Artist Statement 2 - Third Person Biography/About the Artist
Biography/About the Artist Beneath the inclement thunderclouds of Kansas, two South American immigrants conceived of Alejandro Bellizzi. In a manger. They conceived him as an artist might conceive a masterpiece; the two of them were like prophets receiving the word of God. From a young age, Alejandro saw the world as a bewildering plaything, embracing a dreamlike atmosphere of life that so many seemed to ignore. At four years of age, he made a pilgrimage to Ohio with his heart set on becoming either an artist or a power-ranger. He is currently a sophomore at Columbus College of Art & Design, majoring in fine arts with a focus in drawing and a minor in writing. His style manipulates detail in such a way that one would think only a wizard could do. Alejandro is taller than most skyscrapers. Every step forward he takes causes earthquakes, his tears become floods to the helpless people below. Alejandro is the God that Mayans made sacrifices to. Using graphite, he creates intricate dreamscapes that are subtly strewn with writing and cryptic messages. While he focuses on two-dimensional work, he delves into more sculptural and kinetic pieces such as kites and marionettes. It can be said that people are mere puppets to him, and that his words are potent as a spider’s venom, and as smooth and strong as its inescapable web. We are strung like puppets to the endless web of Alejandro’s soul. To love one’s self is to love Alejandro.
Artist Statement 3 - I Use Humour and Plywood to Preach Nihilism.
Artist Statement I use humor and plywood to preach nihilism. Knock Knock—who is there? Nothingness—and bank loans. My kinetic sculptures and performances confront people with the absurdity, wonder, and humanity that exists beneath the banal, disconnected surface of everyday life. I built a puppet-replacement so that I could relieve myself and others from the performance of functioning in the world. The fragmented construction results from my actual disorientation, while the materials themselves reference childhood. It’s also composed of architectural forms, so as to embody the idea that reality manifests as a physical space in the mind, whether we are awake or dreaming. When we navigate the external world, we are also inside of ourselves, and in this way we are always dreaming. The world is full of wonder, and yet nothing is real. The puppet acts as an unexpected plaything, with hidden functions and messages that an audience may find accessible. I want people to touch my wood. However defeated and depressed the object appears, his figurative nature suggests that although he is an inanimate object, he is performing, lingering in the world even though the “utopia” of childhood magic has long since ended. My tactile engagement with objects is an attempt to hold on to fleeting experiences, and in my attempts I have realized that even solid constructions have no permanence. Some people say art is dead or dying, and I could see it in the deadness of my puppet. In order to rescue my creations from doom, I decided to stop pretending to be an artist, and open an “Art Hospital”, only to find that the hospital bed I had built was also a living creation, writhing in silent agony. It’s made mostly of scrap wood and white fabric. In its abstraction, the object refers to the dreamlike imagining of a bed, and explores by what mechanisms it could send us to sleep. What I really strive to accomplish is sleep more, either as a performance or a satirical act of surrender.
Artist Statement 4 - How to Stay Young and Beautiful Forever
Artist Statement: I strive to make art that “un-inspires” people. While a vocal minority invest time and effort into sharing a dynamic way of seeing “elements” of existence, I want to guide viewers away from wonder, and closer to a cold, isolated banality that has seeped into everything. With the tweezers of truth, I will remove each and every shimmering snow flake from the snow-globe of life. Even as artists shake the world, no beauty will be extracted. Those flakes aren’t even real snow. I believe in the infallibility of structures. Objects inherently have labels, and so do people, and there is nothing to discover or combine or make metaphors about beyond these basic principles. I prefer my art to remain unseen and forgotten. But if the circumstance of my work ever exhibiting arises, (by accident of course) I prefer that people approach the work with a degree of passivity that is visibly painful—because the mundane suffering of people is my work. I want people to feign interest as an awkward social performance, and then grow so bored that after mere seconds they meander away for more wine and cheese. My art is less about using creativity to impact a landscape or paradigm, and more about trying to fit in and network—I call it ”anti- social-practice.” By doing so, I take undermine the significance of identity while still supporting the consumer economy, which is very responsible. In this fashion, my work transcends any particular medium—except it doesn’t really, because nothing is transcendental, especially not the human spirit. This is not reverse psychology. By making objects/experiences “wash over” an indifferent audience, I cultivate a meaninglessness and disconnection that motivates my peers to roll their eyes, succumb to anxiety, and perhaps, just maybe, somewhere down the line, lose their imaginations. And when they do, I will be there, ready to harvest their life-force with my future- machines so that I can stay young and beautiful forever.
Artist Statement 5 - Coping with Ugliness
As an Artist As an artist, I liken myself to an incarnation of god’s cruel randomness. I’m the genetic misfire that deforms newborns. My drawings must cope with their ugliness, and derive beauty from brokenness and dysfunction. And the dismal awareness of being unfuckable by society’s standards. This is all a joke of course, since my creations don’t have any feelings, it’s all just me and you pretending. I’m the one coping with dysfunction. But I will be damned if I’m not beautiful. Artist statements are hilarious in that they don’t provide enough space for anything to be said, and so rather than show—which is the job of the art in the first place—they tell and dictate not only the vaguest conceptual context of the work, but also how you’re supposed to feel about it. Let me tell you, we all feel the same way: aimless and helpless in a social traffic jam no one was fully prepared for. Hence the free wine. In that sense, there hasn’t been a new kind of art in decades. If all art is is a situation, it’s been one long situation, the same one over and over, just handed off to new people, year by year, day by day, second by profound second. What we need now, more than whatever this “art” has become, is a situation where people feel comfortable giving and receiving hugs, like a music festival or a really sweet party. Imagine how nauseating it would be if every art opening was life altering or spiritually or emotionally moving—because then you’d recognize the artist’s actually want to evoke that kind of response, and it would become its own overdone craft, like a cake made of icing, or a film relying just on music to queue emotions in its audience (like shitty sitcoms do with laugh tracks). A good way to feel absolutely nothing is to be informed you are (supposed to) feeling something. I’m like that monk in Vietnam, just sitting there Like a fucking Buddhist. Minus the flames and war and the pain Of my people, helpless in the village I imagine that if someone or something lit A fire under my ass, I would respond By continuing to just sit there I’ve never cared less about the fire Of this world. That’s what the monk was saying His life has become endless suffering, supposedly And he showed the completeness of his detachment by demonstrating his psychological imperviousness to flames. It’s not about whether or not it destroys you It’s about not giving a damn at all. I’m going to light myself on fire Fill the spirit whole with the smoke of indifference. Don’t walk through the fire. Fuck the game Sit down, feed your asshole to the fires of “despair” Smother hell in the darkest of all stars
Artist Statement 6 - Post-Modern, Post-Inspiration
Whereas other artists rely on the world’s beauty for inspiration, I rely on its absence. Nothing inspires me as much as being totally uninspired. Boredom has dissolved the line between magic and banality. My bathroom is a temple where I meet the divine. And in the dream-like repetitiveness of my daily life, where nothing unexpected seems to happen, it only makes sense that I make art that brings focus to the absurdity of living such a life. There are ways to make social change, there are steps one can take to share and become self-actualized, but most people seem caught in a perpetual state of “unwinding”, and at most what we do is relax until a different part of our bodies feels remote discomfort. I need to sit down, I need a drink, I need to eat, I want to do something, I need to stare at people, and now I’m tired. Teachers have told me that being lost is a positive, that not knowing where one is going means that they are going somewhere new, and so a sense of confusion is a paradoxical sense of certainty. Here is my artist statement: I’m so bored that I’m going to do something crazy. I don’t know where I’m going, but if I did know, it would mean I’m going nowhere.
Artist Statement 7 - I Am A Tortured, Unknown Genius
Pseudo Artist Statement Hello reader, I’m Alejandro, a tortured and unknown genius, and so I make kinetic sculptures that mock my inflated self worship and existential melodrama. Presumably, the world is full of bored miserable people who want something random or unexpected to save them from routine and remind them that life doesn’t have to be boring—that’s a theory. I’m basically a superhero for wonder who doesn’t actually do much, like Don-Quixote. Even though he was a dysfunctional idiot, we still believe in him. I can’t be a doctor or Bill Gates or anything like that, but I think I can inspire people by dissipating into delusions of grandeur—and that’s my goal as an artist. Previous artist statements have compared me to the likes of an astronaut, a messiah, the voice of a generation, and so on. But really I just make childish looking things out of wood. In case my rhetoric is too distracting, my real concern is this: If the universe is so fascinating, then how can life be so boring? There’s the slight chance you don’t know what I’m talking about, and that this artist statement has accomplished nothing, but seriously, only a psychopath would actually enjoy our society. Every time I go to the bathroom I plead, “why god, why is this existence?” And then I remember that I’m in debt to a bank, and that my checking account is over drawn by over a thousand dollars, and that I have to make it as an artist but I don’t even know how to write a resume or pay bills or pee straight. I can pretend to be human, I can feign caring about these things as long as I want, but I think the jig is up. It’s time to surrender. I want to rot back into the earth. Perhaps I will open an art hospital, where all the dying forms of wonder and creation go for refuge. When my dreams were young and healthy, I could build things without all this noise. But now my dreams have dream-cancer, and its terminal. I don’t need a studio or a scholarship, I need a hospice. I need to get out of here. This is a sick, sick world, and you can keep it. However, I do still like winning things.
Artist Statement 8 - I Am A Monster
I don’t know what to say about myself as an artist. I have a hard time identifying as one. I like to dream, and the act of dreaming informs how I think and approach the world. Wandering the channels of a dream is like being inside of a whale, its alive, colossal, and completely reactive. Suddenly, everything matters, every detail has weight. You could pick up a phone, and any sound or person or nonsensical story could manifest from the speaker. The door of your bedroom closet could open to unpredictable worlds and unexplored logic. What makes the dream world so appealing is how surprising it is. (I continue to write and rewrite similar ideas, rough drafts for an artist statement.) I want people to empathize with the lunacy of my sculpture. Though my puppets may be pitiful and unable to functional properly, they still fascinate, and they share the narrative of “trying” and of wonder. (When I was five, my father bought me wood and power tools, and with those I proceeded to make deformed monstrosities. He left his gifts under my bed one Christmas morning. The following spring, around my birthday, the living room had erupted in more toys than I’d ever seen. Roller coasters for little marbles, air craft carriers, bags of colorful wood dominoes, airplanes and action figures, little blocks and plastic robots with broken electrical parts. Everything only half working, half there, but it was all I needed. Remember: utopia utopia! He’d be home in short bursts of time, and he’d always bring some present or arts and crafts kit. Previously he’d brought me a kit for making my own clay dinosaurs. I still remember the little dark blue press, where I’d sandwich the clay, and I’d tear off the excess and have a little T-rex. At the present, my dad has all but ordered me to move to Miami. He’s in desperation to make up for lost time, and for all the father son moments we never had. He wants to teach me things, and help me survive in the real world.) If all the broken and delusional characters in my favorite novels can be loved and admired and empathized with, then so can I. Though I am a lunatic, forced to pretend my way through the practicalities of the world, I can still live in my creations, Somehow, real life has been taken from people. I can’t walk down the streets and express in a spontaneous act just how I feel. The only way I can justify sharing my innermost fascination and terror for the universe in a way people will listen to is through art. I have to craft the strangeness. I have to make it funny, I have to make my sadness funny, I have to make my despair adorable, I must create objects with little nooks and crevices and secrets so that people will want to explore them. I must feign logic and maturity so that people do not cringe. I must conceal my perpetual self preoccupation, and redirect my vision towards the betterment of humanity as a whole. Dreaming is my center. I have had the privilege of experiencing lucid dreams, night terrors, sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, among other phenomenon at a regular basis. Sometimes I will wake up, write down the dream in my journal, or live out some meaningful or dull experience, only to find I am still dreaming, without end. I am disoriented in the world because I am never fully awake, nor do I ever really sleep. I float around a state of hypnogogia, constantly vigilante for peculiarities. At a moment’s notice, I could become a god, and I have. With my waving conductor hands, I have carved cities from the mountains and placed them in the clouds. I have flown over the city-scapes and rained fire on the people. You don’t know where I’ve been, or what I have done in the other world. I am a monster.
Artist Statement 9 - Thesis Proposal: I Surrender
Thesis Proposal Draft: Let’s wait a few tantalizing moments. Now that the people with short attention spans have stopped reading, let’s get down to business. Bukowski was wrong. Artists don’t say hard things in simple ways: artists don’t say anything at all. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be somewhere other than where I was, and so I make things that remind me of another world that exists inside of my head. Additionally, I try to rearrange the mental forms and constructs that define who I am as a person. I use language and narrative to alter who I am and ultimately what I mean—because I become bored easily and cannot place value in truth. In essence, the only thing I desire from my audience and from anyone at all is for them to like me, to laugh at the things I say, and to some degree or form recognize that I am “special.” Sometimes I get excited about the contemporary world, and how maybe the critics will line up for the chance to think I am special, but I didn’t begin making things because I wanted to further extend the progress of a creative culture. I do everything out of desperation. I am not an artist, I am someone who is holding on to “being” for no apparent reason. People want me to stop performing, at least for certain periods of time, but I cannot, because I am beside myself. The person inside of my head is not the person who speaks. The inner mechanisms of thoughts simply don’t translate into anything, especially not something I think I can communicate to other people. Living in society is a performance. I am performing that my name is Alejandro, an art student with morals and values and friendships, but really, none of this is true. If the circumstances of the world had me born and raised in a different culture and place, I could just as easily be a cannibal; I could be a savage barbarian or a Nazi. And I don’t hold it against myself. Have you heard the story about the boy who was raised by mammals? Let me elaborate, if at all possible, on the absolute terror of becoming alien to yourself. Every moment is like waking from a dream, and the narrative of events unfolding in my head is not linear—it’s as though I’m in a constant state of appearing and re-appearing, and everything that supposedly occurred in the past is like a jumbled mess of information. Perhaps this is simply the nature of things, but simply assigning something as the circumstance or nature is not enough. The world does not make any sense. Being here does not make sense, and when I try to approach life on the earth in a grounded way, that is, the way most other people do, I honestly find no appeal in continuing. I have no interest in standing in front of people and being predictable. I have no interest in being in debt to institutions, and I certainly don’t feel like sucking it up and working trivial jobs to pay for said debt. Fuck it all, that’s what I think. Death will wash over me, the looming nature of things will call me back, and in a fit of romantic spite and desperation, I will make the strange world a little stranger. I enjoy deconstructing the sculptures I build from my thoughts. There is always a wider narrative for me to expose. The first step to quality deconstructing, I think, is to look around: It’s late at night, and this was probably due hours ago, and secondly, this was supposed to be a thesis proposal, which I am rewriting because I lost the flash drive where I had stored the file and because the original was complete bullshit, or so I think it could be, because I’ve got no way of deciphering between what I mean and what I don’t mean. And now, none of this seems relevant to whatever it was I set off to say. What is real? Maybe the human narrative I experience is real, the one where I spend time eating and sleeping and using bathrooms and daydreaming about girls and future success—maybe I can’t form a cohesive thought because of exhaustion, or maybe I have a severe dissociative anxiety disorder. But now I’m getting distanced from the tangible things. I can’t seem to make sense of what’s on the table around me. There is a wallet I got for Christmas. There is a little plastic bag of Halls cough drops. There is an unopened package of two spiral shaped light bulbs. There is a wireless mouse. My hands are on the keyboard, they look like starved creatures, feeding on the sounds made by the pressing of keys. I’ve duct-taped the speakers to the table to keep from accidentally knocking them over. There are dirty clothes everywhere. The attic ceiling slants over me, and if I want to, I can lean my head on the low angle while I type. I’ve accumulated a vast series of little notes and lists on the table but I’ve yet to type them into a file. There is a clay sculpture of a figure on a chair wearing a crown, and in his lap rests an open journal. Making art used to be easy. I used to just say I wanted to make my dreams real and that was enough, and the choices I made as a person did not have to matter. Anxiety attacks have become a nightly routine, and regardless of whether or not I mean it, I declare to the desolate, white-wall that all I’d really like to do is destroy everything around me.
But it’s true, though: in my lucid dreams, I often take the liberty of destroying whatever happens to be around. I set people on fire and hammer nails into myself. I have slammed the faces of orphaned children into the ground, I have defecated on the summer dresses of my class mates. I swim through monumental kaleidoscopes of alien flesh, I writhe in the agony of being. I build entire cities with my mind, I’ve watched the arches carve themselves out of light. I have moved entire mountains with the motions of my hands. I have been torn into literal pieces by monsters, and floated freely with my arms before me though the glowing tunnels of space. I’ve spent eternities waking up, only to find that I am still dreaming. The supposed logic of my experiences would suggest to me that I have yet to awaken. And for a few moments, I become part of my own reality, and the life force is like an explosion and I dive into my bed and slam my head against the pillow, though I imagine I am before an audience of confused people, and that I am in the midst of becoming so deliberately free and self-actualized that the relative stability of my waking life disintegrates. Every moment of social interaction is an opportunity to break away from the world, to allow myself into insanity and what I’ve imagined to be an internal liberation—yet there is no catharsis.
(Not to mention, I have an awful canker sore in the back of my mouth, and I’ve had a migraine for several days—I think those two things could be responsible for all of my thoughts. It could just as easily be that by sleeping an hour more I could relieve myself of all mental stress. I’ve misplaced another to do list.) And now, here are two Kafka quotes. “By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”“I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.” — …so logically, after trying to set aside all of those things in order to share with the common, grounded reality, I don’t know what I’m doing. I have to make art that mocks my inner self worship. By sharing the self, I change the self—I surrender.