INTERVIEW • 1989 / FABIOLA MORCILLO
Are you formally trained in art? If so, what did you study?
I am an architect. I studied for seven years at the University of Chile where I had some art courses. I also got a degree in Aesthetics and Philosophy at the Pontificia Universidad Católica, which was a delight. My approach to art has always been intuitive because I believe it is in my genes. My father and my aunt are art teachers along with many other members who are artists so art has always been relevant growing up. All of them have been showing me different spheres of art that I have been exploring throughout my life. I have been approaching art from the tangent. I have been going around art little by little as a lifelong romance.
Where are you from? Has this affected you as an artist?
I was born in Santiago, Chile, which is the capital city of my country. Chile is a strange country with a disharmonious history that has undoubtedly marked not only me, but my entire generation. We had a brutal dictatorship that destroyed the Chilean culture, afterwards the most alienating system on the planet was established here, the neoliberal system that has been gradually making a fictitious construction of life. We are inside a perverse system and are aware of it. Chile is a country where there is still much to be done for the restoration of art and life.
When did you realize you wanted to become an artist?
I always wanted to be an artist, because since I was a child I had skills to draw or create, it was always what ignited and inspired me, but I also had many other interests such as biology, physics, history, etc. And that’s why it was very difficult for me to discover what to study. In the end, I decided to study architecture, which is composed of these themes and many others, but it is definitely something else. I think one can have infinite abilities because they can be developed, but there is only one that moves more in you and has more impact outside of you and that is what you have to feed. In my case it is definitely art. And even if I do not dedicate 100% to art I try to do “art” in everything I do.
Where does the name “1989” come from?
1989 is born from an anecdote, but it means more than that. In 2014 I participated in an illustration fair and there was a drawing called “1989.” This drawing represented, for me, my life at that time and it happened that a boy sees it and says, “I thought it was your name” and that’s it, the next day I changed my Facebook name and told my friends that it was not going Fabiola Morcillo anymore but 1989. I used it because it is my story, and for me this project is a project of self knowledge, my own graphic history. It was also very comfortable for me because it had no gender and is also the year of the snake.
Are there any artists that have left an impression on you?
Definitely, here is a list: The Pre-Raphaelites, Katsushika, Hokusai, William Blake, Friederich Nietszche, Oscar Wilde, Johann Wolfgang Von, Goethe, Francis Bacon, Superestudio, Kisho Kurokawa, Sou Fujimoto, SAANA, Synchrodogs, Martin Paar, Lao Tse and my great teachers.
What are some things that inspire your artwork outside of art?
What inspires me the most is life itself, the functioning of it, the mechanism, the real laws that govern it. The TAO. I am inspired by the search for the interior and the exploration of the microcosm. Outside in almost everything that surrounds me, in the present, I try to look with a photographic eye in order to capture the symbols around me. I think that everything speaks and that we can communicate more easily if we observe the present carefully.
How has technology affected your career as an artist?
What is technology? I think that everything is technology. Our own body is the highest piece of technology that exists. It is a perfect system, nature is technology, biology is technology and therefore, everything that comes out of it is also technology. My work is based on technology, from my own interior to everything that comes out of my hands. I work with my computer and digital tools (AUTOCAD). For me, digital is emancipation and self-knowledge. We discover ourselves through this.
Describe your creative process
I am looking for inspiration in my books, documentaries and Youtube, in mental images. I do recreational drugs and meditate to be able to visualize. I look for references in everything that surrounds me, in architecture, I walk a lot, I study and I convert it into art. After it takes some form, I transfer onto paper as a quick sketch (unreadable by other people), with some annotations, and then I illustrate it in my favourite program that is AUTOCAD where I do most of my work. Once I have the result, I put it into a giant file called “everything,” which has all my drawings; I am treating them by subject, comparing, using resources of the same old ones and recycling. It is easier when you see everything from afar and you see how it is forming the things you are doing. It’s like a digital studio.
What themes do you find yourself going back to?
For me, space is always the main thing, space is my recurring theme; talking about the interior through graphic constructs. I turn now to the mystical, I am in search of my own childhood in these moments, going back to the topics that interested me when I was young, to the mystery, to the dark, to the feminine, lately I am working on this. But what interests me most is talking about the impossibility of the outside, because there is no outside. In my drawings is the interior space the search engine, the secret and the power.
Any advice you can give to aspiring artists?
You have to do what you have to do. Often people get very tired in the process and as a result they give up, however, if you really want to do wonderful things throughout your life, you need to relax, breathe and enjoy your art and all the good that comes with it; because the bad things that appear are just that, and it is necessary to continue to get better, they are system adjustments, and when you get in the way you can not go out, you can not challenge life. You need to let life take your talent and use it for their own good. Be an expression channel and an eternal seeker.
My first exhibition has me very excited, it will be on May 10th in @galeriacima with the tremendous women @valentinaratto @mariajosecarlier and @marina.gris. So pay attention because there are many surprises.