Interview: Aaron Alamo | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Aaron Alamo

Interviews | March 14, 2019 |

Interview: Aaron AlamoImage courtesy of Aaron Alamo

Interview: Aaron Alamo

Luca Curci talks with Aaron Alamo during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2018 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.

It all began with fungus-covered lemons inside a refrigerator at the age of 11. Aaron Alamo is a Mexican artist that grew up in a single-working mother home. With little to no time for his mother to clean around the house, he became obsessed with the beauty of the micro-organisms that grow on decaying food. For the last 10 years he’s been working on “Vanitas: Not-so-still Life”, a project that shows the destruction of a photograph through time. Inspired by traditional vanitas paintings, with elements that are carefully chosen to give them a modern twist: a skull with orthodontist braces, a bucket of KFC, a plastic cup, etc. The original photographs were created in 2008. They were printed on cotton paper and “treated” with humidity and a culture of fungus in a dark place. The process of decay was photographed every year for the next 10 years creating a series of images of decay and transformation.

Interview: Aaron AlamoImage courtesy of Aaron Alamo

Luca Curci – What is art for You?
Aaron Alamo – It’s what keeps the world insanely sane.

LC – What is the role of photography in art world?
AA – It’s an easy way to create. Photography has become an overused medium. To be good you have to be original.

LC – What is Your background?
AA – I’m a Mexican artist living in the United States. I’m a creative in the advertising world and a passionate photographer. I also write screenplays when I find the time to do it.

LC – What brought You on the art path?
AA – I create to appease the creative itch inside me.

LC – Which subject are you working on?
AA – Still life. I use the typical visual elements of the Baroque Vanitas, adding some contemporary objects, but my message transcends a mere aesthetic; I play with our idea of photography and art as eternal elements. My work is a photograph of a photograph taken 10 years ago and treated with humidity and fungus for its eventual decomposition. My work makes us question the temporality in art and the concept of the eternal.

LC – Where do you find your inspiration? What defines Your subjects?
AA – It all began with fungus-covered lemons inside a refrigerator when I was 11. I grew up in a single-working mother home. With little to no time for my mother to clean around the house, I became obsessed with the beauty of the micro organisms that grow on decaying food. I’m inspired by traditional Vanitas paintings, but with elements that are carefully chosen to give them a modern twist: a skull with orthodontist braces, a bucket of KFC, a plastic cup, etc.

LC – How digital art is influencing Your work?
AA – In a time of instant gratification I tried to go a different way and create something that took a long time, so I’ve spent the last 10 years patiently waiting for a natural process of decay to happen.

Interview: Aaron AlamoImage courtesy of Aaron Alamo

LC – Describe Your creative process?
AA – My work is the photograph of a photograph printed on cotton paper and “treated” them with humidity and a culture of fungus in a dark place for 10 years. The process of decay was photographed and printed again every few years, to document the transformation.

LC – Which artist or art period affects Your creations the most?
AA – I’m fascinated with how big the role of vanity plays in our culture. Everything is about how many likes you get, how many followers you have, how young you look, etc. The Vanitas term originally comes from the opening lines of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible: “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity”. Vanitas are closely related to memento mori still lifes which are artworks that remind the viewer of the shortness and fragility of life (memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning “remember you must die”) and include symbols such as skulls and extinguished candles.

Interview: Aaron AlamoImage courtesy of Aaron Alamo

LC – How important is keeping the breath of past and traditional art in contemporary, conceptual expressions? How meaningful is this correlation for You and Your art?
AA – My work is directly related to 17th Century Vanitas paintings, but with carefully chosen elements that give them a modern twist: a skull with orthodontist braces, a bucket of KFC fried chicken, a plastic cup with red soda, etc.

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork You have shown in this exhibition?
AA – That vanitas can be seen as a representation of time. But even the Vanitas still-life paintings are subject to decay and disappear.

LC – How is it connected to the theme “Contemporary Venice”?
AA – My project is is all about transformation. There are very few places in the world so affected by transformation like Venice, it keeps changing and transforming fighting change and trying to survive the rising water levels.

LC – In which way our exhibition inspired You?
AA – I was inspired by the rest of the artists that participated in the exhibition because of the varying styles selected.

Interview: Aaron AlamoImage courtesy of Aaron Alamo

LC – What do you think about It’s LIQUID Platform?
AA – It’s a wonderful way to share my work with the world. I’m very honored to be part of this talented group of artists.

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists? What do You think about our services?
AA – The ITSLIQUID GROUP did a fantastic job of keeping constant and clear communication with me always. The process was very easy and a pleasure to be part of. ITS LIQUID is a great platform for artists from all over the world.

LC – Your advice for colleagues in art world?
AA – More doing and less talking. You can only learn from a project that gets produced. Whether it’s good or bad it doesn’t matter, what matters is what you learn from doing it.

LC – Describe us in one word?
AA – Accommodating

Interview: Aaron AlamoImage courtesy of Aaron Alamo

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