Art has been used to explore the annuls of human consciousness for centuries. It has been used as a means to dissect ubiquitous social concepts and our emotional or psychosexual impetus. The modern age has introduced a new element into the fray however, and that’s social media.
Meet Luis Quiles, a Spanish artist who uses his work to examine sexuality and it’s relationship to status and sentimentality. While Luis himself doesn’t like to ascribe specific meanings to his pieces (he feels that is something that should be left up to the viewer) it is quite clear that he is looking to probe the overarching themes of capitalism, connection, and sensuality that are on full display in the modern world.
He doesn’t limit himself to analyzing eroticism or social networking, but it could be argued that his most famous works are when he offers his insight on cyber connectivity and the digital world at large.
He has not been without controversy however and it doesn’t take long to find people who dislike Luis’s brand of commentary. Some have called it immature or needlessly edgy.
At any rate, he has found an audience for his creations and he is satisfied with that.
He let me pick his brain and talks about his views on criticism, the inspiration for his style, and his influences.
Prox: What did you study that pushed you to create political art? Was there a particular social event or movement that inspired you to make these statements about culture and the establishment?
Luis: I didn't ask myself to do that, it just comes naturally and I felt the necessity to explain the way that I view the society I live in.
Prox: Some people say that your work is controversial for the sake of controversy. How do you feel about detractors who call your art immature?
Luis: I don't expect everyone to like my works. As long as they feel something when they experience my pieces, I don't mind if it’s a good or bad feeling.
Prox: Much of your work incorporates sexuality and social media. Why have you decided to marry these things together? What does your pieces say about how sex and social media have become so intertwined?
Luis: I've made drawings about things other than social media, but social media is a good topic because you can use that to explain many behaviors in our current society. As far as sexuality goes, from my first drawings I was trying to show that you can use sexuality to explain things and not only for erotic stuff.
Prox: With the state of the Western world being what it is from a political standpoint, how important is it to have artists attempting to speak their truth?
Luis: I don’t think you should have to force yourself to talk about that in your art. It has to be natural. It is important if you speak about it with honesty and not because the people expect that from you.
Prox: Of all of your pieces, which do you think is the most impactful? How does it encapsulate everything you’re attempting to say?
Luis: I don't know which one is "the one." From my works I like the ones that I can't understand what I'm talking about. I like when I can make drawings with many interpretations.
I like for people to be free to understand or misunderstand the meaning of my works. This is why I don't explicitly state the meanings.
Prox: Tell us something about yourself that we may not know that influences your work.
Luis: I don't have the influences that many people may think. My greatest influences are the manga artists from the 80's: Mitsuru Adachi, Leiji Matsumoto, Hayao Miyazaki. I am also very influenced by Kurt Cobain/Nirvana, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, and filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and Alfred Hitchcock.
Prox: Favorite Hobbies?
Luis: I spend a lot of time watching cinema, reading books or comics. I always need to get new stories.
Prox: Tips for aspiring artists?
Luis: Be honest with yourself and about your work. Work hard, and don't try to be the best, just try to be the best version of you.
Prox: Anymore information on other upcoming projects and releases?
Luis: Actually working on many projects including artbooks, and comic books to publish the next year.
Prox: Final Thoughts?
Luis: Don’t believe everything you find on the internet.
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