CHATTING WITH JOVANNI LUNA | AN INTERVIEW

Tell us a little bit about your art! Do you have a preference for a certain medium? Do you try to theme your pieces, or does their content vary?

Primary focus of the work falls under material exploration and process. I’ve explored various mediums and materials, but my style would be best described as sculptural paintings, or what I call, paintskins. To me, paintskins are both the material and the finished sculptures, which are constructed out of acrylic house paint, with about 90% of it all being recycled paint. Any themes or concepts I create are attached to specific projects, and even if the projects look different they always have the underlying mentality of manipulating a material or process.

I first became familiar with your work (I believe) during ArtPrize, at an old school building. (Cannot remember what the building was called. Feel free to jog my memory.) I instantly fell in love with your pieces. They’re made from paint, correct? And you pair each piece with a clothed model? When did you start making these sculptures?

I’m not sure what the name of the school was either, but it was organized by 337 Project Space in collaboration with SiTE:LAB for ArtPrize. The series you are referring to is called “double self-portrait”; it was a project I worked between 2017-2019. It started in a time when I was living in my studio space and having my entire wardrobe around all my paintskins naturally lead me to compare and see similarities in colors and material. I would get the question a lot of which one came first the paintskin or the outfit, but it wasn’t one or the other, at least not until I started photographing my friends. Overall I loved the idea of collaborating with my own artwork to create something new together. Layering in fashion and whether I could make it into a paintskin was something that was on my mind at all hours of day, and people watching become an obsession, but with the sole purposes of getting ideas to recreate their outfits myself.

How often do you create? What is your relationship to each piece like? Do you have favorites? Where do you find your ideas?

I try to go into the studio at least 5 days a week, even if its only 30min, but I believe its important to have routine when creating, which also leads to new ideas. The subtle signs of history that is layered in details through out nature inspire a lot of my work.

I like to mimic moments that can be overlooked if not taken the time to pause and reflect.

Tell me about the emotion behind your pieces. I think one reason I’m so drawn to them is their life and color. They almost seem like they’re creatures!

With the “double self-portrait” series the emotions were in part to show life in the paintskins. In that work the most important part was the paintskin, the photographed only served as a reflection. The paintskin can serve as an artifact one that holds many emotions but not easily seen. In my current work “rhythmic gatherings” the sculptures are larger composed of hundreds of small paintskins, that is then carved out with an obsession. You can witness anything from patience to frustration in the carvings alone, but like mentioned before it requires the viewer to pause and imagine being the observer at the moment of the action.

Last question! What advice do you have for those seeking inspiration? How can others tap into their creative sides?

I believe our creations and our lives should be intertwined, inspiration will come from our experiences, and those experiences need to be documented. Documentation is your form of artwork, no matter what the medium. Since I have a separate art studio, I try to go to the studio and do my form of documentation. Sometimes it’s working on the actual paintskins, other times I write or draw. Recently I’ve been enjoying sewing and even though its more of a hobby than anything else, its been useful in becoming inspired with new ideas.

Thanks for chatting, Jovanni! Can’t wait to see what you make next!


To see more of Jovanni Luna’s work, visit him online and follow him on Instagram.

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