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VNDL:  Describe your work/process:

JC:  I’ve been quite interested in the most basic form of beauty. What is it?

I created the Shapes project because I was fascinated by triangles, rectangles, and color saturation. Sometime after I started the project, I read an interview with Larry Gagosian regarding his interest in abstract art; he said that sometimes he felt like looking at triangles rather than figurative art. I guess that’s why his Malevich exhibition in 2011 had such an effect on me. So, Larry, if you’re reading, let’s meet for lunch.

Another theme I’m investigating about beauty is sex appeal, sex energy and mystery. I have been collaging found images with abstractions. One piece of this exploration is an ongoing project following my friend Krisana. Here’s the first set of photos I made with her:

joancuenco.com/krisana

I’ll be following this up with more street scenes and Super 8 footage of her, plus abstract photo collage on instant film.

My pictures about motorcycle racing were made because of the subject’s beauty and sex energy.

I shoot film, instant film, and Super 8 movies. After a few years of working with digital cameras, I realized that I couldn’t stand their design, the workflow, and the final output for making art. But, digital is great for dissemination.

Shout out to My Own Color Lab, a color darkroom and printer in NYC. And to my processing lab, CRC Vista on 22nd St.

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What have you been up to recently? (trips, projects, work?)

Experimenting with collage. Fattening up my vinyl collection. Going to the beach as much as possible — NYC winters are a drag, and that’s an understatement.

Planning a trip to Europe to meet with art galleries and art collectors this fall. I’m currently meeting with galleries here in NYC. It’s an exciting time.

I’ve been shooting almost exclusively on instant film this summer. It’s not always this way, though it is increasingly so.

Favorite Quote

“Life hands you the test first and the lesson later.” kierkegaard

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Advice to other creative’s/aspiring artists

I had a really difficult creative block a few years ago. It had gotten so bad that I never carried my camera with me, and I felt trapped with a negative voice in my head. This went on for a long time; maybe 2 years at least. I guess it was my walk through the desert.

But I broke through it by eliminating my negative attitudes and destructive creative practices. As it turns out, the antidote to the block was that I needed to take the pressure off of myself and have more fun. It was difficult to stop being a martyr at first, but then it was fun, and the art became a joy to produce. The block disappeared.

My advice would be to remain loyal to your original self; to find him or her if you have unintentionally or accidentally buried that person and start having fun again. There are many more questions, but I think what helped me is that I stopped asking for a full map of my future.

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What are you currently listening to/reading/ watching?

I’m listening to Vinyl: electronic/dance, psychedelic rock, reggae (for me, it’s an endless journey into the nature of the heartbeat), 80s pop, discovering Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath.

And really feeling excited about MIA. Watch her video, Bad Girls. Bring the Noize is another new banger — great video. “It’s not me or you, it’s the f*ckin’ banks.”

Shoutout to Major Lazer and Santigold, too.

As for NYC underground, i’m inspired by Mykki Blanco and Le1f.

I’m reading: art books, astrology books, the internet, instagram. Watching the web series “High Maintenance”. It’s brilliantly written, and a perfect summary of New York life in 2013.

Also, I just saw The Empire Strikes Back for the first time in 10 years. It is phenomenal. How the f*ck did they do all those special effects without the computers we have today? Also, it’s shot on film, and looks incredible.PageImage-483803-3462419-76391A1R01006 PageImage-483803-3609235-25563C125556C1R01006A

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I stopped having a long term plan, and now stick to figuring out how to take care of myself every day. My intention is to move about the globe more freely, spread my art and philosophy, find kindred spirits, and go to great dance parties. PageImage-483803-3609243-25563C125556C1R01029A PageImage-483803-4226484-0130036C2R01002

Who is or where does your inspiration come from? Any emerging artists to watch out for?

My inspiration comes from all the great Art created before and during our time. The Universe is the first artist; I take notes from Nature, Lichtenstein, and the people who built the Great Pyramids, among others.

Emerging artists to watch for? Raymond Dumas. http://www.studiorjd.com

instagram: @raymonddumas

http://instagram.com/raymonddumas

He’s a painter with an MFA from Yale. He also makes movies and still photography, all on film. Look out for him, his star is rising.

PageImage-483803-4226632-30036C7R01002Joan Cuenco is a photographer from NYC

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