The artist, the day of her first solo show.
- Name: Andrezza Valentin
- Created on: 1978-January-07
- Record last updated on: 2009-June-25
- Homepage: andrezza.com
- Domain: Art, Design, Photography, Filmmaking
- Location: New York City (by way of São Paulo, Brazil)
Andrezza Valentin has been running around frantically the past few days. This past Thursday, the 30-year old São Paulo native opened her first solo show, Geometry of Ruins, right here at our very own Flux studio in Venice, California. Despite all the challenges, Andrezza managed to stay very elegant, well-spoken and coordinated even after her tenth visit to the hardware store. The outcome was a warm and enthusiastic group of over 200 people clamoring about our small studio in order to get a better look into the the mind and heart of Ms. Valentin. The day of the show, we caught up with Andrezza to catch a few last minute glances into what lies behind her creations.
You have a somewhat longstanding relationship with the Flux family, how did this come to be? Tell us a little about yourself and what was it like working on Outside In?
Before a I moved to LA, I participated in RESFEST a few times as an artist and also as an art director for the Brazilian version of the festival. Once I moved to LA, my husband Gui was introduced to Jonathan and later I was introduced to both Jonathan and Meg. Meg invited me to participate in their first Flux Salon and launch party. The theme was Outside In, where Flux transformed a warehouse into a backyard indoors complete with grass, trees, fencing, the works. Outside In was a really fun project and one of the first ones I did with Flux. I created a mural for the launch and I really enjoyed doing this project. Besides the long hours of painting that Meg, Gabrielle and I had to do, we also had a lot of fun and a lot of beers.
One of Andrezza’s several haunting photos being shown in the Flux Studio in Venice.
You are currently gearing up for your first solo show, Geometry of Ruins, here at Flux. How have you been feeling as the exhibit approaches, describe your daily routine these past two weeks?
Geometry of Ruins is my first solo show in the US, but I have already done two other solo shows in Brazil. I’m very excited to see how the opening night is going to be and how people will receive the work. Also, this exhibition is special for me, because it is my first show where I worked with a collaborator. I have been working with Gui Marcondes (Valentin’s husband) and other friends in animation, music video and design projects, but this was the first time that I worked with someone, him in particular, to create an art project. My daily routine has been very intense, waking up early and spending the whole day at the studio with lots of people helping me to set the show up, and of course countless trips to Home Depot and Fedex Kinkos.
You work with a wide variety of media and have an extensive portfolio of compelling work. After twenty or so exhibitions, how has your preparation approach changed? Has anything about the process gotten easier?
My first exhibition experiences were very stressful, mostly because I used to work a lot with ephemeral and fragile materials like ice and mirrors. Those materials were very difficult to control and due to the nature of it I couldn’t finish the work before hand, so on opening night it would always be a surprise. I would set the work, just a few minutes before the reception time and it was one of the most intense moments, because if anything went wrong there wasn’t a second chance. Nowadays, after having twenty or more exhibitions, the pre-production process has definitely become easier. There is a discipline to it. Still each time it’s hard to predict the different challenges and stressful situations that can occur, but I always keep in mind that the most important thing is to have everything ready for the opening no matter what it takes.
“Artificial Infinity,” a video installation. (photo from Kitsune Noir)
This project, like many of your others, is a collaboration with your husband, artist/animator/filmmaker Guilherme Marcondes (who has been featured on the site). How do you decide on the direction of the works and is it ever a struggle?
Working with Gui was a natural process. We have very compatible tastes when it comes to art, design, literature and cinema. In the beginning it wasn’t that easy, but after seven years that we’ve been together as a couple and collaborators, I can’t imagine not working with him. However, as I mentioned before we are still discovering new ways to collaborate with each other as with Geometry of Ruins, where for the first time we worked together to create art. When it comes to deciding which way to go, the process depends on the kind of media we are thinking to explore. Sometimes I would start something by myself and in the process Gui would get involved and vice-versa. Other times we would gather references, ideas and have several talks until the point when we both agreed on what the project would be.
“Depois que 2005″
“Ultimo Retrato 2006″
A large portion of your work, including this latest project, chronicles the deconstruction of physical structures—the body in your previous works included latex, ice, wax and now concrete structures or “ruins.” Where do you think this interest in decomposition comes from?
What drives me to work with this concept is the attempt to recreate, through images or actions, the conflicting emotions related to death. On the one hand one can see it as renewal, transformation and progression; on the other hand it means loss, oblivion and decay. Because it probably is the one experience that is certainly shared by every single person, death is part of our universal imagery, possessing its own related culture and a vast range of symbols created in an attempt to deal with its inevitability.
You clearly take an interest in mixed media work, what are your favorite mediums to work in? Is there any particular area in which you wish to begin exploring?
I like working with ephemeral materials to create installations or performances and lately I’m enjoying working with video and animation. In the future I hope to explore more interactive and video-based works.
The mural Andrezza created for Flux in 2007
When was the last time you were back in Sao Paulo and do you find your home plays an integral role in your creations?
Actually I think it is contrary to your question. I didn’t have to go back to realize how São Paulo was important to me, but I had to live away from it to find out that my main source of inspiration is from there. Now that I’m living in New York City, I feel that I’m back in touch with some the things that inspire me.
During your time studying at SENAI and FAAP (Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado) you also spent six months abroad in Paris. How did your time there affect your artistic leanings, if at all?
My time in Paris was very important in my artistic career. It was the first time where I met artists from other countries and that experience allowed me to have a broader vision of the kind of work that was being done and shown outside of Brazil. Above all the most significant experience was to be at Christian Boltanski’s atelier under his guidance. Beaux-Arts has an amazing faculty and it was difficult to choose which atelier to apply for. The decision was tough. I had so many amazing options like Jean-Marc Bustamanti and Annette Messager, but I made up my mind when I saw the short movie, ‘46 jours qui précédèrent la mort de Françoise Guiniou’ of Boltanski at Maison Europeenne de la Photographie. Influenced by this particular work and from what I learned at his studio, I started experimenting with video for the first time and my work changed completely since then.
2006 Margem Tempo, a refracted projection
So you seem to have a fair dose of the travel bug, why did you choose to move to Los Angeles? And then what spurred your move to New York? Do you think you’ll stay for a while? Any travel plans in the future?
I moved to LA because of Gui’s work. When he left that job, we stayed for one more year, but I was missing the craziness of big a metropolis like New York and São Paulo. I like noise, busy streets, people everywhere and the non-stop rhythm of those places. Maybe, I’m crazy… but I feel energized and inspired by this chaos. I don’t have any travel plans in the near future, but I do plan to stay in NYC for a while. I love it there!
What have your influences been in the past and how have they evolved over time?
I think my references in the past were far more academic and influenced by what I learned in fine arts school, but now my influences are not pigeonholed by what is considered art and it has evolved to an appreciation for more experimental works and especially for artists who work with different media.
What have been your favorite projects to work on?
This is a difficult question, I like all the projects that I have done! Each one of them brings me a different feeling so I’ll highlight the ones that I think are significant to me from a career perspective. In order of significance, “Visagem” (2007), Tyger (2005), “A margem do tempo” (2006) “If I wasn’t real, I shouldn’t be able to cry” (2004), “I’m inside you” (2002) and Untitled (ice installation - 2001).
What projects have been the most challenging, either physically or mentally?
I think the most challenging were the ones where I used ice and mirrors. They were extremely difficult materials to work with and required a huge amount of thinking and emotional strength.
In an ideal world, what directions would you like to pursue in the future?
I love and will always continue to pursue art. My hope is to be able to continue to do it on a level where I am constantly challenged, engaged and surprised by what I have yet to discover.
2003 performance where Andrezza sat for 3 hours as visitors walked over her unfurled dress on a gallery floor
GEOMETRY OF RUINS
Runs June 18-July 11
Open Wed-Sat 2-5pm (closed July 4)
At Flux 326 Sunset Avenue Venice CA
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