Artist Interviews 2021
By Johnny Otto
Abstract Art is meant to be independent from visual references in the real world, almost a form of escapism from reality. What inspires you to choose this form of art to express yourself?
As opposed to say my renaissance style oil paintings lol? My skill level when it comes down to it… it’s what I can do but it’s also what I’m drawn to so it’s win win in that regard. I’m always internally in flux and abstract art captures that kaleidoscope. l like to think of it as a bridge to another possibility of what’s real, because most things seem strange at first…Can you imagine seeing the first peacock? That probably seemed like a split from reality lol.
How did you get started painting? Are you self taught? School or mentor? Artists who inspired you?
I was lucky enough to be in school while art classes were still being funded but that’s about the extent of my artistic education. I painted a little out of boredom in my late teens until I escaped my bedroom and went down the music/club world rabbit hole. My main motivation to make visual art as an adult was just desire. I love going to museums, I always want everything… to be surrounded by beautiful things. My health ended up being a factor as well, I wanted to be a rock star but you can paint sitting down. As far as inspiration I honestly think everything I see gets stuck somewhere in my head …I realize there’s derivative elements in my work, it’s not intentional it’s just the unavoidable cycle of things. Nature is my biggest inspiration with all it’s organic combinations of sacred geometry …. I’d love to have Miro, Cy Twombly and Franz Klien on my walls..
How does music play a part in your art? Do you think of abstract art being somewhat related to something like experimental music?
I’m not entirely sure… I feel like what I end up creating is generally the result of my current mood plus some some subconscious purging ….anyway I mostly only listen to cold wave bands and it would get boring always painting in shades of grey lol…but yeah definitely I think there’s a correlation between abstract art and experimental music…it’s the same frequency/ different sense..
Are there any artists that you’d love to collaborate with? Why them?
Yes, about seven billion! Humanity needs all minds on deck right now… We have to collectively figure out how to survive and if we can come together to stay alive could we actually make things pleasant here while we’re at it? So many people and the earth itself are suffering under brutally archaic systems that have no respect for life let alone beauty or pleasure. It’s a really difficult time across the board but I think with everybody’s creativity we can shift the world in some amazing ways, it’s already beginning!
Outside of art, what obsesses you?
I’m fascinated with learning about the healing process on all levels physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I’m always trying to decode the nature of reality and human potential. Lately in lockdown I’ve been getting into the alchemy of plants and how their energetic resonance affects our own, like creating mood enhancing teas and essential oil blends, or learning the healing properties of different types of flowers. One of my guiding quotes is Tesla’s “If you want to find the secrets of the universe think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” I’m always trying to make life a bit more bearable by experimenting with “frequency design”.
Can you tell me about your processes, mediums, and why do you use the materials that you use?
I basically use the “monkey flinging poo” technique… I quiet my mind and let my inner child out to play or have a temper tantrum lol You know how people are always saying “my three year old could paint that?” It’s so true! The tricky part is becoming a three year old again. I try to use repurposed materials if possible, so I often paint on found objects like wooden boards. I like to give discarded things a new home and a new outfit.
If art and music didn’t exist in the world, what would you be doing with yourself?
This question brings up so many other questions….Like why is there no art in this world?! Have we been taken back to the caves by an asteroid? Shamed by far superior AI art? Are we just telepathically transmuting our ideas now? I’ll need more information to answer this one….unless your asking what I’m going to be when I grow up… in which case I have no idea lol
If you couldn’t make money from your art, would you still paint? What is the drive to do so?
Yeah totally, at this point money isn’t really a factor… I usually just give pieces away because they take up so much space! I like having well dressed walls, I like knowing most of my loved ones have a little piece of me in their homes. For now it’s just my safe place to escape to…