I’m super delighted to spotlight another good friend of mine in this week’s LYM. Although he posesses many other talents, Gio wanted to put some focus on his paintings and how he aspires to spark conversations through his art.
“Regardless of the passion that you have, don’t let others dissuade you from pursuing it“
Who is Giovanny? Tell us about yourself…
My name is Giovanny Lopez and my first name is uncommonly spelled and many people constantly misspell it which is always fun. I’m a 30-year-old from Colombia, arrived in the US in 1997 and have been here (in Florida) since. I’m a painter. I’m always striving to learn and educate myself and I also love sports, as well as reading manga such as One Piece. Other than that, I’m unsure…. I’m terrible at describing myself.
What is your background with art/painting and how did you get into it?
I’ve always loved art since I was very young and I believe that the combination of cartoons and video games really helped me fall in love with it. I remember doodling and sketching on every piece of paper I had in front of me, whether it was homework, mail or anything I could sketch on— and I’m pretty sure many of my teachers didn’t appreciate my doodles as much. I bounced around different career paths in college like medicine, accounting, marketing and hospitality and was very bored with them. It caused my grades to plummet and I was academically suspended from school. Once that happened I realized I should be doing what I love and thankfully, I was given a second chance to apply to the college of arts where I was able to forge my own path.
What type of work do you enjoy doing and which painter or artist has influenced you work the most?
There’s so many artists that come to mind that it’s tough to really pick one. If I had to choose one only it would be one of the very first classical artists, Rembrandt, who I was introduced to at a young age, that really made me appreciate painting. One of my favorite pieces by him is The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. (Shown below)
Do you have a specific theme for your work? If so, how did it come about?
That’s actually something I’m working to achieve and hone in on right now, but I would say it leans towards contemporary abstraction and exploring the mark.
As an artist, what role do you have in society and/or how do you wish to contribute?
I believe my role in society is to help to educate people about various subjects through my pieces. I wish to contribute especially when it comes to difficult topics like delving into subjects of political nature with the proper tone and help the viewer see what’s being expressed and shown on the canvas.
Explain a time where you’ve used your talents to inspire the community and how do you hope to keep doing so?
I believe the most recent piece I created SAMO- “Unequal Justice”, was a piece I created for people to take a step back and think about the relationship between the police and the black community, as it relates to police brutality and discrimination. I hope to create more pieces like these in the future when the time is right to inspire and spark conversation.
SUPPORT BLACK LIVES MATTER here.
What memorable responses and/or criticism have you received about your artwork and how did it affect you?
I’ll never forget creating this piece “45” during the last semester of my undergrad for the fine arts show we had at the end of the semester. It was a raw and visceral piece and my sentiments of the “man in charge” and what he was inciting. My professor liked the piece but due to limited gallery space shared with the other artists presenting and the thought of the piece igniting a very negative reaction among some people, he convinced me to not have it displayed. I wish I didn’t listen then and did allow people to view it, as it is technically a beautiful piece when you see it in person, yet so ugly and uncomfortable in many ways.
What is your professional goal and how have you progressed?
I’m working towards to become a gallery artist and I have high goals and expectations for myself. Strangely enough, getting laid off from my job of 5+ years has allowed me to really progress and work towards the goal. It allowed me to have a new perspective about things and to move forward with this.
What is one thing you want the world to know about paintings/art?
That art is one of the most important things we have in this world. The language of art is universal. Whether you love or hate a piece of art, please have an appreciation for the artist who created it, as a lot of time and dedication went towards their creation.
Lastly, what is the best piece advice you can give in life?
The best piece of advice is to always be yourself. Regardless of the passion that you have, don’t let others dissuade you from pursuing it. If it’s something that you’re passionate about and dedicated to, don’t stop pursuing your goals towards it.
Keep up with Giovanny’s artwork (and photography) – Instragram: @giovanny090
To Gio: You’re awesome!! I appreciate you for allowing me to help you share your beautiful pieces. We’ve come a long way sitting in math lab and bombing accounting exams at FAU, but I’m so happy you finally found your niche! I have definitely enjoyed seeing you progress throughout the years I’ve known you. There’s no doubt that you’ll be successful and I can’t wait to see your paintings displayed in galleries across the world! I hope you stay confident and keep believing in your art because I definitely do! Proud of you, friend!
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All the love,