Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Philly Art Jawn is pleased to introduce our featured artist of the month, Robert Lugo!
Check out the interview below to learn more about our featured artist of the month:
Q: Tell us a little bit about your upbringing. How has your upbringing shaped/affected the work that you currently make?
A: I grew up in Kensington in the 80's and 90's. Mostly impoverished neighborhoods. I became heavily influenced by the art in the streets: graffiti and the murals. Murals in philly are often portraits and this influenced what I make today and how I understand art communicates.
Q: What does your art aim to communicate? How do you make art that communicates and articulates the ideas you are thinking about?
A: My art speaks broadly. You don't need an art degree to understand it. If you haven't drunk tea, you still know what a teapot is and you know that a porcelain teapot expresses ideas of wealth and thus a separation of classes. By putting my heroes, people of color on pottery I challenge perceptions of who should and can be honored. At one point, porcelain was considered more expensive than gold, so it's history has always been steeped in a class separation. Coming from where I did this is especially the case.
My art can also challenge and communicated with audiences that do have a working history of craft and visual art. I aim to work fluidity with a diverse audience to raise new conversations and questions on what art can be.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Q: Do you have any advice for any young artists that are interested in getting into the field of ceramics?
A: Young artists should know this field is as open with possibilities as anything else. It is all about adding your unique voice and vision to the grand play. Your opportunity to "contribute a verse."
Q: What is one of the main things that you are you hoping people will take away from your work? Do you have any recent work/shows that are coming up?⠀⠀⠀⠀
A: This year I am working in Rome as a Rome prize recipient and not trying to foresee what I will make but instead take inspiration from my surroundings. Right now I have been heavily influenced by the graffiti scene in Rome.
Thank you for sharing with us, Roberto Lugo!