Briefly describe the work you do.
By layering house paint, I construct paint skins from which I then laboriously manipulate to create sculptural paintings and installations.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I grew up around orchards and was surrounded by thousands of trees and all the natural textures that come with it. I attempt to mimic these natural textures in my work, by allowing imperfections and constant manipulation to occur in order to avoid a manufactured look. My early desire for becoming an architect and studying two years of architecture in college has also unconsciously influenced my work and I have begun to notice architectural elements in almost everything I do.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
The studio space is an art piece in itself, and one that is constantly changing and evolving. I spend as much time as I can in the studio making individual pieces, but it’s also used as a way to create small versions of large installations. By making these small installations, I am able to test out aesthetic and logistics for the larger ideas.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
Being considered a painter, and the possible impact my work could have in the history of art. Ive also only been pursuing being an artist for five years, so when I started I was unaware of what other artists had previously done to define painting. Making “traditional” or two dimensional paintings wasn’t an interest, but the idea that painting can take any form, and have it be more than just a medium, but a way of experiencing art, excites me.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
I’m definitely a night person, and enjoy to do most of my work late in the night if possible That being said I am not always able to work at night, so I’ve learned to work when time allows through out the day, with my only requirement being that I spent at least an hour a day.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
Like I previously mentioned I’ve only been creating work for five years, the first year was focused on printmaking, and more than having a style it was all about exploring and learning the techniques. Style drastically changed when I began layering paint and making sculptural paintings, five years ago I wouldn’t of thought I would be making objects and installations. The idea of process, experimentation, and learning about a material/technique has stayed with me. The laborious, tedious process to produce an image, has now converted to that same laborious an tedious process to construct paint skins in order to make sculptural paintings.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
There have been multiple professors that have reminded me to be patient with the process in order to accomplish successful work, to be more observant of the world and all its textures and details, and also how to know when to stop making when working with multiples. Family and friends have been there to listen to me rant about my artwork even when they have no idea what it is that I am talking about.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
When I was 12, I told myself that I was going to be an architect, and whenever there was an opportunity in school to take a class to help me achieve that goal, I would take it. In college I studied two years of architecture before I realized it was a false childhood dream, and it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My interests lie on the idea of exploration and continuation of learning new forms of creativity, and being an artist would allow my to do this. I have currently been sketching and planning ideas for a fashion collection that will tie in with my next paint skin installation.
Jovanni Luna was born in Wenatchee, Washington. He received his BFA from Washington State University, and MFA from Columbus College of Art and Design. He is currently living in Nashville, TN, with a studio space at Ground Floor Gallery+Studios.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.