Jose was born in Chile. He grow up traveling with his mother, watching her painting and teaching art around Chile. On 2010 he decided to become an artist. His school were his friends. He was living in New York when he started doing collage. Now he is based in Berlin, but travels all the time finding new ways and techniques to develop his art.
Hi Jose. You travelled around as a child and have cited seeing your mother making and teaching art, how do you feel your childhood brought you to where you are now?
I was spending a lot of time alone when I was a kid, and that gave me time to reflect and express myself through different forms of Art, especially drawings.
You are now based in Berlin, what drew you to the city?
I was following a good friend, he is a musician and he invited me to Berlin. I thought that the way of life was super chill and I decided to loose my ticket and stay.
The act of embroidery is very manual and tactile, what draws you to this approach?
I was living in New York painting and doing collage, and I was not really feeling into it. These techniques didn’t allow me to do what I really want it to do, so I started exploring with other medias and thats how I started adding some embroidery to my work and I felt that my ideas were getting somewhere with this technique.
“When I see a photo that I like, I start to imagine things, stories. So I start intervening in them.”
The first series of yours that I came across was #Anti-Serie. What drew you to altering these media images, to quite an aggressive effects.
I don’t consider that the Anti-Serie has an aggressive approach. It is more raw in a way, less subtle maybe, in the way I embroider. I did that series after a trip, and I think it includes a lot of patterns that I saw when I was traveling. Also, I didn’t want to depend so much on the photo and kind of take over.
In dancers and string figures, the string complements the image, whilst with your anti-series and new-series they are much more overpowering. How do you approach each image with your embroidery?
In the dancers series what I like was that somehow you get lost in time and space, and adding the strings with color to the old photographs was like giving movement to the static dancers. The Anti-Serie is related to a trip in Mexico and what I saw and experienced there; the textures and the colors.
“…adding the strings with color to the old photographs was like giving movement to the static dancers.”
Using found imagery, how do you source the photographs that you use?
I’m always collecting photos that I like. Most of the times I find them in flee markets or when I’m traveling and take them with me.
And what does found imagery and media photographs bring to your practice?
When I see a photo that I like, I start to imagine things, stories. So I start intervening in them.
In your work you seem to respond more to the female subject, for example in your portraits, dancers and Xserie. What draws you to the female form?
I try not to really focus on anything in just one form. I try to use as many different elements in my work as I can.
You have spoken about always searching for new techniques, how do you see your work evolving
I’m not sure yet. But I think I’m getting away from photography a bit and working more with my drawings and embroidery. Also a big change in scale is coming.