Bart Exposito’s paintings have previously referenced geometry and corporate logos, drawing parallels with graphic design and creating a flat surface, that is almost flatter than flat. Elephant caught up with the artist as his most figurative show yet, Strange Alphabet, opens at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
Where are you right now (and is it where you want to be)?
I presently live in a small community outside of Santa Fe New Mexico called Lamy. There’re some houses and a train depot and not much else. It’s perfect! I had my sights set on New Mexico for a while. It’s been a really significant and positive change after 14 years in LA.
Who or what first turned you on to visual art?
It was kind of always there for me, although not cultivated until my mid-twenties. At that point my good friend Todd Ledford turn me on to a lot of amazing art. He’s a great artist himself and runs a really cool record label called OESBEE (Olde English Spelling Bee). We’ve had close to twenty years of really great art and music dialogue.
How does location influence your work?
The high desert landscape and being surrounded by nature has had a big impact on my work. I know it might be cliché considering the history of art in this environment, but the landscape is a very powerful and seductive force out here.
What can we expect to see in ‘Strange Alphabet?
This show is a collection of mostly paintings and some works on paper that fall under this title. The title itself steered a lot of the decisions while making the paintings. This work is the most figurative I’ve made to date and has some resemblance to typographic characters, hence the title.
Which piece of your own work are you the fondest of?
Well, it would have to be piece(s) as opposed to any singular piece. I make small studies as a jumping off point. These drawings are the most direct works I make. There’s no finishing or fussing with these pieces. The prospect of just doing these and scrapping the rest is an ongoing temptation.
Bart Exposito, Strange Alphabet is open at Susanne Vielmetter until 22 August.