Artist Spotlight | Alex Usquiano
An interview with Alex Usquiano, Colombian visual artist/photographer and 2015 RBC Arts Access Fund recipient.
Any upcoming events or projects that you would like to share?
My solo exhibit “Daydreaming” will run until March 11th at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre.
Here I will share my work from the past 15 years, and offer a glimpse into my creative process.
READY MADE: a visual conversation about identity in a multicultural society. Photography workshops for new comer and refugee youth from Latino Communities will begin in May 2016.
“The Stories We Share” is an effort of Sick Muse Art Projects. In this photography workshop, we will collaborate with 25 refugees living in Toronto and Hamilton. This will begin in July 2016.
What is your creative process like?
Processes are simple, creativity is complex. I like to think that my process is a continuous exploration. I have been exploring different art forms for the last 20 years. I began with dance, theatre, paint and performance. Since then, I have used every avenue of expression as a way to constantly challenge the status quo. In the past 15 years, I have been able to turn my experiences into digital forms – the medium I currently use the most. I love the idea of giving life and expression to something as cold and impersonal as the digital world.
I support my work through the use of my main tool, digital programs. I take photos, create textures and manipulate images to tell a story. I find this interesting because by using these forms, I challenge the ideas of old-school artists, who declared that photography, digital and contemporary art is not really art at all. As a visual artist, digital artist and photographer, I am living proof that digital art has the capacity to be as beautiful, terrifying, intriguing and wonderful as any form of traditional art.
There are elements on my work that are consistent, such as the presence of females and nature. I present a lot of work containing the female body because to me, it is a way of creating visual poetry.
How has your style changed over the years?
My style changed a lot following my migratory experience. Prior to living in Canada, my work was dark and melancholic. My pieces were fostered from depressing ideas. I came from the coffee area of Colombia and my colour choices were influenced by the surrounding nature. In Canada, I have been exposed to multiculturalism, different seasons, and a new language. This has opened my mind - I’ve found a new level of awareness.
My work still explores very marginalized topics, but I do so from a different perspective. I demand actions and question people’s indifference to the presence. I am involved in street photography and I seek subjects that people tend to ignore. I am also deeply involved in Community Arts, because I am at a point on my life where I feel that my way to be socially and civic responsible is by offering my talents to the service of the community.
Twitter | @alexusquiano
Instagram | @alexusquiano
Website | www.alexusquiano.com
Photographs courtesy of alexusquiano.com