From Lima, Peru, raised in Florida, US and Mallorca, Spain
Based in Beacon, New York
Emil's sculptures captivate the eye by highlighting elements of human physicality and mentality which he achieves by distorting or otherwise altering various parts of the human body
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?
E: I come from a family of artists: my mother, grandmother, aunt, my uncle and my other aunt were all visual artists. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil, and I never stopped. My family also had a ceramics studio where my brother (now a musician) and I spent a lot of time “playing with clay“. As a young adult, I thought I would draw comic books, but toward my later years of high school I became more aware of the larger scope of art history. My mother was adamant about taking us to every museum and ancient ruin that we were anywhere near, specifically throughout the Mediterranean, and Peru. All of this left a very strong impression on me and inevitably, my creativity.
A: What inspires you the most?
E: I believe inspiration comes from anything and everything. Music, books, film, conversations with friends and family, both ancient and contemporary art as well as science and philosophy. The important thing is to pay attention and try to take note of things when they come together in unexpected ways.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
E: I like to work alone although my wife Annie will help with painting, sanding, organizing or mold making from time to time. I like to work to music or audiobooks depending on the project. I work mostly during the day and sometimes into the evening.
My morning ritual consists of conversations with Annie, and affectionate cuddles with my dachshund, Alice followed by a quick workout to keep my body in good working order as sculpture can be physically demanding. Other than that, it’s just “get in the studio and start moving (or thinking)”.
A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (an artist or an admirer), what to begin with?
E: I often say that pursuing the fine art path is a “choose your own adventure” experience. There’s no right or wrong way to approach it. I think the artist’s intention is critical and often times this is the determining factor for what area of the fine arts they might find themselves in. For example, performance art is very different from printmaking, but both can be considered “fine arts”.
Ultimately, art is an expression of the individual soul, and on a larger scale, an attempt to connect the individual to the arcing narrative of human experience through creativity and through connectivity. The path the artist chooses is largely determined by their interests and by the community they immerse themselves in.
A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?
E: Active, expressive, connective. The process of art making is an action or an active meditation; a way to know thyself and to connect to reality on a deep level. Art is expressive, in that it is a conduit for the artist to explore themselves and the world, to discover more about the nature of humanity and the nature of reality. Art is connective in that it builds bridges and understanding, and in inspiration. Art transcends, borders, boundaries, languages, cultures, ethnicities and race.
A: The best angle to look at art is from ...?
E: The multi-dimensional angle. Regardless of the artist’s intentions, art has its own capacity to connect and communicate, according to the energy that has been infused into the work. By multi-dimensional, I mean there is no one way to perceive or understand art. Perception is as infinite as there are personalities and eyes to view it.
A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ...?
E: What did you think about the Jeff Koons show? Or, if you want to be critical, have you seen the documentary “The Price of Everything”? Or, if you want to be a little more sophisticated, how do you think Etruscan art influenced Roman art? Or just about anything one says can lead to discussing art.
A: Must-read books to help us talk about art (or do we even need them)?
E: "Boom!" by Michael Shnayerson. Another great book is "The Judgment of Paris" by Ross King. These two books provide great insight into where art has come in the last 150 years or so.
A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?
E: To change the art world would be to change human nature, which is very difficult and a massive work in progress. I think the art world can be a very challenging place to navigate. I’m specifically referring to the highest end, blue chip and blue chip adjacent art galleries. I would like for the elitism that surrounds that world to make a shift more toward radical vulnerability, which would more reflect the spirit of where the art comes from. I also think the speculative/investing approach to buying art is on the whole destructive. I would like for these collectors to to be less concerned with investing and more concerned with acquiring art that they love.
A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art).
E: My favorite quote is my own (in part because I can’t remember what other people say verbatim) as I feel it most accurately expresses my sentiment about existence on this planet. “Alive in the miracle!”
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