What was the process like making these monoprints vs. prints you have made in the past?
The difference basically is that projects I've done in the past with Pace have been works that are figurative depicting an epic tale. In this case, it is the opposite. It is a project that is more abstract, the technique is very different and the work is very colorful.
This exhibition is a colorful project made up of overlapping forms and lines that end up creating explosions of images that I call "rippling." They are like dialogues and conversations. There is an organized chaos in each piece that achieves its own individual space.
During the process of making these pieces at the Jo Watanabe studio I began to realize that each image is built and created through a rigorous equilibrium of rhythms that are full of numeric codes, of color, lines and paper. I was fascinated as they created order as I accumulated images. It was like a math problem that needed to be solved.
Did the process differ from your studio practice?
Absolutely. When I step out of my studio it is so I can acquire new understandings and disciplines and to communicate with those I'm collaborating with. I'm sure that each time both Dick and Jacob propose that I leave my studio for a project, they have to prepare themselves. I think they sometimes, and I say this in the most positive way, think of me and my energy as a little like a wild tiger that is let out of its cage. For me it is like going to the playground after lunch when I was in grade school. I had to take advantage of every minute and live it to its fullest. Also, in my studio accidents are always well received. When I do collaborations outside of my studio, I have to be very sure of what I want to do, be very prepared, and execute my ideas with precision.
So many of your recent projects have focused on an epic tales. Where does this imagery come from?
All of our actions have an "echo" that in the end make up a piece of work. Irvin Yalom said this and I think he is right. Originality is found in the personal essence of each element. I try to mix a clean and free attitude with a very intentional purpose that converts into something that is mine. As if I had a radar on that has to anticipate what is going to happen. Everything started with an explosion. Rippling is an explosion of ripples in the water. The essence of this project is to frame this explosion on paper. If the idea goes outside of the paper, it would be lost forever. My obligation as an artist is to freeze that instant in time.
How does your personal history and nationality relate to your art?
It helps to guide me. I place a lot of importance on small things, large things, sounds, mosquitoes, etc. My creative process comes from life experiences, difficult moments, things I love, a sense of humor and also from the pain of the loss of loved ones that were loved fiercely. Being in tune with all of this lets me create under better conditions. Being alert to what is coming and acting on that information. It's important to know how to translate this pain and lose of someone into something creative and to create more than ever without forgetting that you have to have a good time and enjoy yourself.
Unique moments that are full of emotions can be translated into creations. For example, in my family we have Aunt Carmen, an insufferable person. She drove me crazy when I was little. I can't stand her. The bad mood and anger that she provoked in me, in time, I have been able to channel to create, paint and draw. Sometimes what bugs us the most can be the source of the solution to our creative process. I am seriously considering doing a whole project on her. I could paint what I could never do to my Aunt Carmen. Using all of these memories and anger to make better work. The bad part is that I might actually have to thank her in the end.
Would you prefer the viewer know something about you or know nothing about you before they see your art?
It doesn't matter. What is important is what Rilke said, "a work of art is good when it is created out of necessity."
Where are you right now and what are you working on?
I'm working everyday. I direct my efforts to know how to isolate myself and increase my contribution to painting. Something inside of me, what's eating away at me, makes my work more interesting. I think my work is maturing and is more creative. Even though my internal needs as an artist differ a lot from that of the current murmurs of the environment. My internal struggle I know how to deal with, but I don't have a way battling with the outside, which sometimes freezes me. I continue thinking, imagining, translating. As I said, my work is like a chase with my Aunt Carmen with a broom. Other times, with more sophisticated weapons, to gain her silence and be free.
I focus a lot on forgetting my instincts, which drive me toward certain automatic responses. I think a lot about the outline of the body and how to have a dialogue with the landscape. Ears for me, for example, relate to dense forests. I know this may not be completely clear but I know what I'm talking about.
Who living or dead, real or fictional, would you want to see your work?
People I love and care about; and all children.
Santi Moix's exhibition opens September 20 at Pace Prints, 32 East 57th Street