Ernesto Artillo’s collages merge fashion, culture and art to create works that reside in both the now and the forever. Fashion and art have been playful bedmates long before the modernists painted their reality on a 60’s shift. On the one hand you have a commercial entity, art for the people, worn everyday and voted on by the dollar. It’s glossy, fleeting and fickle. And on the other side is Art. Timeless, sacred and originally appraised by our cultural gatekeepers.
Here it’s a case of opposites attract, with each camp giving kudos to their respective teams. Artillo references the Renaissance, Modern Art, Surrealism and Matisse’s colour palettes to name a few. He’s worked for Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Six Lee and numerous fashion editorials. Straddling two worlds, his work is often about juxtaposing stark contrasts to create new rapports. The savage male with fragile flora, historical excess with modern minimalism, black & white with naive colour, fashion slick with the hand of an artist. And this is perhaps the secret to his alchemy.
By splintering, cutting and remixing these worlds we’re are able to witness how an artist creates his own style. We get to slice through the luster of a fashion editorial and see a personal new take imbued with meaning and intimacy. Just like an actor breaking the forth wall and talking directly to the audience, so too does Ernesto. No longer is Dior a fashionista’s distant peepshow when it is layered with images of Ernesto’s mother.
Growing up in Spain, his father always made collages but it wasn’t until recently that Ernesto started lessons with a group of enthusiasts. Building on this technique, Ernesto incorporates his own fashion photography. For him it’s a way of adding gesture, allowing him to detach from his tendency “of keeping everything in order”. Opening up to new readings and pleasant surprises, this aspect of collage is articulated beautifully by William Burroughs – who popularized word collages with his cut-up technique in the 50’s. “You cannot will spontaneity. But you can introduce the unpredictable spontaneous factor with a pair of scissors”.
See more of what he’s currently working on here.