Ernesto Artillo is an Andalusian artist interested in faith, identity in social networks, the human body and mainly, any expression of love and pain. Photography, collage, video, installation or performance are some of the disciplines he aproachs with his simple but daring personal style.
What are your main references and inspirations?
People need to love and be loved. That’s the main thing for me, so I can find inspiration everywhere, any kind of encounter is an opportunity for it. Myself too. When you observe humans with those eyes, you can find out we are all very similar, we mostly suffer for the same feelings, and we all have no shields but others love. That’s how the common bodies appear in my creations, naked and embraced.
You are known for your ability to blend art and fashion in your collages, but a lot of your photos and performances portrait nudity. What’s the role of the naked body in your art?
For me fashion is a way to communicate through the body, it doesn’t really matter if it’s covering or uncovering it. I like to think of bodies wrapping our identity as well and art is an opportunity to deconstruct it and question our individuality.
Tell us what’s the concept behind your performance “El Cuerpo Incómodo”.
Apparently, the female body is a good way to meter different societies’ concept of freedom, but in any case, it’s always uncomfortable. Many countries in Europe are forbidding women to wear burqas or niqabs, sometimes condemning them to stay at home and therefore giving them greater invisibility. However, we are used to seeing girls covering their nipples to upload a photo on Instagram. What determines a body’s censorship? To censor or the amount of body censored?
How did the pandemic affect your art and performances? What are your plans for a post-pandemic world?
I spent the whole quarantine alone in a big house and I found out that even though I appreciate some loneliness in my creative process, I didn’t want to maintain “the lonely artist” cliché anymore. So I invited a musician friend to join me at my place and started sharing my processes with her. Besides, here, in the south of Andalusia I welcome visitors from everywhere and share my creativity with them too through my art workshops. I also started writing about the miracle of the deep encounter with others. Even though my creations have always been about love I realized that I wasn’t really experimenting with it myself, maybe not how I want to know. I was more like a viewer and that took me to realize I had to put myself as the main thing of my creations and feel the vulnerability. I keep on working with a lot of people to create pieces but I think now it’s from a different state.
Your work usually involves a lot of different people. How is the usual process of organising a performance/shooting?
I share my projects on Instagram, ask people to participate and I usually don’t choose, just fill the team until it’s complete. I believe those who approach my projects are those who can best be part of it. From the moment they join it, it’s not my project anymore but everyone’s. I always get impressed by them, I learn a lot from our meetings and feel accompanied in the process.