CVADRAT (which means ‘square’ in non Cyrillic Russian) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1959 and now lives in Barcelona, Spain.
Did you study art? If so, where?
No, I didn’t. In fact my attempts to do so were a complete failure for two reasons: I have no drawing skills at all (some kind of strange neurological problem? I’m almost tone deaf too) and I don’t have the patience to take six months to finish a painting.
In fact I consider myself more a graphic designer and an artisan than an artist. Many of my works are targeted to the industrial design world (textiles, wallpapers, big format renderings, books and magazines covers, etc).
Why do you like Op Art?
It is closely linked to my kind of personality. I love order and precision and Op Art have both of them BUT with a twist that cheats your eyes and brain. Precision and order are extremely significant to me concerning beauty but I find very refreshing that that order can “disorder” you.
How do you make your art? What’s the process for making one of your artworks?
I’m a complete computer nerd and I only do my art (if you can say that) through software. I obviously use Illustrator and Photoshop, but other radically different programs as well: Chaoscope, Apophysis, Processing, Filter Forge (as standalone), Imagemagick, Texture Maker, Pop Art Studio, Povray and many more.
Apart from Povray (which is a very different kind of beast) I don’t plan a work in advance. I experiment with existing material (mine or not) and when I find something that hits me with a particular kind of beauty, I began to randomly experiment with it, trying to find some kind of “siblings” or “cousins” of the original graphic, which have, at least, a similar kind of beauty.
I render the most promising candidates (they can be as much as sixty or eighty) and make a first selection (some kind Darwinian selection, isn’t it?). Then, and for each of the selected forms I make a second random production with Imagemagick and some scripts I have custom made (in MS-DOS batch files). This scripts output a hundred or more variations of each of the selected graphics, so it is not uncommon that I find myself faced with the boring task of making a selection from near a thousand graphics.
Once finished this task (and having a small bunch of selected images) I make the final rendition or the final variation through Imagemagick.
It is very uncommon that I “retouch” or alter any final graphic or image.
Any other art you like and other artists that inspire or have inspired you?
My main inspiring artists are Vasarely, Riley, Sugai, Sedgley, Yvaral, Parola and many other Op Art artists.
Besides Op Art, I must mention abstraction in general and geometric art in particular.
Other sources of inspiration (and imitation) are: Art Decó, Art Nouveau, Jugendstyl, Bauhaus (and particularly, industrial design derived from it), “International Style” architecture, Mies van der Rohe especially.
What do you do outside of your art?
I must say that my “artistic” trend is some kind of “late blossom” in life, although in some way I’ve been connected with art in general and architecture in particular, since my father was an architect.
I am a clinical psychologist and occupational therapist and I have worked as such for many, many years with high risk patients. Besides that, I have worked as a professional antique furniture restorer for public museums and private clients.
At this moment, I’m a published non-fiction writer and am trying to be a thriller novelist. I’m in the process of copy editing my first novel.
My hobbies are watch collecting and restoration, wood and metal crafts and vintage industrial design object restoration.CVADRAT by Olly