Now Featuring Jazmín Berakha

Buenos Aires based artist Jazmín Berakha drawing with thread, building images that foreground the textiles of our lives with literal fibers.  Luscious and colorful, her inviting images are also dizzy with clashing hues and tangles of pattern.

Exclusive Print 1

Exclusive Print 2

Exclusive Print 3

Exclusive Print 4

Exclusive Print 5

MH: Where did you learn to embroider? it’s such a lovely, unusual skill.  Did someone special teach you, or was it something you pursued on your own?

JB: It was something really unexpected for me. People often learn to sew, knit or embroider with their mothers or grandmothers. I had never done it until three years ago. I dreamt one night about huge embroidered flowers, and the next morning I received an email from a friend about embroidery lessons, I swear…  So I started the classes. The encounter with the material was so overwhelming that I knew it was a perfect medium for me.  I discovered a relationship between the artwork and the process itself, which changed all the ideas I had before on how to make art. Embroidery requires me to be engaged with the material and the process in a way that I could never find elsewhere, and it really works out for me.

Embroidery detail

MH: That’s a great story. Can you tell me what you found so compelling in your experience with embroidery?  How long have you been working this way?

JB: Obviously there’s something about the materiality itself which fascinates me. There’s a subtle tactile component; I mean, If you get close to the pieces they have this small volume, this texture who makes you want to touch them, It’s irresistible. I also love to work with threads, to make all kinds of color combinations, to see how they can cover a surface stitch by stitch, they’re like atoms for me, and even though it’s a very slow process, I’m still choosing it.

MH: What’s your relationship to the history of textiles and images?  It seem like you draw strongly from both histories of abstract patterns and pictorial traditions like tapestry. Some of your images, like the athletes, seem so 1920s/1930s, and some of your patterns also feel related to textiles of that era.

JB: I do a lot of research on textiles for my pieces. I like to mix patterns inspired by different cultures and eras in one single artwork, but I definitely have preference for art deco patterns. The mix between abstract geometric design and color is amazing, and it’s an endless source of inspiration for my work. I also love all the tapestry made by the women in Bauhaus like Gunta Stölzl and Anni Albers, the textiles of Sonia Delaunay, the fashion textiles from Missoni and Pucci, and of course, as a Latin American artist, it’s impossible not to be influenced by textiles from Peru, Mexico, Guatemala….

MH: Can you talk a little more about your choices of imagery?  I know the athletes seem to hearken back to vintage fabrics and patterns, but there seems like some other content, too, in your interest in the figure.

JB: Well, I see two different paths in my images which connect themselves. I have always been obsessed with color, printed fabrics and patterns, and I believe this is the major reference in my work. From this point, I balance between abstract images of fabrics within fabrics, and a more narrative portraits relating the female universe, who often show women in moments of unexplained contemplation or just frozen in one simple action.

MH: I see from your website that you’re also involved in theater and installation.  Can you talk about that a little? And it looks like you also have a lot of design projects, record covers, print media, websites, etc. that allow you to really showcase your personal aesthetic.  How do you feel about them, and the balance of being an artist and designer?  I know some folks who draw a strong line between personal and “professional” work and others who see it as a borderless continuum.  How does it work for you?

JB: I always knew I wanted to do art, but my path was more complex than just going to art school. The art careers here in Buenos Aires are not so good, and they have a really traditional structure, so I studied different careers to make my own global education: arts, fashion design, art history and graphic design. The mix of all these directions gives me the possibility of working in films, theatre, music, graphics and more, providing different angles of my work.  It’s a pleasure and a challenge at the same time to do collaborations, I’m very used to working alone, and I love it, but in all these projects I’m compelled to share ideas to reach a common purpose, and that can be refreshing sometimes. As a visual artist it is great to have connections with other fields, and the exchange is rewarding for both sides, although I always intend to put priority on my artwork, mainly because is what I enjoy the most.

MH: I’m not surprised to hear that you’re influenced by Bauhaus textiles and artists.  Who else influences you, including books and films and whatever else, or whose work do you think LPP reader should check out?

I believe things surround us in such a way that we’re not always capable to recognize them as direct "influences" even though they are. My daily life, all the things my eyes see during the day and in my dreams, must be a huge influence on me without my knowing. Maybe part of an artist’s work is to know how and what to choose from the boundless universe of experiences, and do something with that. If I have to make a list of items who made a difference in my way of doing and see things a part of it will be: Tintin’s comic books, Debussy, Hitchcock, Fassbinder, Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives) by Roberto Bolaño, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, summers in Berlin, winters in Buenos Aires, and I must be forgetting a million other things…

4 comments

1 Grown-up Shoes :: Blog, Vintage Shop, and Styling :: Austin, Texas { 11.08.11 at 1:25 pm }

[...] perfect, special gift for your artistic pal. Read the interview with Jazmín and order pieces at Little Paper Planes {click on pieces to [...]

2 Embroidery is BACK! « { 11.10.11 at 8:19 am }

[...] Berakha puts her own spin on the art of embroidery. To learn more about the artist click here. [...]

3 Extension du domaine de Noël / Wish list | Extension du domaine de l'art { 12.17.11 at 3:11 pm }

[...] de motifs. Voici une interview d’elle et plus de ses oeuvres sur le blog du site http://blog.littlepaperplanes.com/now-featuring-jazmin-berakha/ "Dans l’atelier de Cézanne" , bougie qui sent comme dans un vieil atelier de [...]

4 Inspiration: Textiles Artist Jazmin Berakha « Gallantandjones's Blog { 02.20.12 at 2:08 pm }

[...] to finding out about who she is and where she comes from. But you can read a great interview on the Little Paper Planes blog to learn a bit more about her artistic process. Gwyn Share [...]

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