11 QUESTIONS – Crow
Alejandro Javaloyas asks 11 questions to an abstract artist about their work and inspiration.
1. How do you describe your own practice?
I create digital abstract art by misusing basic office equipment. I am colorblind, and my work explores my fascination with visual effects, feelings, and emotions that can be conveyed through specific colors and color combinations.
2. Which question is central to your work?
Questions that can’t be answered. Questions of time, mortality, endurance, and longevity run rampant throughout my work.
3. What do you listen to when creating?
Quite often I become so absorbed in the beginnings of my process that I spend most of my time working in silence. If I need to set the mood, I’ll put on Neil Young’s 1975 masterpiece, Tonight’s the Night.
4. What is your main source of inspiration?
Nature. The iridescence of a crow, the dim illumination of a forest under the full moon, humans pasting 200 fliers in a spot and someone spray-painting over them, urban decay, a mockingbird singing, the food chain, hand painted signs destroyed by humid climates…those types of things.
5. Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Sam Gilliam, Colin Frangicetto, Helen Frankenthler, Ralph Steadman, Paul Kneale, Robert Rauschenberg, John Audubon, Agnes Martin.
6. If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be and why?
I would collaborate with Ralph Steadman. Back in the early 2000s I was studying studio art and reading a lot of Hunter S. Thompson. Those books led to my discovery of Steadman and I began to experiment and incorporate his energetic, violent, grotesque style into some of my work. That was a formative period for me and even twenty years later, those elements are present in my work at times. I have absorbed some of them, and now they’re part of my arsenal. In addition to all of that, his use of color is an element of his work that is off-the-charts brilliant.
7. What was your first experience with art?
I remember illustrating and writing simple books during my first year of school. One book had the title “The Weather is Back Again.” It contained drawings of weather events and captions like “Lightning is harmful weather. The tornado is harmful too. Sleet is slick sometimes.” I always loved the title of the book and still like to wonder where did the weather go, and how was it when it came back?
8. What do you consider your greatest artistic achievement?
I created art in a private manner for nearly two decades, without the desire to sell or do anything with it beyond personal satisfaction and exploration. So, the recent attention that I have received surrounding my work has been unexpected and incredible. So far, my greatest artistic achievement is having a piece included in the 2022 SuperRare x 0xSociety Digital Abstraction exhibition in Montreal. I visited the event in person and felt great satisfaction seeing my work displayed alongside artists that I admire like Omentejovem, Space Case, and Jack Kaido. Lisanne Haack should’ve been in that exhibition, but that’s another discussion for another time. The exhibition was also unforgettable because my mother joined my wife and I in Montreal, and it was her first international trip.
9. What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
Mariah Vestica’s Recurring Bambi recently sent me on an emotional journey. On the surface, it appears to be a playful work, but underneath it deals with the raw spectrum of emotions that were experienced during the 1994 NATO bombings in Serbia.
10. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received about your art career?
The best advice I’ve received is indirectly related to my art career, but it applies. Many years ago, I asked the legendary bluegrass musician Earl Scruggs if he had any advice for a beginning banjo player, and he said, “keep playing.”
11. What are some of your upcoming projects or plans ahead?
In general, I am always thinking about pushing myself creatively and expanding my horizons. The slower market conditions have led me on a path of serious self-reflection where I realized that it’s important to continue following my intuition, make what I want, work with who I want, and fuck all the noise. Everyone needs to know that the work I’m making isn’t meant for the present, but for the future.