Visual Noise by Dominican Artist Oscar Bello opened in Brixton this week. We got a chance to catch up with Oscar to discuss his work and what he loves about living in London.
Who is Oscar Bello?
Oscar Bello is a remarkable artist from the Dominican Republic who has been exhibiting for 20 years. You can see his latest collection in Brixton until 15th December 2016.
Oscar’s work encompasses photography, print media, installations and video performance, which he uses to explore the notion of social rituals and discarded everyday materials, using found objects and images. He uses photography to create otherworldly large-scale images of objects that have been abstracted, reconfigured and transformed by minimal interventions, such as crumpling, folding and painting. Repetition often figures, and he uses the tropes of performance to question the social norms, using objects as props for theatrical installations and videos.
Through these installations, he looks to bring the outside into the gallery space and look to the connections between mankind and his environment, as well as the rituals that tie us to the land. Found objects, photographs and organic forms fuse to create other worlds that re-contextualise the outer and inner creation of landscape and space.
He has also worked with art workshops, street performances and set designers to question these themes through collective projects and collaborative educational forums for discussion.
What inspired your works on the humble passport? Tell us more about your collection.
“My work is based on the occupation and transformation spaces and objects of daily use changing functions, I have used through my intervention in form, that I present them in their functions and spaces. In this opportunity, the Passport as a document allows us to move from one country to another allows us to know and grow culturally to have diverse experiences of different forms and styles of lives that exist in the world. In my exhibition I work a lot with different materials: paper, metal, wood and fabric highlighting the textures of wear by use and organic composition of the material. I also use digital photography technology to reproduce the images on flat surfaces printed on paper. By means of the photograph, I capture the object form. In the case of the Passport, I create movement on a position of the image with the maximum aperture of the diaphragm. With the technique of screen print on paper, I transfer the same image reproduced in digital print of the passports in different positions and movements of the object and its background.”
How do you find living in London as an inner-city artist?
“London for me is a city that gives you many opportunities in the time you live in it. Just as time reduces, everything happens very quickly here. In my hope that I live in London, I have seen economic and dynamic expansion in just a few years in the diversity of people that live in London from different parts of the world.”
How has being from the Dominican Republic influenced your work?
“Being a Dominican Republic for me is a privilege and living in London as everyone asks me where I am from and why I live here. I respond by telling you about the few opportunities a young artist may have with different forms of thinking. Although Santo Domingo is a very active and changing city of London, there is much more to social and economic cultural level.”
Do you have any advice and tips for other artists living in the city?
“My advice to the artists who live in London and for those who would like to live in it is that they must believe a lot in what they do – do not stop. Continue to make their own individual projects and groups. London is a very difficult and expensive city. The permanence constancy of artistic work is the key in all if they want to make art in this city.”
“To touch all the doors at the end would have been much more than one.”