Interview with Juan Travieso for “Entropy”

Thinkspace is proud to present Cuban-born painter Juan Travieso latest body of work Entropy alongside Wiley Wallace in the gallery’s main room. Travieso creates visually complex worlds suspended in a state of fracture, combining a realist painting technique with surreal juxtapositions, spatial splicing, bright palettes, and geometric abstraction. Our interview with Juan Travieso discusses the inspiration behind Entropy, his creative process, and Batman.

The exhibition is on view now til July 21st at Thinkspace Projects in Culver City.

SH: Tell us about this show. What is the inspiration? What were you exploring in the work?

JT: The show is titled Entropy. What inspired me through the course of a year has been my surroundings. I am interested in our potential collapse. I feel like humanity is always playing with this idea. That’s the basis of the show.

SH: Where do you source inspiration?

JT: My inspiration comes from a variety of sources. Media, newspapers, documentaries, everyday life, etc. Practically whatever I encounter that strikes a chord I just run with it because that’s usually a sign that it’s something that matters to me. I have to have an emotional connection to the subjects that I deal with. This way I get totally invested and so I pursue visual solutions to whatever the problems are.

SH: How do you capture those ideas for pieces; do you have a sketchbook on hand or is it just a note to yourself in your phone?

JT: I do have a sketchbook, however, what helps me capture the ideas are notes I make not sketches. The sketches normally happen in my head.

SH: How do you plan out your compositions?

JT: Lately, I have been using photoshop exclusively.

SH: What excites you about your work / creative process?

JT: I love painting. I love using acrylic and oil and exploring their strengths. I still feel like I am a novice in the potentials of the painting practice. In addition

I feel like my work takes me to so many new subjects because I do research as much as I can about what I am interested in talking about.

SH: What frustrates you about your work / creative process?

JT: The most frustrating thing about my work is not being able to do it fast enough. Painting realistically has great gratification but it takes forever. Also, I would love it if I would achieve a higher level of control with paint. More preciseness and fewer color adjustments. I want to master paint. But I have a long ways to go.

SH: If you could be a character in any movie for a day; who would you be in what film and why?

JT: If I could be a character I think I would choose Batman. Not because he’s rich, Handsome and a badass. But because he tries his best to help solve some of his worlds biggest problems.

SH: How do you approach developing work for an exhibition?

JT: I think of the work as if it was an album. Every track has to flow and that’s how I approach a body of work. There has to be a message and a cohesiveness to it.

SH: Do you immediately jump into work on it, or are you more of a procrastinator?

JT: I work really hard all the time. I’m a workaholic. My work requires crazy amounts of attention and detail. I don’t procrastinate at all.

SH: What is your Meyers-Briggs or Zodiac Sign? Does it influence your work / artistic process?

JT: I’m a Taurus. I’m not sure if it influences my artistic process.

SH: Can you explain what it feels likes to anticipate the opening of your exhibition, the opening night, and the day after – using food items as a representation of real emotions?

JT: The opening of the exhibition feels like staring at a storefront full of luscious chocolates. The opening night is asking questions about the chocolate, what flavors etc. The day after your sick of chocolates and its time to move on to pastries.

SH: Has there been an artistic catalyst in your life?

JT: Music and ideas keep me in a solid state of mind. They help me get through shit.

SH: Something, someone, some event that made a significant impact on you that has lead you to where you are now.

JT: My friends and family have made the most significant impact on my life. They play such an important role as to why I am able to do what I do.

View all available work from Entropy here

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