About the artist
This week’s interview is with Javier Molina, where we focus on his dark imaginings. Javier was born in La Paz, Bolivia and has lived in London for the past 47 years. He has been taking photographs since 1969, on and off; sometimes earning his living through photography. It is only in the past seven years that he has allowed himself the title of Photographer.
Javier’s composite images, particularly those from his ‘Imaginations’ series, are surreal journeys into his psyche. The artworks lean towards the darker side, with self-expressive and philosophical narratives; often using religious and mythological references, and presented in visceral colours and heavy use of textures.
How did you first get into digital art?
I have been taking analogue photographs since 1969, processing my negatives and printing them. The logical step was then to move to digital. Black and white analogue photography is a world of itself, however, and digital photography cannot match it.
Why did you choose digital art as your medium?
Everything now is converted to digital, inevitably one has to use this medium.
Tell us about the process you use to make your art.
There are four aspects to my production: landscapes, digital art, still life and portraiture, and post-processing is vital to all my work. For my landscape work, the camera will give me about 60% of the final result, and the rest is retouching. The subject matter of the digital art I call ‘Imaginations‘ is broad, and I use only my photographs in the composites; at a push, one can call it surreal imagery. For my still life and portraiture, I aim to bridge the gap between traditional photography and traditional art.
What artistic styles are you particularly drawn to?
What inspires you?
Both light and shadows and the act of creation inspire and move me.
What is your artistic motivation?
My motivation is self-expression; my work justifies my existence.
Of all your images to date, which is your favourite and why?
It is always the last one produced that is my favourite because I can see the development of my style and technique. If I were to choose one it would be ‘The Self – Beheaded’.
Which three words or phrases would you use to describe your work?
Imaginative, varied and inspiring.
Name three artists who inspire you.
How do you think you’ve improved as an artist compared to when you first started?
I improved with practice. Practice makes perfect as they say.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started making art?
Do it again!
What devices/equipment do you use to create your art?
Which apps/programs do you use to create your art and which are your favourites?
Photoshop and Lightroom.
Do you use images from stock sites as well as your own photos and if so, which are your favourites and why?
I only use my images.
And finally, do you find that people dismiss digital art as a valid art form?
Possibly but that is of no consequence.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and artwork with us, Javier!