Kinetic Art: A Conversation with Xaviera Lopez
Issue Six: The Kinetic Issue, A Conversation with Artist Xaviera Lopez
Thank you for meeting with us, Xaviera!
First, we are curious, were you born and raised in Santiago? If so, what are your thoughts on the art scene and how have you seen it evolve in recent years?
Thank you so much for having me! Yes, I was born and raised in Chile. I witnessed the process of going from a long Dictatorship back to a Democracy. During the Dictatorship, there was a lot of censorship and for years, the art scene was very complex, cryptic, and conceptual. I have seen some liberation since then, but this is a country that does not fully accept and reconcile it's own history. Since art has to do with identity and memory, these type of subjects and sub-subjects are still very present.
Chile is very small and has lots of talented people but few possibilities, so the usual path has been to leave if you wanted to actually work as an Artist but that is changing. You have to be very stubborn if you want to make it as an Artist here, especially as a woman.
How do you create such fluid movement in your work? What is your process?
Everything I do is hand drawn at 15 frames per second (so 10 seconds means 150 drawings), and most of my work is a mix between rotoscoping and 2D animation. Sometimes, I use pen and tracing paper, other times I use Photoshop or Illustrator to draw. I put everything together in After Effects, which I also use for basic edits.
For this edition of Armoire Magazine, we have been really inspired by the focus on movement in your art. Do these movements embody transformation?
Drawing is my first and eternal love, but I remember when I was in college and absolutely fascinated with animation, I was having coffee with a teacher when she casually made the etymologic connection between the words "motion" and "emotion." I know this may seem obvious but I was dancing inside because it was a huge a-ha moment. Animation comes from the word "anima" which means "soul," so when animating, you are giving a soul to something that didn't have one before. How awesome is that?
Also, the only permanent thing in the universe is change so movement itself is transformation. Nothing is the same as it was one minute ago. What I do is document my personal and inevitable transformation through moving images, hoping to connect with and inspire other people.
What are some sources of inspiration for you?
I love the history of art because it makes me feel like I have many friends across time and space but I definitely go through phases. Those phases are determined by whatever inspires me at the moment, whatever gives me Ratatouille fireworks. I'm very much into Victorian Japonism lately, but I also take a lot of inspiration from pop culture, literature, meditation, yoga, music, etc. I have people phases too: I obsess over someone and watch, read, and listen to everything I can find about them. This usually leads me to someone else and a new phase of inspiration begins.
Have you worked in other mediums?
I worked in many different mediums (painting, sculpting, printing, physical interfaces, music and sound, etc.) in college, it was such a great time because I love to experiment. However, when I draw and make video/animations, it feels like home. Maybe one day I´ll be done with animating and move into something else, who knows! I just love to create and watch other people do the same.
Any backstory on your mostly red, black and white color palette?
I would say it's an intuitive thing because red is my favorite color as it means so many different things (blood, passion, love, anger.) Also, I love the cleanness and elegance of black and white because it reduces everything to lights and shadows. It's about maximizing expression with simplicity and effectiveness. This translates a little into how I've seen life but I'm slowly discovering nuances, which is hard and fun at the same time.
We love the way you have utilized the Vine community as an Artist. Is Vine your favorite platform to share work?
One of my main subjects as a student was the loop, where everything starts and ends at the same time. As I said before, I was very happy in college doing creative disinterested things. When I got out and had to face "the real world," I got really sad, frustrated and bored but assumed that that was life. After a few years of that, I found Vine and it reminded me of all the things I loved. So, I made time and space to do personal things again and this shifted my mood and perception. Vine is a badass app because it integrates great tools and it's one of the most creative and supportive communities as well.
Do you have any future projects we should look out for?
I would love to take a leap year and make an animated short film. I don't know anything about this (film industry, promotion, script) but one of these days, I'm just going to make it happen. I would also love to translate some of my imagery into clothing, jewels, accessories.
We can't wait! Thank you so much, Xaviera.
© Xaviera Lopez 2016