt like a second family to me and I really appreciated the support I got there, it helped calm me down a lot I think.

How has art affected you as a person?

I do genuinely believe that practicing and studying art makes me a better person. As much as I try I always tend to find myself getting into trouble in one way or another, so in that sense it gives me a higher purpose and a discipline that I can really devote myself to- something that's more important than going out and acting like an idiot.

Marcus Scott, TTA, monoprint x Collage.

Marcus Scott, TTA, monoprint x Collage.

Where do you think you would be now if you hadn’t found an interest in art?

I honestly couldn't tell you for certain, but probably nowhere good. I know that I definitely wouldn't be as happy as I am now. I would probably just be drifting through life without any real meaning to it. I guess I would just be another kid with a chip on his shoulder.   

Could you explain who ‘jack the lad’ is to someone who is not from england?

I guess some people would say that a ‘jack the lad’ is a brash and cocky young male, but I like to think of myself as a semi- lovable rogue….

 

Why did you choose this as your instagram name?

Well the whole ‘jackthelad’ thing came from the fact that for a few months as a baby I was called Jack, before my dad decided that Marcus was a better fit. I’ve always preferred ‘Jack’ though and I feel like it suits me more, most people I meet seem to agree!

How has your environment affected your work?

My environment and the surroundings I find myself in are absolutely key to my work. I am always trying to link what is going around me into my practice. One of the things I love about making art is that it allows me to process what I see going around me, whether that be in politics, my relationships with other people, things that have happened to me in my life, or something as simple as the bus stop outside my flat. The world is teeming with inspiration, you just have to make sure you keep looking.

Marcus Scott, 'Stonehenge', collage x sculpture with concrete.

Marcus Scott, 'Stonehenge', collage x sculpture with concrete.

What is the London art scene like?

London is an incredible place to be a young artist. Not only is there always an exhibition to see, but there is always something interesting to go and do. Whenever I go to a gallery (big or small) to see a show, I always see artists that are really pushing boundaries or doing something unique. I think the other thing that makes London so special is the craziness and busyness of everyday life; it’s an incredibly diverse melting pot full of people rushing and pushing to get to the top and succeed at what they do. It’s exciting to be part of, and I am definitely drawn to the craziness of it.

What are you most looking forward to when you start your BA degree at Central St Martins?

I guess I’m just really excited to get down to do some serious work at a serious place. I feel very privileged to have been offered a place there and I intend to prove them right.

Marcus Scott, 'Trump Tower', concrete, aluminium, acrylic, spray paint, wood, paper (2017).

Marcus Scott, 'Trump Tower', concrete, aluminium, acrylic, spray paint, wood, paper (2017).

How would you describe your artistic style?

I would say that there is always a strange mix of fun and grittiness in my work, with a bit of pop culture sprinkled on top. I think it’s important to deal with serious issues and get some unpleasant stuff off my chest, but I never want to wallow in it. I like to keep a sense of humour about things, there’s nothing worse than a cry baby.

What are some of your inspirations?

My biggest influence has always been Francis Bacon: for me, he is on another level entirely. But after him I would say Jean Michel- Basquiat, Rachel Harrison, Isa Genzken, Franz West and Ralph Steadman.  

 

 

 

 

What are important themes for you to explore at the moment?

That’s quite a hard one to put my finger on, as I’m always exploring multiple things and ideas at the same time. Recently I’ve been getting back into drawing and ink work, and I’ve been carefully watching what’s been happening in Charlottesville in the last few weeks. It seems to me that there is a very worrying gap in public opinion in the western world right now, and we are seeing huge divide between the far right and the far left across Europe and the US. Just look at the recent election here and you can see that there seems to be a very worrying disconnect between one half of society and the other.

Why do you need to explore these?

I feel like as an artist it's always important to commentate on what's going on in the world. We need to be breaking things down and looking at them for what they are.

Marcus Scott, 'Limb', steel, 2017.

Marcus Scott, 'Limb', steel, 2017.

How has your identity affected your work?

I feel like my personality is definitely fused into what I’m doing. How can it not be? If you look at any artist you always see parallels between their life, their personality and their work. There is always a correlation of some sort, but that's part of why I love art so much: everytime someone makes a piece of work they leave a trace of themselves on it whether they like it or not; it's a trail that leads back to the artist every time.

How has art affected your identity?

I think the most important thing that it did for me was to make me realise I was actually good at something, and if I worked hard at it I could get even better at it. I’m happy that I found something that I love and something that’s more important than myself, if that makes any sense. Although I still always get the piss taken out of me at home for being the arty one who wears stripy trousers.

Keep in touch with Marcus:


 

Art Talk: Cynthia Giron

Cynthia Giron's image.

Cynthia Giron's image.

Meet Cynthia Giron, a powerhouse of abstraction, adding and subtracting colour to create an energetic splash of emotion and meaning.

We talk about abstraction and colour Synesthesia.

Do you enjoy your MFA?

Yes, mostly. It’s enjoyable because I know I am learning to think more about what I am doing and why I am doing them but the process of graduate school is hard work, lots of doubt, stress and growing. I was told by multiple professors that the MFA is the worst and best time of an artist life. I think that is very accurate.

Cynthia Giron, 'Fruitful Labor', Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 24x 24.

Cynthia Giron, 'Fruitful Labor', Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 24x 24.

 

Is there anything you would change?

Yes, I wish my MFA program was closer to my hometown! I love the city I grew up in and miss it a lot, but I do enjoy the town I live in right now too.

You’re abstract paintings are so energetic and unique! What do you appreciate about abstraction rather than pure representation?

What has always drawn me to abstract work is that it’s unlimited, you get to create something new, something only you can make. I appreciate that abstract work has purity to it, it’s not trying to be anything, it doesn’t aim to reveal itself to the viewer all at once, there's a mystery to understand and appreciating it. I have made representational work in my undergraduate studies but always felt constrained, I found a place for my energy in abstract painting.

Cynthia Giron, 'A world inside', Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 48 x49

Cynthia Giron, 'A world inside', Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 48 x49

What does colour mean to you?

Color is everything to me. It’s one of the forces that drives and inspires me. I love how color can change how you feel in an instant. Which is one of the reasons I color my hair crazy bright colors! There are magical color moments in every day you just have to stop and watch closely.

Could you explain your artistic practice when creating sculptures?

When I make my sculptures, my process is very similar to my paintings, I start out by adding, then I subtract, back and forth until I am pleased with the outcome. I typically use clay or expanding foam to create my shapes. I see my sculptures as paintings that can be seen at all angles.

Cynthia Giron, 'Please don't drop me', Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 49x48.

Cynthia Giron, 'Please don't drop me', Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 49x48.

You work with many mediums such as painting drawing and sculpture. Which is your favourite medium?

My favorite medium is drawing, it is the first one, the one that led me to study art.

You have colour Synesthesia… could you explain what it is?

Color synesthesia is basically visual stimulus that causes another involuntary stimulus to occur. For me personally, it's music and sounds that cause me to see color, like a cloud of color overtakes me when I hear certain sounds.

 

How does this affect your art making practice?

I think it has a positive effect on my artwork, I do find it nearly impossible to work in silence. I always shut out the world and listen to music on noise cancelling headphones. I work best when all I hear is music.  

How does it set you apart from other artists?

I don't think it sets me apart too much, since there are many other fellow artists whom also have synesthesia. Artists of all disciplines usually have some sort of synesthesia, so it's fairly common. I’ve had this since I was very young so to me it is completely normal. One notable artist is, Lorde, the famous musician, she has color synesthesia like I do.

Cynthia Giron, 'Stranger at the door,' Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 24x24. 

Cynthia Giron, 'Stranger at the door,' Acrylic, Spray paint and marker on wood panel. 24x24. 

Do you have a favourite song or artist to listen to?

I have many favorite artists, but if I had to just pick a few it would be; Two Door Cinema Club, Surfer Blood, Fleet Foxes and Glass Animals.

What is your favourite gallery for inspiration?

I really enjoy Zg gallery in Chicago, I’ve never actually gone since I live in Texas but I love the artists they represent.

 

Who is your favourite emerging artist right now?

I really enjoy the works of Rachel Goodwin, her soft sculptures are inspirational!

Where to find Cynthia:

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