Studio Visit in Santo Domingo: A Conversation with André

By Joel De La Rosa

Studio Visit in Santo Domingo: A Conversation with André

In this conversation for idioma, I speak with André Pichardo about his life as an artist, his experience being a young painter in Dominican Republic, the influence of great figures of the history of art, and his position on what art means.

JOEL DE LA ROSA: I would like you to introduce yourself, tell us what you think of yourself. André the artist? André the painter? Or simply André?

ANDRÉ PICHARDO: André Elías Pichardo, desde que tengo recuerdo, siempre ha estado conmigo el arte y las maneras de expresarse. Siempre he sido artista, aunque mi formación académica haya comenzado en el 2015 cuando entré a la Escuela de Diseño Altos de Chavón. André el artista es el mismo que André el pintor o el grabadista o ilustrador o lo que yo quiera hacer y ser, simplemente André.

André Elías Pichardo, since I remember, art and forms of expression have always been with me. I have always been an artist, although my academic training began in 2015 when I entered the Altos de Chavón School of Design. André the artist is the same as André the painter or the engraver or illustrator or whatever I want to do and be, simply André.

JD: What do you think is the role of an artist today?

AP: Yo pienso que el rol de ser artista siempre ha sido el mismo de siempre; plasmar, expresar, apreciar, criticar, y auto descubrirse detrás de su obra. Pienso que lo que ha cambiado no ha sido el arte, sino los artistas. 

I think that the role of being an artist has always been the same; capture, express, appreciate, criticize, and self-discovery through your work. I don't think art has changed, but the artists have.

JD: Can art be therapy? If so, do you use it as therapy?

AP: Sí, el arte puede ser terapia, a veces si la uso como terapia, otras veces no. No uno el arte como "cura” de algún mal, sino como mecanismo de auto conocimiento.  

Yes, art can be therapy, sometimes I use it as therapy. I don’t link art as being the "cure" of some evil but as a mechanism of self-discovery.

JD: Louise Bourgeois once said: "art is not about art." What do you think about this comment? We talked about something interesting regarding the complexity of contemporary art and elitism. We can touch that topic here again. 

AP: Es parte de esa globalización de mercado y producto, el cambio de dirección que toman ciertas cosas (dígase en este caso el arte). Pienso que ese comentario es dar un pico a entender que la pureza del arte se ha perdido un poco con el interés de fondo que existe en la ejecución en la creación artística.

It is part of this globalization of market and product, the change of direction that certain things take (art in this case). I think that comment is to understand that the purity of art has been lost a little with the interest of the background that exists in the execution in the artistic creation.

JD: Is there a particular movement in art history that you think is a great influence on your work?

AP: El expresionismo Alemán (en grabado), Fauvismo, Post Impresionismo y Art Nouveau.

German Expressionism (with engraving), Fauvism, Post Impressionism and Art Nouveau.

JD: Who are your heroes? What have you learned from them?

AP: No tengo héroes, yo soy mi propio "héroe" pero si tomo mucho de referencia a: Edvard Munch, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, y Pablo Picasso  

I don't have heroes, I am my own "hero", but I do take a lot of references from: Edvard Munch, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso

JD: Richard Prince asked Vito Acconci this question and I want to ask to you about pornography. What do you find pornographic? And what kind of sex do you like?

AP: Bueno, puedo encontrar cualquier cosa pornográfica. Tengo un sentido algo morboso en algunas ocasiones. Me gusta el sexo que es puro, real, y sin tabúes.

Well, I can find anything pornographic. It is something we live with every day, and the most subtle thing can be very pornographic. I have a somewhat morbid sense at times. I like sex that is pure, real, and taboo-free.

JD: What do you think of fashion? Do you like it? Do you think it's superficial? Sometimes I think the fashion world is a dark joke. What do you think?

AP: El mundo del arte es un chiste oscuro. Al final, la moda es igual que el arte: son maneras de expresión. Lo que lo hace un chiste es la industria y la gente que está en ella.

The art world is a dark joke. In the end, fashion is the same as art: they are ways of expression. What makes it a joke is the industry and the people who are in it.

 


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