Interview Quayola


Quayola is a visual artist based in London. Quayola creates worlds where real substance, such as natural or architectural matter, constantly mutates into ephemeral objects, enabling the real and the artificial to coexist harmoniously. Working in both the artistic and the commercial field, Quayola intelligently experiment with mediums traditionally perceived as separate. Currently active as Visual Artist, Graphic Designer and Director, he constantly collaborates with a diverse range of musicians, animators, computer programmers and architects. Quayola creates hybrid works blurring the boundaries between art, design and filmmaking.


Interview with Quayola for Plazaplus 2010:

How would you describe your work?
I produce visual art projects simultaneously focusing on multiple forms such as films, video-installation, photography/prints and av performances. I’m interested in exploring the ambiguity of realism in the digital realm, and somehow questioning reality itself. My art projects usually develop across a number of years, developing from embryonic ideas into consistent and extensive collection of pieces. At the current time I’m bringing forward three main projects; Strata is an evolving dialogue between icons of art and architecture and contemporary digital aesthetics. Natures  is an exploration of natural structures and behaviors and Partitura is a sound visualization that explores new forms of abstractions. Commercially I also work as a director, and for fun as a DJ.

(image Natures by Quayola)

How did you get involved audiovisual art? What is your background?
My involvement in art and new digital media has been highly influenced and guided my my brother’s architectural practice…So it is possible to say that most of my creative background has been influenced by architecture.
I started playing with a computer at 12 and never stopped…

How do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes a bit from everywhere… I am continuously inspired by contemporary architecture (Herzog Demuron, Rem Kholas, Peter Eiseman, Etc..), renaissance art (paintings, churches, sculptures, etc..), photography (the Bechers, A. Gursky, C. Hofer, T. Demand, T. Struth, Etc..), modernist avant-gardes, natural landscapes and natural documentaries (BBC Planet Earth), new minimalist techno music, classical music, scuba diving, etc.. etc…

Technology is an important aspect in your work. How does this influence your work and its aesthetics?
Yes obviously it does… However I see the computer as an exciting instrument to realize my ideas, but not as a generator of ideas itself. I’m incredibly fascinated by the modernist aesthetics of the various avant-gardes of the 900′, and I believe lots of the aesthetics explored today in digital art are still very connected to those of the last century.

In the STRATA series a fascination for ancient architecture and paintings is apparent. Can you tell us more about your focus on ancient art in relation to the medium you use?
The Strata series is about creating improbable connections and establishing a dialogue between languages apparently distant. I’m interested in looking at art and architecture icons in a de-contextualized way, focusing on their images rather than their historical significance. On the other hand I’m also interested in looking at sharp minimalist computer art in a very emotional way… With the Strata series I play with the layering of times, functions and representations, trying to create an harmonious dialogue between opposing vertices. What really fascinates me is the ambiguity that is triggered with such a process, the fact questioning what is real and what is artificial, what is old and what is new, what is figurative and what is abstract… Literally the ambiguity of questioning reality itself.

(Image HFR lab/Quayola)

In your work there’s a strong relation between technology and nature. The work “Natures” visualizes a dialogue between the natural and the artificial, by motion tracking techniques.  Can you explain more about your ideas in “Natures”?
While having different subjects from the Strata series (natural objects vs manmade objects), both Strata and Natures explore a similar theme: the ambiguity of realism in the digital realm. As we are able to produce computer-generated images that perfectly simulate natural behaviors, we are unable to really distinguish the real from the artificial. Natures explore the dialogue between these two different worlds, enabling one to transform into the other and vice versa.

Interview by Olga Mink []

Quayola presents his video-installation STRATA 2. It is a new multi-screen installation within the ongoing series “Strata”. Three Gothic windows from Notre Dame Cathedral are projected in real-scale on vertical screens. The positioning of the screens in relation with the space will simulate the real architectural environment of the original windows: east chapel of Notre Dame. The projected images gradually deconstruct and transform into abstract entities, detaching from their original historical and architectural significance. This process of metamorphosis will become a perpetual cycle exploring the passage between real and artificial, and vice versa.

Watch video excerpt “STRATA”


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