Gala Wolfgang, 23year-old Spanish-Chilean visual artist residing in Chile, creates compositions of digital mix-media.
How was the interest of wanting to make visual art born?
My interest in visual art began from general art at an early age, between the ages of 6/7 My parents had a rather important role in this interest, as they encouraged me towards the artistic area, going to museums, exhibitions, theaters, reading books, watching movies, etc. But I think my father was the person who empowered me most to follow this "way" and then, at 14/15 define myself in the area of visual art as such, beginning to explore all its corners, until I acquired a more critical and "panoramic" view of reality.
Why did that concern lead you to develop into this kind of art?
Basically, the simple fact of being a fast, global form of expression and that anyone, regardless of whether it is perceptive enough, could understand. Of all the artistic areas, it was the one that caught my eye the most, my father was an independent designer, and if he could, why not me?
What were the first steps you took within this area?
At first it was a rather primitive path, where I drew the prototypes of my compositions, said "I want to do this and that thing" I would draw them and then merge them to see if they turned out, from a very young age I adapted to think and act quickly with creativity, it was an aspect that I was good at from the beginning and I knew how to flow through it.
Later, with the second digital age, where computers offered more complex tools to design professionally, I began to digitize my early work, and I molded them more and more; I learned a lot and simultaneously took the opportunity to grow more as an artist. Currently, I lead a life training quite quickly, so it is more comfortable for me to use applications from the phone than from the desktop, but this doesn't mean that I have abandoned them, I still design in programs when I have to make a more elaborate composition that requires more time.
What do you think about digital art compared to analogues in reference to this type of art?
Well, it's quite broad content, although digital tools like Photoshop, for example, help us a lot in terms of improving the overall design quality, we don't have to put aside the conventional, such as analogue composition, whether collages or non-digital mix-media, as it is the basis of much of the digital sphere we know now and therefore, we can go back to them, look for certain elements and adapt them perfectly to our digital plane, it is like a kind of genesis, you understand?
You are a Spanish-Chilean artist who currently lives in Chile, so I understand, how do you perceive art according to the social-cultural context in your country?
Personally, I see it as an art in "development pathways", I know too many good Chilean artists, even in my nearest circle, and I feel that if they continue to reinvent themselves and innovate in their styles, techniques and procedures, they will be able to go quite far, even abroad. But from a general level, Chile is a country where pessimism and artistic individualism abound; first, we've been listening to the cliche of "the artist is starving" for generations to the point of believing it and making it come true. Therefore, generally anyone interested in art and areas of art abandons their aspirations for fear of the opinions of others or simply doesn't try and decides to dedicate themselves to something else. On the other hand, in the cultural sphere, the country is quite poor, lacks culture, to take care for its heritage and that is why the artists who arise from here decide to go abroad, Chile lacks a lot to compare culturally with countries such as Germany or Finland. I sincerely believe that the Chilean artist lacks companionship, supporting the artists friends in everything so that they can emerge.
This is one of the reasons that has motivated me quite a bit as an artist, although I am independent, I like to help the rest of my friends, and I would love to continue helping them abroad, I am of the idea of "one hand for another".
According to what you mentioned, you started designing quite young, getting to have highs and lows, but in your opinion, how do you define your style?
At first, and I think that, like every artist, it was a raw and rough dough, where I hadn't yet determined a direction, where my style was going, it was quite premature and didn't have many elements to come and say "with this I identify myself". It wasn't until 2016-2019 that I started to take a chance and try to create solid compositions, it wasn't yet well known at the time, but over time and as I met more people, I became a little more solid and started experimenting, absorbing knowledge like a sponge and embossing it into a digital canvas. My style is purely perceptive and noisy, it's how I perceive reality and my most influential elements, one day I may be watching a movie and reading some page of some book and listening to some song, and merging those three elements become an artistic composition, they become my work.
When I was little, I was in constant exposure with world history thanks to my grandfather, so as I grew up I letting myself be carried away by various historical elements, that part of history always caught my attention and how it can currently be keep exploding in different ways. Inspiration comes and goes in seconds; you decide how to handle it with firmness and creativity.
And what do you want to capture in your work?
Generally, I seek to capture the gaps between things, it can be between the old and the new, the analogous and the digital, those concepts that are cohesive with each other without touching each other, what mathematicians call an asymptote line, those lines that come very close at some point, but that never come to touch, that space which exists in the middle of these two elements that are different but that are constantly sought and complemented, that neutral space, that's what I'm looking to capture, crazy, isn't it?
Based on your work, and from what I've seen, there are some pretty flashy and good ones, what influences you when you do it? Do you have any artistic references?
When I want to create something, whether it's designing it from scratch or recycling things, I tend to listen to music, music inspires me a lot and I usually hear from almost all genres, I think I'm a pretty extremist person in terms of inspiration, I don't let it slip out of my hands and so, I can spend much of the day in front of the screen doing my work. Like other times, I am inspired by my environment, I tend to take many photos with textures, being very perceptive, I always see my environment with angles and "frames" so to speak, as filmmakers see it, usually when I go out on the street, and I observe some angle that I like and that can explode, I don't hesitate to take photos and collect them for a possible work.
As for artistic references, I was very inspired by Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol as a young girl. I bought books, I read articles, I saw images, I studied those two artists a lot for a long time. Currently, and as everything is more technological, I have other artistic references, among them the Friendly Robot, a conceptual artist who has inspired me quite a lot in this last time with his illustrations. Likewise, and in literature, I have been inspired by Asimov, with his futuristic stories, both artists have guided me in the direction of the modern, exploring the robotic theme.
With the above, I would like to ask you something more personal, what is your favourite musical genre?
Honestly, I don't have a favourite one, I like to explore various genres, I make playlists and I listen to them according to how I feel about the day. But lately I hear a lot of old music, especially from the 70s, that decade fascinates and inspires me a lot.
Finally, I want to ask you how do you project yourself in the future? And what advice would you give to new generations of artists?
My future projections are to continue growing as an artist, to have a kind of "weight" in this atmosphere, something that is not achieved so easily, I am aware that it must be a constant work and that a lot of perseverance and persistence needed. Although I also have faith in myself and I know that I am capable to overcome any obstacle that stands in my way. I'm not looking to make money or less to be famous, the only thing I am looking for in the future is to maintain my artistic essence in my works and to be recognized for it, as I said before, to have a more solid weight in art.
Uff... the new generations, I think that artists will have a more complete field as technology advances, but not because of that they will feel superior to the rest, not because you have endless tools that help you create and express art, you will be God, because if so, believe me that the fall will be more painful. For the artists of the future, I advise you to have humility above all else, we all start from the base, and also be constant in what you do, don't let yourself be influenced by other people's opinions, criticisms must be constructive and not toxic, and please, you must support each other, that there is companionship first and foremost.
I want to give a special thanks to JG Paredes, for the patience, time and dedication he had helping me interview myself in his work as journalist, I liked working with you, seriously dude, haha.