Interview: Robert Jaso
Luca Curci talks with Robert Jaso during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES, 2nd appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello in Venice.
Born in Zvolen, Slovakia, Robert immigrated to France with his family as a child. He spent his youth in French suburbia just outside of Metz. After finishing his studies in marketing, management and accounting, Robert moved to Paris in the hopes of finding a job. What he found, changed the course of his life. He became a fashion model and discovered the world. But, in spite of his success, he wasn’t satisfied. He had a longing to be behind the camera rather than in front of it. After only a few years, he gave it all up for what became his life long passion, photography. He bought a camera and some lenses and began taking pictures. He learned photography on his own, and his images got noticed. Today, a well established photographer with a fruitful career in the fashion and beauty industry behind him, and his desire to express himself in a different and more lasting way, Robert has once again decided to change worlds, dedicating more of his time to art. Experiment, invent, destroy and start over. As a photographer and artist, at the crossroads of digital print and Polaroid emulsion, Robert’s original technique fuses photographic imprints to paper like strokes on a canvas. His experimental impulse and meticulousness are palpable, and aim at primal emotion. He aspires to interrogative disorder, one that forces us to look in depth.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Robert Jaso – I am working on smaller formats 40 x 50 cm, flowers and abstract shapes, with much more color, bolder and more flashy images.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
RJ – I am a photographer and mainly influenced by the aesthetics of an object, a form, or a situation. As a photographer, I manage to find perspectives that are interesting to exploit.
LC – Has your style changed over the years?
RJ – I don’t think my style has changed that much. Perhaps others can answer that question better than I. I simply try to be true to my ideas which are driven by my curiosity. Perhaps my style has evolved in the sense that I like oppositions of style, and creating a disturbing aesthetism to convey a serious message or to challenge the observer.
LC – What is your creative process like?
RJ – I always work the same way. As a photographer, I have an image that appears in my head. I always start from the final idea. This final idea has to be aesthetic and interesting. I will photograph it, then I will take my photograph and work to make this image printable through my technique as an artist. Concerning my technique, experimenting in my lab I found a new printing process. It works a bit like a Polaroid but on an extra large scale. As you know the Polaroid is made in two parts, the one you keep, that’s your picture, and the second part that you throw away, called a « photographic emulsion ». Using today’s technology, I discovered how to create my own photographic emulsion, then transfer it onto photographic paper by hand, using different tools, a bit like the Japanese printing technique.
LC – What’s the most challenging part about creating your artwork?
RJ – The trickiest part is that my initial image remains printable and aesthetic until the end of the process. It’s not because an image is beautiful when shooting, that it will be beautiful afterwards when I have transformed it through my printing technique into an art print.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, was the work presented made for the festival or as part of pre-existing works?
RJ – No these images were created before the festival, but correspond perfectly to theme of the festival “Fragmented Identities”.
LC – In which way is the artwork presented in our exhibition connected with the festival’s theme?
RJ – As I said in an earlier interview, there is a part of my immigrant life in the images presented for the festival Borders Venice 2021« Fragmented Identities » . I was born in Czechoslovakia, and as a child I was forced into exile with my parents after the events of Prague 1968. I was five years old when we were forced to leave, and three days later, when I arrived in France, I was 15 years old. This gap is still there, and although the trauma fades over time (after the fear, anguish and uncertainty, once settled, I had a happy childhood none the less) still, every time I see immigrants fleeing political situations or war today, I feel their anguish. This shock, this rupture, this unfinished childhood so to speak, this gap is present in the works featured for « Fragmented Identities » most particularly in the series « Dolls » . This drama has forged my character and has fueled my life to this day.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
RJ – I think the Itsliquid platform is an interesting springboard for emerging artists. There is also visibility on social networks which is more than necessary nowadays. I would like to add that It was very interesting for me to be present in person at the festival, to meet people and share emotions.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
RJ – I think Itsliquid represents a great opportunity for artists, although I would like there to be the possibility of working together on several events with a one-year contract, and of exhibiting at the different places that the group offers through the year.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
RJ – Yes, I appreciated the work that was done, as well as the time that Luca Curci and Giulia Tassi granted me during this exhibition period. I would like to extend a special thanks to them.