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The Sound of Music by Javiera Estrada

Javiera Estrada

Culver City, CA - United States

Description

Multi¬media artist Javiera Estrada was born in Mexico and moved to the United States in 1989. Her training in classical piano, dance and violin, which continues to inspire her aesthetic today, heavily influenced her childhood. She attended Santa Monica College and received her Certificate of Photography in 2009. Estrada’s broad scope of work is a reflection of memories that she has shaped into her reality. A seeker of the spiritual, Estrada believes that every piece of art created is a self¬ portrait, a physical expression of that inner nameless world our soul inhabits. Using photography as her main visual medium, the sound of the camera's click offers her the perfect confluence between the real and the ethereal. A multifarious artist, Estrada’s creative expression encompasses traditional photography alongside mixed media. Her mixed media works are a comment on the natural cycle of life, death and rebirth and reflected through the deconstruction of the image.

Estrada has exhibited in galleries in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her work is part of private and corporate collections internationally. In 2014 she won Art Slant’s Juried Competition, was a 2015 finalist for the Emerging Focus Competition and is the 2017 winner of the ND Awards Fine Art Category. Estrada made her first short film in 2017 entitled, The Dream, which was selected in Best of Shorts at the Carmel International Film Festival. Estrada currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Artist statement

1. What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

The search for meaning and the comprehension of it is the underlining theme in all of my work. This segments into the complexities of the subconscious mind, dreams, and the polarities between darkness and light. I am fascinated with this ephemeral experience we call life. Our own mortality, in my opinion, is the most powerful subject one can explore, as any question preceding it is extraneous.
In addition, I find the feminine form to be crushingly beautiful and am mesmerized by it’s multifarious expressions. There is something quite magical stripping away all material objects and capturing a woman in her most vulnerable and organic nature.

2. How did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to it specifically?

At the age of 6 I knew I wanted to be an artist. This of course oscillated between a multitude of arts including dance, music and fine art. At 16 I was gifted a Nikon film camera along with some beautiful lenses. This spawned the obsession into photography. I always envied painters and wished I were able to channel my ideas onto canvas. Unfortunately, I did not have that gift which is why this medium was so attractive. I tend to move very fast and need immediate gratification, therefore making photography the most natural match.

3.How has your style and practice changed over the years?

My style is constantly evolving. I would say the spirit behind the work is consistent but the way in which I express it changes. I don’t like being pigeon holed into one avenue, which is why some bodies of work are drastically different. Whether it’s colorful abstract or a black and white nude, I feel the essence of the work is the same, a discovery of the self.
My first series was aesthetically very dark and moody. They were large-scale nudes wearing masks adhered on wood and covered in resin. I was full of youthful vigor and moved very fast which caused a lot of frustration. Today, I am more methodical, meticulous and conscious when I create. I no longer run to Home Depot at 10pm to buy supplies for whatever crazy idea I had an hour before. I now sit with an idea for a LONG time before I take action to make sure I am happy with the path I’m committing to.
In recent years I have also observed my work getting progressively lighter in subject matter and brighter in its color palette. I still love shooting black and white film and can’t imagine ever stopping am now allowing myself to wander through a color explosion and enjoying it.

4. Can you walk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just jump in? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?

My process varies depending on the series. There are shoots that occur organically such as my underwater abstracts with ink and flowers. I started experimenting with ink and flowers in water and through that came the works of Pillars of Creation and Fleur de Sel.
Then there are some series such as SALT + SEA, which is an ongoing project that started in 2009, where many of the images were sketched beforehand. It’s usually a combination of a preconceived idea and the magic of capturing what reveals itself in the moment.
I don’t work linearly and find that most of my series are never “completed” as I find a burst of fresh imagination and return to them periodically for a few months while I have 3 or 4 other projects I’m simultaneously working on. I follow the flow of inspiration and sometimes that takes me on windy roads.
In regards to knowing when a piece is finished, that is something which continues to challenge me. I may sit with an image or collage for months or even years before I feel that I have the contrast or color grading just right. Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away and be done, otherwise it will drive you crazy.

5. Who are your favorite writers?

I am a voracious reader and love literature so much that I’ve been hosting a book club for over 6 years now. I am partial to the dense classics, especially Russian authors such as Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. Not unlike my creative process, I like to struggle a bit in order to find meaning.
There are so many writers I love. A few off the top of my head are Patti Smith, Herman Hesse, Jeffrey Eugenides, Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Edgar Allen Poe.

6. What are some of your favorite experiences as an artist and why?

I love new experiences and as an artist this is very fulfilling as each project opens doors to new worlds. For example I was working on a mural in Atlanta in a shabby part of town where not an hour went by before hearing the colorful critiques of the homeless. They were curious and excited to have art on the wall and I could see that my work was impacting their environment. There were many discussions on what the piece meant and how they felt about it.
On the other end of the spectrum I’ve flown in a glass helicopter over an incredible property to photograph a landscape for a commission. It’s truly amazing at how unique and distinct each creative experience can be.

Local shows

2018 Saatchi Art Fair (Oct.) Barkar Hanger, L.A CA
2018 Solo Show, In the Bedroom, (June), Skye Gallery,Aspen, Colorado
2018 Solo Show, Nocturnal Visions (May) Show Gallery, Hollywood, CA
2018 Constructed Saatchi Group Show (Feb.), L.A CA
2017 Saatchi + Ebay Exhibition London
2016 Photo L.A, Jan. CA
2015 Solo Show Pillars of Creation (Sept.-Oct) Boite Noire Gallery, PDC, CA
2015 Affordable Art Fair, (Nov.) Hamburg, Germany
2015 Photo Basel, (June) Basel, Switzerland
2015 Affordable Art Fair (June) Hong Kong, China
2015 Affordable Art Fair, (May) Singapore, Singapore
2015 Photo Independent (May) L.A, CA
2015 Photo L.A (Jan.) L.A, CA
2014 Group Show (Feb.) Create Fixate, Venice, CA
2014 Solo Show “Salt + Sea” (June-Sept) Laemlee, Pasadena, CA
2014 Group Show (May)”Mysterious Flight” 508 Gallery, SM, CA
2014 Photo Independent (April) West Hollywood, CA
2014 Group Show Create Fixate (March 8) "I Art You" L.A, CA
2014 Javiera + Emma Ferreira (Feb.1-March 1) "UNION" Silent Gallery, SM, CA
2013 Group Show (Oct.10-Nov.10) "Seeing Buddha" 508 Gallery, SM, CA
2013 Group Show (April 11-May 11 2013) "Horses" Ethos Gallery, L.A, CA
2013 Mopla Group Show (April 10-June 10) "Pin-Up" Robert Berman Gallery, SM, CA
2013 Group Show (Feb.23-March 23) "A Beautiful Oblivion" 508 Gallery, SM, CA
2013 Photo L.A (Jan.17-21) Art Capitol, L.A, CA
2012 Photo L.A ( Jan.17-21 Smashbox, L.A, CA
2012 Group Show (April 28th) "Snap Flash" Create Fixate, L.A, CA
2011 Group Show (Dec.8)"Face-Off" Smashbox Studios, Hollywood, CA (2nd Place)
2011 Group Show (April 9) "Rise" Create Fixate, L.A, CA
2011 Group Show (Jan. 28-April. 1) "Human Curve" Whole 9 Gallery, Culver City, CA
2011 Juried Exhibition by Craig Krull Jan. 23-Feb.23) "Photography" Topanga Art Gallery, CA
2010 Solo Show (Dec.11-Feb.23) "CROWNS + VEILS" M2 Gallery, L.A, CA
2010 Group Show (August 26) "Pro'jekt LA" Lucie Foundation, L.A, CA
2010 Group Show (April 29-May 29) "MOPLA Show" SmashBox Studio, L.A CA
2009 Group Exhibition (Oct. 25) "Unique Techniques" The Whole 9 Gallery, L.A ,CA
2009 Group Exhibition (Sept. 26) "Snap Flash", Create Fixate, L.A, CA
2009 Group Exhibition (July1-31) "Live Nude Girls", Tracy Park Gallery, Malibu, CA
2009 Group Exhibition (May 3-29) "Dirty", Cathexis, Trim, Abbot Kinney, CA
2008 Group Exhibition (May 31-June 6), "Cathexis", Venice, CA
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