Anagnorisis Fine Arts

Interview with Alex Passapera by our own Danielle Ezzo by Binnorie
August 14, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: interview | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Anagnorisis would like to share with you an interview with Alex Passapera about his work and upcoming exhibition, “Feral”:

Alex Passapera

1. So what brought you to this medium in the first place?

I have always been attracted to technical work rather than flowing strokes from other painting mediums, which is why I like the detail and control of working with Pen and Ink. My artwork seems to take on a more complex and rich feel when texturing with stipple pen marks.

2. What inspires you?

I get a lot of inspiration from music, film and books as do most people I’m sure. Usually I try to take away a certain feeling or idea that appeals to me and let it filter into my sketching.

3. Who are some of your contemporaries, and what about their work do you like?

I am very interested in the low-brow, contemporary work. Tara McPherson, John John Jesse, Shawn Barber, Jeff Soto, Lori Earley.

4. Some of your pieces remind me of Vania Zouravliov, are you familiar with him?

Yes, I am familiar with his work. I remember first reading about him in “The Upset” by R. Klanten while working on this show and thinking he was a more talented version of myself. Pangs of jealousy and rage surfaced, followed by a desperate need to own one of his pieces for myself, they are beautiful.

5. What does your process look like?

Well, about thirty percent of my process is preparation for the inking; the initial pre-sketches and arrangement of the composition. After that the rest of the time I spend hunched over my drafting table, working out the flat blacks and stippling/mark making for hours. I would say the latter phase is zen but that would suggest my mind is blank while working. My work usually grows and evolves at this point while I’m working in the textures of the particular piece. I will add and cover up, which can be problematic at this stage since ink cannot be removed but I can usually work around mistakes and make them an essential part of the work.

6. Its really quite interesting how your work often transforms from people into animals, or animals into other animals. The wolf seems to be a main character? It has a very Native American vibe.. Is there any significant behind that?

The wolf was the icon I started with and for me embodies the type of feeling I am trying to capture. I can see the Native American vibe coming across, and that fits with my theme a bit. The predator is an easy character to use when trying to describe instinct and I feel the wolf is a beautiful example of fierce unbridled wilderness. The transformations in my pieces are very straight-forward symbols for the relations between man and animal. I wanted to do more pieces dedicated to anamorphic characters but time did not permit.

7. Tell us a little more about the body of work ‘Feral’…

Feral is all about our basic needs and my own visual representation of them. I try to pick out similar traits people share with animals in the wild which have been suppressed and construed by social society. Simple but powerful urges such as the need to feed, to mate, and to protect our own. These primal impulses are dumbed down in our culture now, so much so that we hardly even feel a flicker anymore. It ties into such topics as the over saturation of media, food and sex today, so much so that we really don’t need these natural mechanisms anymore. I try to identify a few predominant archetypes and depict my own vision of their hold on the characters in each piece.

8. Do you know what your next body of work is going to be about? Or are the underlying themes in each series?

This show was just came from an idea I had mulling around my head for a while, I’ll probably take the next series in another direction. I am rereading some classic stories like the original “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through The Looking Glass,” and was thinking of creating a series based on the imagery in them.

9. I hear you went to Savannah College of Art & Design… How was that? Has there been a change in your work/process/etc since you moved to New York?

Savannah was great, although being born and raised twenty minutes from New York, the slow lifestyle never really appealed to me. Living in New York was my dream since I was little, and being here for just about two years now I can definitely say it has had an influence on my work. Just from the amount you are exposed to in this city means absorbing and evolving is an inevitable process.

10. What can we look forward to in the coming months? Any other shows or projects planned?

I’ll be looking for more venues for my work. Right now I’m talking to Daniel Quinn, curator and owner of Stand Alone Gallery about doing something in the near future, but nothing is set in stone yet.

Visit Alex Passapera and tell him how much you enjoy his work here, or come to see his work in person at the White Rabbit during the month of August.

Gallery of Works from Feral by Binnorie

Here is a gallery of works that are on exhibit as part of Alex Passapera’s solo show, “Feral” running throughout the month of August, 2009. Alex has created pen and ink on paper drawings as well as limited edition prints.

For prices, purchases or any other questions you may have, please contact Samantha Levin or Danielle Ezzo

Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger view of each work:

The Pack_19x24The Alpha_21x12p5Super Plures Unus_22x19She Remembers Her First Time_14x11Mushroom_19x22Is Instinct_14x11
Conception of the Forest_19x24Church and State_19x12p5Church and State - Detail

Introducing Artist Interviews! by dezzoster

The past year has brought a myriad of exciting tid-bits for Anagnorisis. We’ve had the privilege of meeting some pretty fantastic artists and organized a variety of different creative spectacles. Through growing our artist community, helping to interconnect creative circles, we’d like to take it to another level of further exposing this incredible talent.

With many more to come, our first interview is with Alex Passapera whose work will be up throughout the month of August. Please take a peek at it here.

Alex Passapera: Feral by dezzoster
July 22, 2009, 1:07 am
Filed under: Art Shows, White Rabbit | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Anagnorisis is proud to present Alex Passapera’s solo show, “Feral“.

Artist Statement:
This current body of work is my attempt to bring to life certain ideas and inspirations that I have had over the past year. The first few pieces started out as enjoyable experiments visualizing something intangible; mainly “instinct”. I am interested in instinct and its diminishing use in our daily lives. Only in special moments to we feel something bubble up from an ancient source. I began using the predator as a template and imagined the moment instinct takes over. It becomes an explosion of gore and bone as it takes hold, without any conscious knowledge or concern, driven by nature. The mixture of realism and a cartoon-like style is used to capture the intensity of these moments.

As I progressed the stories of each piece became more complex, ranging from my own ideas about politics and religion, to relationships. I have fun with each piece and let each idea mold and refine itself on the page. No image is completely thought out before I start, the process is the most important part and I let it happen as it happens. In the end I try to keep my works animate and light, though I have had varied reactions.

The works in this show are done with Pen and Ink on Bristol Paper. I gravitated toward drawing more so than painting media, it allowed me to become very technical with my mark-making and gave me more control. Stippling is used in every piece as a form of shading and texturing, something that takes a god-awful amount of time but is worth it in the end. I have been lucky enough to work with a fantastic print maker, Mark Herschede, to create prints for most of the pieces available. Every print done for this show was first sketched on Bristol paper. The work is then inked on an emulsion covered film from the sketched image. The fact that my work is done in Pen and Ink lends itself extremely well to silk-screening and lithography. Hopefully as I continue, this will keep my work available and enjoyed by a wide range of people.

Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey on July 15th, 1984.  He attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Illustration and Sequential Art.  Alex now lives and works in New York, pursuing a life far away from an office cubicle.

Feral will be on view throughout the month of August.  You can view our gallery of works from the show here.

Feral - Alex Passapera