Across the Board Art Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: Alex Gutierrez

If I were an inanimate object, my friends tell me I would be a dusty banana with two stems. I have no idea what that means. I don’t know if that should be a compliment. It’s really weird, if I had to describe myself as an object… I’m really bad at talking about myself. 

My personal style signifier would be clothes with pockets because I like to carry a lot of knick knacks and I like to have alot of food on me. I also really like layering clothes. With shoes, I really only wear one pair of shoes that I wear until they get worn down, I mean, until literally the sole is breaking out. So right now, my shoes are a pair of lace up platform shoes with a fake alligator skin on it, and it makes me feel kinda badass. They’re black. I feel like adding feet, since I am five feet tall. The boots add an extra inch to me. 

Something my classmates would miss about me on Zoom would definitely be my height. Also, I am a very disorganized person so I’m sit-in gin my bed and I’m surrounded by clothes that I have to fold and books and notebooks and right now you can’t see it. I always have food on me, so I always have food around me. I like sharing food with people, and I like to bring snacks over. It’s a good way to share experiences. 

Some of my goals for 2021 include learning to do a handstand. I like to set small goals for myself. On a personal note, I want to take more risks and put myself out of my comfort zone because I feel like there’s a lot of growth there, and being isolated at home allows me to be more comfortable. I miss going on some spontaneous adventures. It is really easy at home to just hide in my shell; it’s really easy to fall into old habits and get into a routine. And it feels so nice to sit in bed and watch a movie. I don’t feel as much pressure to push yourself. I’m living with my parents right now but they’ve left me alone for the most part. 

The last thing I bought and cherished I can’t really remember because I haven’t bought anything in a really long time, but I always like getting unexpected gifts from people, especially when there is no special occasion or anything. A couple of years ago, my friend went to Paris and remembered I had always wanted to read the French version of Les Miserables, and she got the books for me. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and we weren’t that close, but it was really nice. Random gifts that are just like “I was thinking of you” are really sweet. 

For my future endeavors in art, I have been shifting to a lot of animation, since I used to do a lot of watercolor and oil pastel but the past two years,. I have been working with stop motion and carrying over some watercolor techniques and also working with paper collage and sculpture. I am creating sets and characters, like fabrication, designing puppets. I use techniques I learned from watercolor and oil pastel to create characters. It allows me to take the still image and then put life into it through movement. I love art, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to pursue a career in the fine art industry. Animation has allowed me to find a compromise with that. I just transferred to Tisch last year. It’s not ideal, but now that I am in my senior year, I’ve been focusing a lot on my thesis and meeting one-on-one with my professors. The most difficult part is not having access to those studios at NYU. I am taking a special effects makeup class right now, and It is actually working pretty well and the professor sent out a kit with all the supplies that we need. We set up the cameras so that it is like the live demonstration. He did pre recordings of all the looks we have to do. A Lot of it is coming from the professors trying to make it work, but you can’t replace in-person learning and interacting with other students. 

Once the city returns to normal, I want to go out dancing, I miss that. I miss being in a room full of sweaty strangers dancing with my friends, not even caring what you look like. It is a good way to get out energy. Snapchat memories are really doing us dirty. 

On the last music I downloaded, I have a really eclectic mix of music that I like to listen to, it’s hard for me to describe. I lately have been listening to a lot of Smino and Glass Animals. They’re like psychedelic pop. I don’t know what exactly the genre is; it’s more energetic, but not EDM level energetic. I couldn’t handle that on a day-to-day basis. 

For inspiration, right now, I have been trying to be more introspective and using art to reflect on my own life and identity, as a way to understand myself. I also like looking at a lot of artists on Instagram right now and looking at other peoples animations and films. 

One thing I have been really interested in exploring in art right now looking at my two cultural identities and how I connect to the other generations in my family. My dad is philipino, and he immigrated to the US when he was a small. My mom is Eastern European, but more culturally identifies as jewish so. I’ve always felt like I didn’t really think about it or embrace my identity, so now I am trying to learn more and connect more bc I do want to come closer with my family, and I feel like that is a good way to do that. I have never visited the Philippines, but I really want to. 

Social Butterflies

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