João Salazar, our featured artist for Gazette 98, is a composer, digital illustrator and painter. I was drawn to his work by his use of plasticine to create comedic landscapes that focused on everyday life and the nuances of web 3.
I had a chance to interview João to learn more about his artistic practice:
How did you become an artist?
I have a very close relationship with art since I was little, my father is a musician, my aunt is a visual artist and my other aunt is an actress.
I believe that this must have interfered with my perception and the way of seeing the world . As I am one of those who believe that everything comes from the environment in which we were formed, reference and process, maybe it was a natural path for the way I was raised.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from everyday life.
For a long time I was focused on questions about the urban landscape and city, then the pandemic came and this panorama changed because the routine became totally virtual and it was at that moment that I started to draw inspiration and reflect on the web and pop culture.
You are currently working with plasticine, what interests you about this medium?
It's fun to use this material in a professional way now, because it was my favorite toy when I was a kid.
What interests me besides the plastic side, which refers to oil paint, is the whole playful universe that the material evokes.
Being able to use this as an ironic counterpoint when dealing with serious matters seemed like a good idea to me.
Beautiful Tropical Apocalypse 1/1 (2021)
How long does it take you to make an artwork?
It depends a lot on which technique I'm using, for illustrations a few days are usually enough considering the sketch to the end. Paintings with plasticine or more complex drawings involving different materials can take from weeks to months.
How did you end up in the NFT space?
A friend introduced me to Hic Et Nunc during the pandemic, it was a difficult time for culture in Brazil and I believe in many other places too.
It was a kind of a breath of art in that moment of isolation.
Together with the network that was formed on Twitter, it has been great to have participated from the beginning, to realize that several South American artists like me were managing to live off their art.
Who are you inspired by?
As a reference I can bring some names that I have been following recently, I can mention Henry Hudson, Matthew Palladino, David Shillinglaw, Dan Lam, Dan Colen, Faig Ahmed, Eser Gunduz, Jacob Van Loon, Ant Hamlyn
João Salazar’s work is available here. He is also open for commissions via DM on Twitter.