In the Studio with Ivan Comas

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The floor is littered with open tubes of paint, half-empty aerosol cans, pliers, protractors. It is a horizontal chaos, the aftermath of an artist’s process just before the work is moved from its messier origins and placed on a clean gallery wall, all the spills and sweat left on swaths of plastic tarps in an unseen studio. On the eve of his exhibition at LA’s Steve Turner Gallery, Ivan Comas offered us a behind-the-scenes look at his process. Below, we talk to the 27-year-old artist from Buenos Aires about his palate of choice, Latin American megacities, and a democratic fondness for every piece made.

Ivan Comas 1

What inspires your work?

My interest in how Latin American megacities are constituted is definitely reflected in my paintings. During my travels, I photographed the streets and observed the different urban landscapes. Once I get to the studio, I use those images as a foundation to develop my work on canvas using industrial materials like cement and tar.

Ivan Comas 2

What’s at the heart of this show?

The tensions inherent between urban—and social—transformation and deterioration in Latin American megacities.

Ivan Comas 3

What color palate are you most interested in right now?

Grey, white, and silver. They relate to urban environment.

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How long have you been working on this particular show?

For three months, which was the time of my residency in the northern space of Steve Turner’s gallery.

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Tell us a bit about your process.

I usually work at night, but sometimes I like to be at the studio in the morning. I like listening to loud music while working, usually hip hop.

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Do you get nervous before a show?

Not really, but a few shots of whiskey always helps before an opening.

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What do you hope people walk away with after seeing your work?

I don’t really have any hopes.

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Do you have a piece you’re most emotionally attached to here? 

I’m not emotionally attached to my pieces. I have a democratic point of view towards them. They are all part of a bigger body and they are all as important to me.

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Photos by Tyler William Parker. Ivan Comas will run at Steve Turner Gallery March 21 – May 2. Details here.

Jenny Bahn

Jenny Bahn

Jenny Bahn is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, specializing in music, fashion, the arts, and culture, both high and low. Her work has been featured in V Magazine, CR, Office, and TIME. She is the Managing Editor of Alpha SIXTY.

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