Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview : Alessandro Botto

GB: Tell us a little bit about you and where you live
A:My name is Alessandro. I am an architect and industrial designer turned self taught artist. I was born in Peru and educated in New York, and moved to London a couple of years ago.

For years I was doing high-end residential architecture, but the office environment and all the regulations surrounding design and architecture made it really tiresome and frustrating. So I decided to quit my job and become a full time artist. It was the best decision of my life, as I am one of those people who needs to be creative 24/7. My mind never stops and I am always plotting my next painting or my next creation.

GB: How would you describe your work to someone.
A:I don’t really describe my work, it either doesn’t come up in conversation, or I try to avoid it, and whenever I do try to describe it, I feel utterly pretentious. I feel that my work should be self-explanatory: You see it, and you like it, or not. But if pressed for a description, I just say “my paintings are big and swirly, and I try to pack them with energy and movement. I like them to look cool”

GB: Inspiration/Influences?
A: I love the relationship between order and disorder, chaos and beauty. I love to take chaotic ideas and make them beautiful, or vice-versa. I scribble a lot, and I always discover something I like in the random, visceral and chaotic nature of scribbles, they are my main source of information. Other influences include fashion, architecture, cities, machinery and music. I try to translate into painting anything that gets me excited, anything that makes me go “wow”.

GB: Favorite alcoholic beverage?
A: Depends on the occasion, but a good gin and tonic always hits the spot, doesn’t it?

GB: 3 places to visit in London.
A:That is a tough question! I like so many places in London that to name just three seems cruel. I love Columbia Road Sunday market in east London (bagel with cream cheese and salmon included), The Black Friar pub, an Art-Nouveau masterpiece with fantastic English beer. And last but not least, and I know this will sound like a cliché, but the Tate Modern never ever disappoints.

GB: Why do you make videos of your work?
A:Process is a very important aspect of my work. I am very interested in how a painting starts in sketch form, and how it ends, and the whole process in between. This is why I make a stop motion youtube video which tells the story of each painting, from stapling up the canvas, to showing how its being painting and coming to life, to its completion.

GB:Current favourite bands.
A: Royksopp is always in my “recently played”. Also up there is Trentemoller, Fischerspooner, DJ Shadow, Unkle and other similar stuff. Loving Plaid at the moment.

GB: Night owl or Early bird?
A: In my head, I am always fantasizing about art and design, so in that sense, I am a 24hr person, but I work best in the morning that’s for sure.

Upcoming shows/projects?
A: I have 2 upcoming exhibitions. One is on May 19th 2011 until June 7th at the Old Truman Brewery in East London. The other is on June 9th 2011 until June 28th in Knightsbridge in west London. All the details are in my website You should come, if only for the free drinks!

All original images courtesy of Alessandro Botto.
Check out more of his work on his website here.
Check out more of his videos here.

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