Interview With Federico Clapis

In order to prepare one for the purest or most authentic reading of your art, what would you first say to this new initiate of your work?

Art allows me to discover hidden parts of me as a human being and my soul. Artworks come to me as finite images and reveal something that would be inexplicable by words. The relationship between man and technology, for example, it is a theme that characterises my best-known works, through which I want to express a timeless human condition.

You are not bound to limitations of material nor the visual concept, how do the varying iterations of your craft adapt to different material incarnations, and what significant additions are gained through using new materials?

The materials I use are an inherent part of what my work wants to express. Sometimes I use them to explore and discover new, unknown experiences and convey new meanings. This is one aspect of my work that gives me joy and pushes me to always try different materials.

What is your relationship to social media as a person, and then as an artist? Does social media’s use impact you differently when used personally as opposed to as a communication vehicle for your work?

I have discovered over time that content about my work is much more interesting than content about my personal life. This has driven me to always try to take a step back. I prefer sharing the time spent working as an artist rather than documenting my life. My use of social media is completely focused on my art but, due to its nature, I also show myself, through it.

What do you feel is the greatest concern of our time? If you had the ability to draw attention to one important generation shifting concern what would this be? How would you propose such could be remedied?

II do not worry about the present because when days end new ones begin. Human beings evolve regardless of our wishes and regardless of our control, even if we often want to see the negative side in different generations.
Any problem mankind finds in its way – they will find a way to solve it in due time. I’m not anxious as I don’t have the selfish pretense to see everything quickly resolved while I am alive and because I know it will be ok.

Is art always political, or is it able to exist within a liminal space devoid of time or contemporary perspective? Are you aware of how the current world shapes your creative expression? If yes or no please share how.

I think that art can be both. It can be social, so it can describe somehow our times, it can raise awareness on a subject and at the same time, it can be abstract – far from the world, from the present time. Other times it can tell tales of something more ethereal and less contemporary, but perhaps, more eternal, more cryptic. It depends on the artist and his period. I don’t think it is right or wrong. I have often worked with the awareness of social issues without the ambition to save the world but simply channeling a collective need. At other times, instead, I have explored the human soul distancing myself from social matters. Maybe these two realms are not really distant.

What do the emotions feel like that compel you to create? Does this emotional side of you have a profound impact on your life in ways that are not related to visual expression?

My work literally saves my life so everything that comes with it even if it requires daily management, becomes a therapeutic and intimate practice. Through my work, I create a channel of communication between myself and the manifestation of my inner self, conscious and unconscious states, which need more or less intense moments to emerge.

Please share with us the title of one of your favorite pieces, and tell us a story about why it is important, memorable or significant for you.

I am always very attached to my latest work because it is the one that most of all talks to me about me and shows something that is not there yet in my subconscious. My latest creation usually helps me discover something more recent – fresh habit me and my state and this is the reason why I am more connected with the work and it feels more alive.

What types of questions do you feel are lacking in our contemporary world? And in answering this, please provide a second answer to one of these in order that we should experience its depths.

I think the question is always about what dominates us and what moves us unconsciously on an emotional level, what pushes us towards our self-exploration. The art, as already mentioned, can be an instrument.


All images with courtesy of Federico Clapis

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