THE BEAUTIFUL & BIZARRE: FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY MEETS SURREALISM: AN INTERVIEW WITH ERNESTO ARTILLO | Art Week

THE BEAUTIFUL & BIZARRE: FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY MEETS SURREALISM: AN INTERVIEW WITH ERNESTO ARTILLO

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1. As I understand, you were a painter before you dedicated your career to collage. How much of an impact does your solid background in painting have on your work today ?

Well, I attended a few oil painting classes as child. During that time, I had learned to appreciate shadow, light, perspectives and proportions. I used to paint a lot of still life. Then, I started to work as a photographer and it was only later that I felt the need to change this reality through the cutting, painting and re-composing of the photos that I took. It gave me a new and unique perspective.

"I had loved painting and creating collages since my childhood, as it was my father who taught me how to do it since a young age. "

I guess, I am now at the point where I am mixing everything and experimenting. I just like to mess a bit with reality.


Image: Papo Waisman

2. So, why did you choose collage ?

My father is a collage artist and I guess that he has had a great influence on me when it comes to my artistic tendencies. I really admire him and I always try to bring my point of view as well as style to my practice, using the skills that were developed in me through my past experience.

But I experiment with much more than collage. Right now, I am very much into digital deformation and shaping. I also still do photographer for brand identities and campaigns and I have designed capsule collections for fashion brands and have ventured a lot into video art recently.

3. Which one of your creations is the closest to your heart? Why ?

Well, it all really depends on the phase of my life.  I am very proud of all my work, everything has come from the heart and everything had a particular meaning for me at the time.

" My feeling towards my work is constantly changing, as is my creativity."

Never really knowing where I am, never taking things for granted…

4. Describe your creative process. Does one image catch your eye and you work around it or is it more spontaneous then that ? 

I normally start taking pictures of things that I like such as faces, objects…things that have a special meaning for me…. and then I start to play with it. I try to tell more about the image, give it another dimension, more depth and more expression. I like to bring the image out of the frame.

5. Comment on how you see the relationship or boundary between Art & Fashion today. Do you see this changing in the next 5 years? 10 years ? 

Fashion is a forever changing industry, and it changes at a very fast pace. With art nowadays, it’s mostly the same.

" What they have in common is that they are both based on the image, the powerful image! I think this boundary will last a long time, fashion needs creativity and irreverence to evolve and artists adds this element to it."

6. Would you prefer to consider yourself a success in the Fashion Industry or Art ? 

I would prefer to consider myself a success in my life. Doing what makes me happy everyday, expressing my deepest feelings, having great moments with great people around me and earning enough to have little pleasures from time to time. That all sounds perfectly fine to me.

7. You have done quite a few collaborations during your career. Which one was the most successful and which one was the most challenging ? 

Every time a new project comes by, it’s a challenge to me.

"For me, a project can be considered successful when both the client and myself are happy with the result and we have created something special and new."

Whenever I experience this feeling of success, it means that I have certainly been more honest with myself throughout the process.

8. You mentioned that you couldn’t understand life without music. If your work had a soundtrack, which songs would be on it ? 

From Philip Glass or Erk Satie to Diego el Cigala or Jon hopkins. I am lately listening to a lot of electronic as well. My everyday soundtrack is an uncommon collage too, but classic music and flamenco are always there.