In the paintings themselves, Poesia creates a direct dialogue with art history and graffiti’s recently recognized, yet still contentious, central role in it in the new millennium. The compositions involve revised versions of old masterpieces that are influenced by the artist’s history as a graffiti artist and the techniques and materials that he uses. As his traditional subject matter, he repaints historical masterpieces from the High Renaissance through the Baroque period. As his challenging commentary, he utilizes geometric abstraction to slice into them and graffiti tools wielded with an expressionistic stroke to disperse and obscure them. Poesia uses this visual dialectic to create a simile between new millennium masters and their historical counterparts, thereby making a statement that elevates both the art form and their practitioners, as well as progressing it’s stylistic palette into the future.
Read on as Poesia takes us through his debut RUN St. Francis after Caravaggio and talks about past influences and more in the 1xRUN Thru Interview below…
1xRUN Thru Interview
St. Francis after Caravaggio by Poesia
1xRUN: Tell us a bit about the original, is still for sale?
Poesia: It was created in 2012 and it is sold. It was painted over about a month.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Poesia: St Francis after Caravaggio was painted as part of a series of paintings I have been working on since late 2010. These old Master reinterpretations have evolved over the last 2 years from gestural abstract to fully rendered as this painting is. I was asked to exhibit at Anno Domini Gallery for a solo show. I figured this was the perfect time to work on the old master series for this exhibition as a whole. Other paintings I had exhibited and painted were not made as a group and always exhibited with some of my other abstract pieces. My show titled “More force than Judgement” would focus on these old master paintings. This enabled me to build a strong cohesive body of work. St Francis after Caravaggio was one of the most well received paintings in the exhibit.
1xRun: Can you tell us a bit about the series this was a part of?
Poesia: When I first painted the old master paintings I painted a piece by Caravaggio titled the “Kiss of Judas” this piece was a starting point of the whole series of paintings. Caravaggio is considered by many to be the most influential painter and arguably the talented painter from the renaissance. Studying art History I was always drawn to not only his paintings but his life story. I knew when I prepared for the new exhibition that i would again paint a Caravaggio. This time I chose St Francis. I was drawn to this work and felt it was perfect timing to evolve this series.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Poesia: St. Francis after Caravaggio is an important piece to my series as a whole and its progression. Anyone that buys this print will be able to have a piece of that as well.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Poesia: I started painting canvases a couple years after I started writing graffiti in the early nineties.
1xRun: What was your first piece?
Poesia: I can’t really remember but I would imagine it was some experimental mixture of graffiti and Art. When I was young I experimented a lot with graffiti and watercolors. Then later into paintings.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Poesia: Early on I was inspired first by other graffiti artists from my city. Then later I learned about subway art and so on. This was my introduction to art, a year or two later after meeting other artists through graffiti I started to pay attention to art. I studied a lot of art history after this delving into anything and everything involving art. Abstract expressionism, and the Renaissance where my 2 biggest influences outside of my peers and legends in graffiti. There is simply too many to list.
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Poesia: I think now its more of the same. I just have more experience and time to actually work through my ideas. When I was younger it was all about making a name for myself in graffiti and art seemed to be my hobby. Now it seems the tables have turned and I focus more on my art and my current situation. There are more canvases than walls for me to paint currently so I that’s where my direction is. The influences haven’t changed graffiti and art history are my inspiration.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Poesia: Yes, Its weird because I think this is the only time I actually listen to music now. I rarely have music on in the car or when I am not painting. Not sure why, I love music, but with some much to do sometimes it feels like a luxury to have time to listen to music. I prefer Pandora and quikmix, or shuffle. I have no real favorites, and i would say 75% of time I have no idea what I am listening too. I just plug in some bands I know I like and then it’s a journey from there. I feel that painting is the same way. You go in with some thoughts but painting takes over and you just follow the lead.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Poesia: Living I would say Anselm Kiefer on canvas and maybe El Mac on the walls. To me Kiefer has been one of my favorite artists for some time, and what Mac is doing on walls is amazing. I really think this is just the beginning for him. Kiefer’s texture is unparallelled.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Poesia: Cy Twombly on canvas, and David Alfaro Siqueiros on a wall. Cy Twombly is an amazing painter who i am daily learning about more and more. Sequerios was a pioneer in Mexican mural art and a direct predecessor to what we are now doing on walls. He was one of the first artists to experiment with spraying paint on walls and his work some of the most powerful painted.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Poesia: I don’t think when I was younger I even understood the concept of buying artwork. When your an artist you forget sometimes to buy work you like. For me I was always so involved with making it I didn’t take the opportunity to buy my peers art. A regret I still have till this day. We are so involved we sometimes forget. I will be buying 2 pieces this month from some of my transcend crew mates. One a limited edition screenprint from Joker, and the other an AP from Kofie.
1xRun: What else do you have in the works?
Poesia: Futurism 2.0 Group Exhibition Gamma Proforma Presents: FUTURISM 2.0 Blackall Studios London, England And I am curating a Large Exhibition over 30 artists in Los Angeles in Dec.