In an economy where the archetypal starving artist may face extinction, creatives face the dilemma of whether they should be making art and making art for art’s sake. New York-based Othelo Gervacio has handled this dilemma by self-consciously doing both. He’s part of bi-coastal creative collective Alldayeveryday, where he held the position as Art Director until a few months ago, but he’s also a multi-disciplinary artist who plays with an array of dark imagery and does tongue-in-cheek nods to pop culture.
In his last show, All Apologies, Gervacio was inspired by the book Irving Penn: Flowers, where, in 1967, Penn was commissioned by Vogue to photograph flowers for seven summers, focusing on one particular flower each year. Gervacio also draws inspiration from Cy Twombly’s large-scale flower paintings, and from Robert Mapplethorpe’s provocatively erotic floral renderings.
But Gervacio has transposed a post-modern take on his own floral works—names of his works include playful yet wistful Internet Age names like This Could Be Us But You Playing, and cynical statements like Boo Fuckin’ Hoo with plants superimposed on paper. In his upcoming autumn show, Gervacio will be exhibiting with American multi-media artist Matt McCormick at Alldayeveryday’s Project Space venue in Downtown LA. Here we ask him 5 questions to get to the root of him.
Why is New York home for you?
This is where my friends are, my family. I have my apartment in Brooklyn, I have my studio in Brooklyn. There are certain types of people that live here that I surround myself with. I mean I’m sure you can find them all around the world but there’s a certain energy of New York that keeps me here.
How would you describe that energy?
It’s inspiring, it’s ever-evolving.
What are your favourite movies?
Recently I re-watched My Own Private Idaho, and I just watched La Haine recently. Those are two of my favourite movies.
What are three words that could describe you and what you do?
Weird, I guess. Particular and calculated.
If you could hang out with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Andy Warhol. He’s a super interesting guy and it would have been interesting to walk around with him for a day and see what his perspective on reality was.