ARTIST OF THE WEEK: ALBERTO SEVESOMay 21, 2015
Beauty is a fleeting thing, you know. It’s always on the way out. You look at it too closely, it dissolves. You try to pause it, it vanishes. Most of the time beauty happens where nobody is there to see it, too fast for anyone to notice. We can only appreciate it later, when somebody shows us what we missed.
Take the transient forms of Albert Seveso’s work, for example. The great swirling explosions of colour he creates exist only for a split second, a product of the random alchemy that occurs when paint hits water. These are shapes that could not normally be fully beheld by human eyes, but thanks to Alberto’s carefully-constructed laboratory and huge leaps forward in photography technology, here they are; an alternate universe of alien shapes, happening right beneath your eyeballs.
We dropped in on the artist to find out more.
UO: Hi Alberto! These pictures are really striking. Could you tell us how you go about creating them?
Alberto: The process is quite easy- all you need to do is pour the varnish into the water. I must admit that it’s not easy as I just described, because I spent a lot of time building all that stuff that I now use to shoot varnish into the water, and it’s still a work in progress… Most of the time I can catch something beautiful just by chance but, of course, it’s very, very important to find the right light and- this is the hardest part- find the perfect mix between varnish and water and the way to pour this mix into the tank.
UO: Do you think the increasing role that technology plays in our lives is helping or hindering our appreciation of beauty?
Alberto: Without modern technology my photographs would not exist, and probably no one would notice how much beauty there is in a simple mixture of acrylic paint that falls into a tank of water. So, technology is a good thing if used properly but we should not abuse it because an excessively use turns something beauty into something grotesque, like the overuse of Photoshop in fashion and editorial photography.
UO: There’s an element of the uncontrollable in your work- the final outcome must be random to some extent. How does that unknowability shape the way you work? Do you wish it was more predictable?
Alberto: I always was a big fan of the chaos theory, and a big fan of Pollock- I love the unpredictability of life. So I’m in love with these random shapes and the emotional charge that comes out from these colour explosions. If it were possible to predict the result I think I would have stopped, I’d be bored! Although many years are gone from the first click, I’m still doing this kind of photography, because the results are always changing. There is always something new and exciting in doing this.
UO: What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
Alberto: I define myself as “someone playing with software, hardware, colours and creativity”. I don’t consider myself as an artist, artist is too much. I think we abuse this word “art” and “artist”. there are too many artists who aren’t really, and I’m one of them! But to answer your question, I think I would become chef. Maybe I would have my own restaurant by now!