SchoolArts Magazine

January 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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26 JANUARY 2018 SchoolArts L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G ARTIST Q&A SchoolArts: What are some of the biggest influences on your work, including other artists, events, or things out- side of the arts? Javier de Riba: Looking at how others work. I'm thank- ful that, with the Internet, I get to meet incredible people and work with them. Collaborating with people is a great source of inspiration. I also like looking at what other designers and street artists come up with. I never had any idols, but I have a big respect for Aryz. I love his work! SA: How do the materials you use help express your ideas? JDR: I plan ahead by developing the main message I want to share and deliver. Then I try to find the medium that best fits my intent because I believe the medium is the message; finding the right medium is key, as it will express the message. SA: What excites you about working with abandoned buildings or old doors? JDR: I locate abandoned and gray spaces and apply paint or varnish to them. It moves me to imagine that one day these spaces harbored experiences, and were part of some- one's daily life, but now they are left forgotten. Through my intervention, I allow this sensation to flourish—and I try to offer a testimony of these past lives. SA: How do you choose the locations for your Floors or Varnish paintings? What makes them the right place for your work? JDR: In my homeland, Catalonia, there are a lot of abandoned places. It's a big problem, so I do have a lot to choose from. I intentionally choose a place, taking into account the con - trast that I create between my intervention and this space. When I find an abandoned place, I get in and take pictures. Then I check them carefully and decide where and how to work. SA: How do you balance your street art installations with your more commercial design work (posters, etc.)? JDR: I love all of them. Each project lets me develop in a different way. I always try to break my own style and it makes each project enjoyable. I think that the point is to diversify and take each medium and canvas with the moti- vation of the first time. SA: What is a typical workday like for you? JDR: Unstable! I'm working now on my future studio when I can and traveling with my artistic collective, Reskate, paint - ing murals around the world. At the moment, I'm working wherever I can. Every day is different and I adapt myself. SA: Do you have specific strategies, rituals, or routines that help you work and/or generate ideas? JDR: First of all, I read and get a lot of information. Then I start doing other things like walking, talking with friends... It's not good to force ideas; I need time and calm. SA: What advice could you give students about the artistic process (not just the end result)? JDR: You have to find your own process by working. Art is not a factory. We as artists should try and fail in order to discover new ways to communicate. And, of course, try to communicate good values. We have a big responsibility. DISCUSSION Begin by showing students Javier de Riba's work (center spread). Ask them to identify what materials they believe de Riba used to create the artwork. Allow them to con - tinue guessing until someone guesses that paint may have been used. Next, show them the photo of de Riba working with stencils and a paint roller on page 23. After a brief explanation of his process, share an example of Catalonian ceramic tile design. Ask: • What does de Riba's Floor painting have in common with tile design? • Why do you think de Riba places his tile paintings in abandoned buildings? • What does it mean to "intervene" with a public space? What are some other examples of artwork that does this? • What areas in this school or community could benefit from artistic intervention? STUDIO EXPLORATIONS • Create a 2D artwork that mimics a texture or pattern and attach it to an unexpected place in your school (e.g., floor, wall, ceiling). • Design a collaborative 3D artwork and install it some- where in the artroom or school building (after obtaining appropriate permissions). • Design an individual or collaborative intervention for a neglected building or structure in your community. Cre - ate a project proposal (including a written description of your intentions for the project and how it will benefit the community), a detailed 2D design, and a 3D model. • Work with your teacher to submit your proposal to the appropriate authorities. Be prepared to present your project to the school board, city council, or other group. If approved, collaborate with your teacher and fellow students to create and install your project. Document the process with photos and video and invite your local media and press. Written by Karl Cole, Art Historian and Curator of Images at Davis Publications and Robb Sandagata, Digital Curriculum Director and Editor at Davis Publications. RESOURCES www.javierderiba.com Facebook: @JRGraphics Instagram: @javierderiba For more art, see page 45.

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