Interview Sebastian Errazuriz

EYEspiration: Sebastian Errazuriz

Ik zal het je eerlijk zeggen, ik ben een fan van Sebastian Errazuriz. Eerder kon je van hem al een aantal werken voorbij zien komen, waaronder: Burka Skateboard, een ongewoon peper en zoutstel, aarde en maan bord, en het geweldige Jezus rode wijn ijsje. Daarom besloot ik hem te interviewen, om de kunstenaar beter te leren kennen. Waarbij ik met hem in gesprek ging over zijn laatste werk, maar ook zijn uitdagingen en hoe hij te werk gaat.
Wat achtergrond informatie, in 2010 ontving hij de titel Chileense Designer van het Jaar. En het jaar daarop, in 2011 werd hij geselecteerd voor de Compasso d ‘Oro. Aan het eind van dat jaar was zijn werk het gesprek van de dag tijdens Design Miami Basel.

What is a tipping point in your life?
I haven’t had my tipping point yet; I work on several areas in parallel. As a result the bodies of work take longer to grow and show a clear thread. That everyone else can follow connecting the dots between the different works in order to see the bigger picture. Hopefully next year for my first museum solo show at the Carnegie, each body of work will be peaking and I’ll reach my first tipping point.

When we start looking into the future what do you think we can read in your second monograph after, The Journey of Sebastian Errazuriz that appeared last year?
Hopefully a series of more mature and complex works filled with multiple layers of meaning and stronger political and social responsibility. Accompanied in parallel by a vast array of simple silly exercises that wish to maintain and cherish the light flow of ideas. That reflect a deep belief in the importance of maintaining a state of curiosity and experimentation, despite the extra experience and age.

What is on top of your wish list of what you really want to do?
Sorry can’t tell you those; would ruin the surprise, hopefully I’ll be able to make them soon.

In what kind of everyday situations do you find inspiration?
Inspiration can come at any moment; something you see or feel creates a connection and just like that an idea appears. Other times you can attempt to channel inspiration almost like a medium who’s attempting to call spirits and have them use their body. I don’t want to sound silly but I feel its almost like relaxing your conscious side and creating a state of mind that allows a little window opening into your subconscious… Its like meditating or a little bit like those fantasy time portals in movies.

Every now and then a window opens up and you know its time is short so you try and peer inside and pull out as much as you can. At the end of the day original ideas are just new combinations/associations of the same ingredients. Our subconscious tends to find new logic pairings of concepts that our conscious is too structured to connect in a way that makes sense.

Interview Sebastian Errazuriz

What is the last work that made you look at something you see everyday in a different way? Because I think that is something you want to accomplish yourself.
That’s a good question; I think the “Blow Me” fans were a way of reviewing my public position towards collectors and critics. And looking at how much I was willing to “dance monkey dance” and how much I was also just going to rattle the cage. To let the hand that feeds me know that although i have no trouble performing for them I would be escaping at my own free will.

Why and when do you decide to take of with an idea? And how does that process looks like for you?
Like everyone else I come up with many ideas that initially look amazing, and the next day suck miserably. Consequently I have a large wall of over 1000 drawings where all the ideas go to wait and mature. I don’t make anything until it’s been up on the wall for at least a month. And somehow continues to seduce me. Some ideas offer so much potential but are missing something, a tiny detail that makes them ignite and make sense. Some of these ideas suddenly click after several years, many others only stay there as little drawings.

Interview Sebastian Errazuriz

Can you tell more about the challenge it is to have multiplicity of meanings and possibilities in your work?
I was originally very interested in creativity; I was obsessed with being creative and making things that had never been made before. Many of my first projects were successful and fun but were ultimately one-liners. Today I try to not only be creative, but also create projects that have heart, that have mystery, that are fulfilling in multiple ways.

I now try to pair creativity with heart, balls and try to tie that to the correct context. Creativity and originality is today just a first basic requirement of my work… like tomato paste on a pizza… what I’m really interested now is in trying to create something “sublime”.

By reading an older interview from you. You were talking about becoming a more complete and better professional. How do you want to achieve this? Does this has to do more with the business side of being an artist?
I definitely would like to be a better businessman. That’s something I would love to achieve. Nevertheless its unfortunately often incompatible with the early stages of becoming a good artist. If you are willing to compromise creative independence to what “works” or sells. You could risk selling yourself short and being trapped in a position and niche which does not intellectually stimulate you.

My work is expensive to fabricate and I therefore need the support from critics, curators and collectors. To justify those production prices; nevertheless if I start to worry too much about the commercial success of the work and what critics will think my work will be too controlled and timid and will fail regardless. Everyday you are aware of the risks and try to let go and hope if you do your best the work will be rewarded.

Interview Sebastian Errazuriz

What did you changed, from habits to processes, along the time you have been working as an artist to land at the point where you are right now?
I have obsessively reviewed everything from the way I dress, talk and present the work, to the way I think, sleep or exercise. To try and be physically and mentally fit to be better at what I do. I have honestly read at minimum 50% of all the self improvement book you can find at the airport bookstores or reviewed every artist bio I have come across.

Ultimately as much as I have tried to study the game and the rest of the players. I honestly don’t know how much has helped. If you are a good athlete, after all the training its always your instincts that take over. Its finally my gut what drives me and points the way.

Who surrounds you and help you move forward with your work?
Its a small little world. I have 2 New York galleries that represent my work and help keep me on track with the real world (Salon 94 and Cristina Grajales Gallery) I have the assistance of a very young but talented designer who helps create fast and accurate representations of my ideas and provides very good feedback and insights.

I also have a master woodworker and an assistant who work at the studio. Fabricating prototypes and test the ideas we are experimenting with. Finally there’s always a couple of interns/apprentices who are happy to generously and patiently help out investigating concepts that I’m interested in pursuing for future projects.

Interview Sebastian Errazuriz

What is essential for you when you are working on a piece?
It’s a grocery checklist that goes more or less like this:
-Is it new, has it ever been done?
-Is it a one liner or does it carry multiple readings?
-Does it have heart/balls/?
-Does the specific idea fit within a larger context?
-Could you fabricate it perfectly?
-Can it’s design appear timeless?
-Does it have the potential to be sublime?

What are you working on these days?
I’m working on 4 solo shows I have for 2014; Maybe some 30 projects in parallel… while trying to keep some sort of mental clarity. And avoid spending too much time doubting myself or practising self hatred. Its tough, no one teaches you how to navigate between your faith in your work and your natural atheism that keeps you thinking everything is wrong and there must be a better way.

Interview Sebastian Errazuriz

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