1xRUN Thru Interview
Detached by Johnny Robles
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about the original piece, when was it created and what materials was it created with?
Johnny Robles: The original was a 15ft x 15ft mural on the exterior of a building venue/space called Cafeina in Miami FL. It was part of diptych completed during the week of Art Basel Miami in 2009. It was created on the exterior of a space using spray paint on metal. The client for whom the piece was commissioned for had no ideas for what they wanted exactly. I asked a few questions about their space and intent and immediately thought of a concept without reasoning behind it. They loved it! Luckily they asked no questions after. I then returned to my studio to create my drafts to propose. All was good and started the original 1-week later.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Johnny Robles: I was listening to an audiotape on the way to meet the client who’s wall I was going to paint. The tape was recorded in the 70’s and was translated from Hindi to English. The speaker on the tape mentioned an example of man being a “covered lantern.” I immediately envisioned in so many ways what this might look like.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Johnny Robles: 2 weeks to prepare and 1 week to execute.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Johnny Robles: To question yourself and purpose as a visitor in life.
1xRun: Describe this print in one gut reaction word.
Johnny Robles: Disconnect.
1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Johnny Robles: Since the first moment I discovered a twig fallen from a tree and used it to draw and make marks in the dirt.
1xRun: What was your first piece?
Johnny Robles: According to my mother, as a child I would escape from my crib in the mornings while she was asleep to splash liquids from our fridge all over our kitchen window. After my mess was completed, I’d drag her over to see what I did. I could barely put sentences together and would express my excitement through a few words and gestures. She supported this and knew I was going to become an art maker.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Johnny Robles: There are so many. I loved the creators of PBS, Sesame Street, and the Board of Canada Films made a huge impression on me growing up. Gary K. Wolf, Creator of Roger Rabbit, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Sandy Skoglund, 1970’s Peter Max, Andrew Wyeth amongst many others. Since then I take on a wide variety of works to choose from when I’m looking for inspiration. German Constructivists, László Moholy-Nagy, Buckminster Fuller, Tom Wesselmann and 60s psychedelia to name a few.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Johnny Robles: Music is always important while working as much as I enjoy silence and isolation. Growing up with musicians in my family and friends who are musicians, I’ve been exposed to many different sounds. Boards of Canada, if I had to choose one.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Johnny Robles: Andy Goldsworthy. It would be a collaboration with both him and nature.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Johnny Robles: I’ve never purchased any original art but have made trades with close artist friends of mine whether it be a piece of music or some trinket I’ve found unusual enough to want to exchange for art.
1xRun: What else do you have in the works?
Johnny Robles: I’m working on an outdoor installation project for the UR1 music festival during this upcoming year of Art Basel.
1xRun: Where else can people find you?
Johnny Robles: On my Website, it is up now that is where I will put updates new works, news and events.