Artist of the Week: Rodrigo Lobos

Rodrigo Lobos was born in Viña del Mar, Chile in 1980. He obtained his BFA at P.U.C. in Santiago de Chile in 2006. In 2011 he moved to New York City to study at Hunter College where he received an MFA in 2013. Lobos has exhibited in the last Triennial de Chile and participated in solo and group exhibitions in Chile and the US. At the present he works and lives in NYC.

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How has living in New York affected your art practice? I’m currently living in NY; I moved from Santiago de Chile about four years ago and the change of cities has definitely affected the way I do my work. This is in a practical sense that there is always the issue of space in NY; studios are expensive and to find resources for doing big installations or sculptures can be difficult. So I will say that formally my work adapted to the material conditions of my new situation, which is fine since I don’t have an attachment to any particular technique. In terms of information and access to landmarks of art history, the city gives me the opportunity to relate with pieces that have been discussed during my formation in Chile, so ideas about art that seemed abstract became material.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? Constant conversations with my close friends, all of them artists too. A shared interest are images produced by vision machines, these sort of images are a big influence to me for a while. I’m very interested in the process of translation that those technologies produce, how different scales are presented, most of them restrictive to human bodies by the simple fact that our physiological tools are not enough.

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If you were a drink what drink would you be? A shot of whisky, not a very fancy one.

What artists are you interested in right now? Christopher Williams, Mike Kelley, Henrik Olessen and Josephine Pryde

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Tell us about your work process and how it develops. My process changes continually depending on the project I am doing at the moment. Regardless of the project that I am working on I try to do as much research as I can in relation to what my interests are. In material terms I have been doing a lot of experimentations which provide me with fragments that later get rearranged in other pieces.

What’s your absolute favorite place in the city/the world to be? The rain forest in the south of Chile

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What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? Ideally with a sensation of bewilderment but one that catches the attention enough to break the tendency of indifference in art viewing.

Describe your current studio or workspace. I share studio with a very good friend, Joshua Kaplan. The space is not physically partitioned but we both have our workspaces and mine is definitely the messy one even though I try to keep it partially organized. Over the desk there are a lot of pages ripped from magazines, a large glass surface that I use for making blocks of plaster and many small experiments to see how materials behave when they are used in improper ways. And many many stains all over.

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What were you like in high school? I was totally absorbed by skateboarding, reading some existentialist novels and going to a lot of punk rock concerts. I was into a skateboard life style which I remember as a very happy period of my life which seems a little contradictory to my attitude of hate towards the world at that time.

What are you reading right now? I’m rereading mythologies by Roland Barthes, a novel by the Argentinean writer Cesar Aira titled “La Confesion”, and Pictorial Nominalism by Thierry de Duve.

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