1) Where were you raised? Can you paint a picture of your childhood?
I was raised in the tropical island of the Dominican Republic. Growing up in the warm weather and being surrounded by bright colors, happy people, and beautiful beaches. I come from a large family and have four siblings. Growing up with my siblings was an amazing experience, we are all very close and always innovated things as children to keep ourselves entertained.
2) Did you always create art as a kid, or did you come to it later in life?
I’ve always been an artist, since I was a kid my father would buy me crayons and coloring books. It was my favorite pass time to color and create. This continued throughout my life as I became an art major in high school and ended up graduating from Moore College of Art & Design with a Bachelors degree in Fashion Design.
3) Which artists have influenced your work? Why and how?
I’ve always idolized many artists, all with very different aesthetics. Ultimately I love and admire people that are able to express themselves artistically whether it is on canvas, the runway, music, photography, etc. It is all inspiring and influential to me, because these are all aspects I experience in my everyday life. Some of the artists I look up to include Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Rene Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, Caravaggio, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, & Claes Oldenburg.
The paintings I am submitting for ArtWalk are heavily influenced by the surrealist movement. I am fusing realistic images in odd spaces/unnatural things, in this case to invoke feelings/ a reaction.
4) Any other influences (people, places, ideas)?
Life is the best influence, I definitely take from my personal life and things I’ve experienced. Placing all of my energy and feelings on the canvas helps in releasing of these emotions.
5) Tell me about your practice—how do you generate ideas, what medium do you use?
I generate ideas from experience, I think about how I can transfer my feelings on to a canvas. I want the audience to be able to experience the feeling I had at the moment this painting was created or inspired. Acrylic paint is my preferred medium to use, at times I do add watercolors as well.
6) is your art more concept-driven or image-driven?
For me is definitely more about the concept of the painting. I’m very big on having a clear emotion I want to display on canvas. Without a strong concept I wouldn’t feel connected to the painting and that would mean it isn’t coming from a genuine place.
7) why do you make the art you make?
I make the art I make for various things; to release stress and frustrations, to advance my painting skills, final and most important to create pieces that others can relate to. Creating art that others can relate to and see themselves in is impactful and creates a powerful connection between the audience and the art.
8) does your art influence your life, and vice versa?
My life influences my art greatly, I’ve always found myself creating things due to my experiences. At the moment my latest works have been inspired by heart break. I’ve sketched over 20 future works inspired by me navigating through this major life event. It is a subject that everyone can relate to whether the heartbreak came from a romantic relationship, a family member, a friend etc.
9) what do you think about the notion "the lonely artist"?
The notion of “the lonely artist” at this time in my life is accurate. I found myself alone and isolated in my thoughts and feelings. However art has helped me place that energy in a positive matter. Painting is very therapeutic and the whole process helps me understand myself on a deeper level.
10) does your art connect you to the world in some way, or does it help you navigate the world?
My art connects me to the world, creating content that people can relate to and connect with what I strive for.
11) do you make art for yourself or other people?
I make art for myself, having a strong concept or experience is important for me to relate to the piece and to be fully indulged in it. However, I also want the art to speak to the people that are viewing it, & that they could see themselves in the art. By having a strong point of view you will find that many are attracted to it and understand the concept behind the art.
12) what purpose do you think art serves today?
Today art serves the purpose of expression and being able to share how you feel to the world. Now more than ever people are able to share and be inspired due to having access to information via the internet & social media. I’ve discovered many artists via Instagram that I truly admire and if it wasn’t for social media I would’ve never seen their work.