ISSUE 4: TOMORROW INTERVIEW
We love, Crist. He’s from the Philippines. WE are re-running this story for #WorldWeek and cause all of you who haven’t read it, well, you really should. He’s a fantastic artist! And we luh, him.
Name: Hello, my name is Crist Espiritu.
Age: I’m 32.
Hometown: Parañaque City, Philippines
Years in the field: Almost 10 years.
You’ve had 5 solo exhibitions. How do you feel your art has evolved over that time?
Yes. I believe my art has evolved a lot. I am more mature in all aspect of the art making process. Having been a full time visual artist for almost 10 years, me and my art has changed a lot. Technique-wise, I think I have more control over the media I use. Visual-wise, I prefer more precise compositions and less yet more effective elements in my works. Concept-wise, my sensibilities have grown more concrete. I tend to research more intensively too about the ideas I want to discuss in my art.
Your latest exhibition is called “This Quantum Madness”. Tell us more about what this means to you and how it’s translated into your art?
“This Quantum Madness” is a show which featured my on going series called “Quantum Paranoia”; a collection of studio and street artworks largely inspired by the philosophical implications of some findings in the field of quantum mechanics. The show aims to expose the audience to the “weirdness” of quantum mechanics and how research on this scientific field is changing the way reality could be defined. I have always believed that art should reflect the human experience and what it means to exist. What better place to begin questioning the nature of existence than at the chaotic core of the particles” that makes us up.
It’s clear that science is a big influence. What else is very influential to your work?
A lot of things. Philosophy, the complexity of human emotions, the surreal modern day living, the internet culture, nostalgia, skateboarding, mundane everyday experience…there are a lot more but I think those are the most influential in my art making process at the moment. I’m sure it will still change. Oh, put “change” in that list as well.
How would you describe your art to someone?
I have always had hard time describing my art to someone. When I describe it I tend to breakdown every single thought which lead to the artworks, and this makes my description more confusing than the actual work. Hahaha. But if I have to, I’ll probably just say “my art are the visual translations of my usually satiric views about existence”.
I can’t really pinpoint the exact reason. I’ve gotten into art pretty early on. When I was a kid I would spend hours drawing using the backside of my dad’s old office documents. I remember drawing cartoon characters, ghouls and skulls because I saw those images in my uncle’s heavy metal records.
I guess the better question is what kept me doing art. And the reason for that is my love for knowledge. I see art as a continuous process wherein progress is essential. Because of art and my pursuit for progression I am constantly learning new things. My art is always backed up by research. I like the notion that because of art I will forever be learning new stuff. If I keep on doing art I won’t be stagnant and nor bored.
On a typical day that you work on creating what is your process?
I would wake up, drink coffee, read, listen to music and probably do a drawing or two. Then, if weather permits, I will go out and skate the streets. This really helps me release stress and focus solely on art. After that, I go back to the studio and paint again.
What is your proudest piece and why?
I guess it will be “This Quantum Madness” as a whole. I just really liked the way this series took form and I love how the show looked once all the works were hanged. I’m also very pleased that I was able to make an artshow that is based on something that isn’t a popular “topic” in the art scene like Quantum Mechanics. I feel like I contributed something relatively different to the local art scene here. I’m also proud to be able to produce a show that promotes critical thinking.
There are many pop culture references, is there a deep meaning behind them? And what sort of statements do you hope to make within your work?
I’ve always been fascinated with iconography. The psychological impact and the variation of emotions pop culture references stir amaze me. I incorporate them in my works most of the time to achieve a sort of universality… maybe even to “date” my works by capturing the state mind of our society in the artwork. It is my way of showing where we currently are at our evolution. I also like the nostalgia they bring to my art.
Do you listen to music while creating? If so, what?
Music is almost an essential whenever I work. I usually listen to David Bowie, Talking Heads, Sugarcubes, The Stone Roses, Suede and the likes. I also like listening to newer electronic acts and 90’s triphop and hiphop.
What is your biggest motivation?
I want to propagate inspiration through my art. I want to instill a culture of critical thinking amongst people. Being part of the DOZE Collective and meeting people from all over the world who share the same vision and appreciate my art motivates me greatly.
How do you see your art evolving? Are there certain things you’d like to explore more within mediums/media/etc?
It is evolving in a nice steady phase (I think). There are a lot of concepts that I would want to explore in my art but right now I’m focusing my attention on more scientific and philosophical concepts. I’ve recently made my first installation with a video projector thanks to Pocket Universe Gallery. I would like to do more installations like that in the future. I am also looking into doing installations in public spaces.
Where did skating come into your life and how do you feel it’s shaped your art?
I started skating during my early teens. Although I’ve always known how to ride a skateboard even before that since I got one of those vinyl banana boards when I was younger. When I got older and met people who are into skateboarding I just started hanging out and skating with them. I became a skate rat and spent a lot of time in the streets. I learned how to lurk around places where you won’t normally go in search of spots. Through this habit of lurking I got into street art. From skateboarding, street art was a natural progression for me since I was already doing art and spending so much time out in the streets.
Also, skate graphics influenced me a lot when I just started studying art in college.
If you die tomorrow and the day after that you’re Van Gogh famous— what would you want people to remember you for?
I would prefer that they remember my art and the concepts behind them instead. Fame is alright but personally, it’s not really that important to me. I always want the focus to be on my concepts and the art that I produce.