INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST GONZALO PAPANTONAKIS
Gonzalo Papantonakis weaves the written word, music, and abstract images together to create delicate cultural patchworks. His colorful works will be on display tomorrow at gallery nine5 in New York until April 7th.
Papantonakis, (1964) spent his childhood between Uruguay and Argentina, before traveling extensively throughout Europe and the States. His use of collage embeds layers of meaning in each work and produce vast tapestries of association. Self taught, many of his pieces are an homage created for people whom Papantonakis admires.
One of his signature techniques is the incorporation of sheet music into his canvases. His works have been exhibited widely and are held in numerous private collections throughout the United States, Europe and South America.
Greatest inspirations or influences?
Everything inspires me. All day long I paint – and inspiration will strike me continually. Since I moved to L.A., I have been spending a lot of time with my best friend and his children. His daughter, Milla, has been a long-standing inspiration on my work. Many of the flowers in my series I created for her. Music is also an endless source of inspiration to me. I don’t often listen to the lyrics – it’s the harmony and tune that I am drawn to first. After a while, I will begin listening to the lyrics, but the music itself is what is most important to me. I’m very addicted to the news. I watch it and read it all day. Current events are a great influence on my work, and many of my pieces are quite political. Finally, the street inspires me. Street art is such a diverse blend of elements. Everyone adding a little something – it’s such a rich mix.
Most interesting response to you work so far?
After my first solo show in New York, I was asked by 60 Thompson to create a large-scale installation for the Thom Bar. This is definitely the best response I’ve had so far to my work!
To be honest, I don’t use the internet that often. Other than reading the news I don’t tend to follow many blogs or websites. I find it takes a lot of time and I would rather be making art.
Dream project for you?
What I’m doing right now. I’m living off my art which, for me, is living the dream.
Favorite exhibitions you have seen?
Whenever there is a Basquiat show, I go and see it immediately.