Inside the Mind of Xavier Ott
Xavier Ott is a “surreal graffiti artist”. In the first issue of our magazine we had a look at his work and his thoughts on the topic of what makes art good. We had the pleasure to talk to him regarding his latest project: something he calls the infinite fresco. It is quite difficult to describe this artwork as it is quite unique; it is a grid of different canvases that when stacked together create an entity that flows from one picture into another.
What inspired you to make the “infinite fresco”?
The fresco gradually emerged on Instagram by associating different flows of my paintings. Come to think of it this artwork in reality came to life after I reflected upon a number of thoughts: How can we capture our world; a world full of performance and concepts? Having the ability to show life and artistic creation symbolizes presence, engagement, passion, pleasure, suffering, perseverance, audacity, perception, discovery and adaptation. How do I capture all this in art?
Drawing has always been part of my life and I find myself always attemption to interact with my subconcious mind. I came to the conclusion that every moment offers an infinite amount of possibilities whereas every instant is truly just a beggining to something new.
Am I drawing this to symbolise the constant stuggle between humans, plants and animals that live while they evolve? OR perhaps I am just being selfish and trying to save my soul from repetition.
What can we see in your artwork?
There are definitely characters in my artwork. As I mentioned before in your magazine, my characters often overlap in order to create multiple different facial expressions. I am trying to study the concept of masks: do we change our attitude and personality depending on our environment?
I personally think that the fresco encapsules life and its stages. The ups and downs, the changes of perspective and perception. It expresses both jo and softness and at the same time suffering, the effort we go through when living, the looks which humans carry on themselves but also the looks on other people who are filled with changing emotion. I am trying to convey the transformation of stories which we may find in history and time.
How do you feel when making such art: a form that is constantly flowing and changing?
I think this is my style of work. I found myself always changing my styles anyway. I fits me because I love taking risks and living in the moment. I change and disturb the conventional while I conciously lose myself in order find myself in a state that better fits my creation. I think this process gives life to my artwork.
How do you even start making something like this? Doesn’t adding a canvas destroy the whole structure?
You start making it by painting it. No but on a serious note; to paint this project requires several canvases and many manipulations in order to systematically unite all the edges. I make sure that the edges of each canvas can be fitted with multiple edges. Think of it as a puzzle, but instead of one piece being able to only fit one gap, it can actually fit a whole section! It is definetly not easy work, but I feel it is essential to create it no matter what.
How big is your fresco currently?
I actually started creating “infinite” paintings years ago, before my accident. Recently, in November I started to make tests online in order to understand the way the grid changes inside Instagram. The day I posted the first tile of the infinite fresco is the 13th of January and since then I added one canvas every day. It is currently measuring about 6.5 meters. All of this is happening in my 12 x 12 meters attic in order for the paint to dry. I am currently building a greenhouse in order to prevent any dust of accumulating and also repel insects that might land on the wet paint. I approximate that on the 13th of January 2020 it will measure 24 meters! The question is how big will it be the day I will die…
I’m a digital marketer and video editor by day but my heart lies in the world of art and film psychology. Having worked with art galleries and artists I noticed a gap between artists and customers and a lack of experience and knowledge on how to close that gap. The EscapeArt project aims to help emerging artists navigate the art world as well as combine the arsenal of digital tools that can help you become a successful artist.