“Art is communication, Internet is communication”
- Alejandro Vigilante, Founder, i-Art Movement
Alejandro Vigilante, the Argentine-born, banker turned jet-setting artist, is the driving force behind an exciting and vibrant art movement called “i-Art” that melds iconic pop culture with the fast and ever-changing world of Internet communications.
Alejandro at work in his studio.
Renowned design author, Saxon Henry describes his i-Art process:
In terms of [Alejandro’s] process, his paintings are acrylic on wood. He then transfers images onto the backgrounds in a technique for which Robert Rauschenberg was known. Many people think that because he’s inspired by the internet, it means he is just doing digital art. It’s far from it; his painterly hand definitely shows in his work and the transfer technique on top of the paint is an incredible tricky process that has taken him years to perfect.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
How would you describe your artistic influences?
Alejandro: My father, who was an architect and a painter, inspired me to paint. Then, a teacher in art school who taught me sculpture and drawing cemented my philosophy. In terms of artists’ works I admire the most, I’d have to say Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg are my biggest influences.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid plan bank robberies via e-mail.
How has your art evolved throughout your career?
Alejandro: My first pieces were surrealist or metaphysical abstracts. From the late 1970s on, I’ve been moving toward more conceptual work, but my newest work is the most conceptual yet. Once I took the time to really look at what the progenitors of Pop Art were doing, I felt they’d paved the way for artists like myself to explore different aspects of pop culture, and it really appealed to me.
Alejandro’s I-Art paintings in Miami Home.
Looking through your online photo archive I came across a photo of you on the ground on September 11th, 2001- flanked by law enforcement officials covered in the grey-white dust that has become synonymous with that tragic date. As an artist how did the events of September 11th, 2001 impact your artwork?
Alejandro: The day of September 11th was a turning point for me. It was then that I felt how precious life is for those of us who survived and I also saw how much communication has changed our lives. The world and the media were focused on that one section of Manhattan and there was such a massive amount of communication taking place during and after the attacks that I realized it was a rich concept to explore. That’s when my work took a turn toward the i-Art Movement and I’ve never looked back.
What are your favorite museums?
Alejandro: Hands down, it would have to be Museum of Modern Art in New York. I could spend days strolling through the galleries looking at the contemporary art—a retrospective of Jackson Pollack’s work that I saw there remains one of my favorites to this day. Seeing Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” at MoMA was almost a spiritual experience for me: one I’ll also never forget. I enjoy the Museo de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, as well, because they have one of the most well-rounded collections in Argentina.
Lady GaGa i-Art portrait – one of Alejandro’s most recent commissions.
Being an artist can be wonderful (pursuing a dream and creating) yet, difficult at times (operating a business). How do you find the balance and the inspiration to manage both aspects of being an artist in business?
Alejandro: I view my life as an artist very similarly to how I work when I’m mixing paint—there is a perfect proportion that just feels right when I’m combining colors and it’s like that with the push-pull of marketing versus creating. Of course, there’s never a perfect balance and the creative periods tend to come in waves. When I’m not working on a new series, I am connecting with my community on the internet—one of the strongest ways I promote my work. I’m also fortunate to have a good gallerist in Miami, Dmitry Prut of Avant Gallery.
Alejandro Vigilante on the Web:
All images copyright of respective owners.