Interview​ with Antonio Mora – Surreal & Lucid Artist

Imagine walking to the deep end of your subconscious and learn about your true desires.  Imagine reaching your highest level of awareness. Imagine an extraordinary experience that explores your resilience which flows through the self-imposed boundaries of the intellect. Feel the sensation of the current of your own agency to revive your strength and the superhero within you. Skillfully, this journey is depicted by Antonio Mora. He leads you to discover your absurd, somber, or brave emotions through self-reflective imagery which captures your cognitive clarity to get closer to yourself.

Jungle - Antonio Mora
Jungle – Antonio Mora

Antonio Mora, a surreal creative and art director, frames the mystery of our pursuit in life and the endless possibilities of our being in an uncompromising artistic narrative. Patching emotions of cultural impressions to the advent of modern life and crushing the overprotective surrogate inner-self to the extent that fantasy becomes a tangible reality is what Antonio Mora offers.

young caribdis
Young Caribdis, Antonio Mora 

He studied psychology and philology, later completing his training with a Master of Art in Graphic Design and creatively continues to encourage self-reflection and deliberation to summon up the courage to connect with oneself. I had the opportunity to interview him, one of the most expressive artists of the present time, to learn about him and his spirit:

sevilla in red
Sevilla in Red – Antonio Mora

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

AM: I have always been a creative person. For more than 25 years I have worked as a graphic designer and art director in my own design studio.

In 2011, after a serious physical crisis, I decided to give free rein to my own creative desires and to leave the work commissioned by clients. I had no options after that long and hard process, so I decided to put all the meat in the grill, overcome my fears and trust in my vision. That’s how I came to this.

Jupilings: Who are your protagonists- 

AM: I want to believe that my protagonists are the hybrid beings that appear in our dreams, inhabitants of a parallel world that we only access either during deep sleep or through the use of psychotropic substances, and that nevertheless, we perceive them as coming, like a déjà vu that reminds us that there is more to reality than what we perceive with our physical senses.

déjà vu
Déjà vu – Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What inner force shapes your artistic concepts-

AM: I think that throughout my work emerges a certain mystical, mythological sense in the classical sense, where the forces of nature take on a human form. Many titles are The Young Zeus, the Cyclops, Nymph, Persephone, Caribdis, Aquarida.

Nature as a soul-endowed force that, when transmuted in person, brings us closer to it. My portraits are often portraits of gods or heroes that we could have been.

Jupilings: As an artist, what role and social responsibility you shoulder-

AM: Although there are innumerable ways of understanding it, I conceive art in the classical sense, the search for intrinsic truth for beauty. In a society like the current one where through social networks we see tons of ugliness, trash, and injustice, my modest contribution is to create beauty that inspires others and that raises a wall against the mediocrity and vulgarity that invades us. I think that is my duty as an artist.

Jupilings: “Creative people are an idealist and live a colourful and chaotic life”, what do you think of this statement-

AM: It is a generality and as such susceptible to be interpreted in different ways but in my case, it is correct, although the colour is sometimes of a rather dark hue, and indeed the chaos is a constant in my life, I am messy, often imprecise and erratic. I wrote a long time ago that the artist feels himself with stupor as if he should not be there, as if he were not part of the reality in which the whole world lives. I thought it was a gift and it turned out to be a condemnation, once said an artist friend, my mentor, who died, unfortunately. Someone like him, chaotic by nature, knew how to inspire in me, and in many others (he was an art teacher) that life and therefore beauty arise from chaos.

into the wall
Into the wall, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: As a creative individual, you have a reflective nature, hence you are inclined to dive deeper into your fears, insecurities, or setbacks, where do you draw a line to stop and regain your sense of motivation and meaning in life to keep charging ahead? What is your coping mechanism, a routine, a friend, ….?-

AM: My mechanism is the constant creation, the progressive approach through creative work to the idea that I intend to bring to light. This, which often produces a feeling of ecstasy, also in many cases generates enormous anguish. To shake it off, fortunately, is my wife, my children, my dogs, who walk daily through the palm groves that surround my atelier in Elche (Spain).

It relaxes me to cook, to drink wine with my friends. Fortunately, very close to where I live, is the sea and a small and beautiful island where I go very often. As soon as I reach her, my anguish dissipates. In short, my life is the life of a normal person, or at least as normal as my nature allows me to be.

sea girl
Sea Girl, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What is one undisclosed or mysterious piece of information about yourself, you would bravely share with your audience:

AM: Hahaha, that question could put me in a compromise. When I was 18 years old I tried LSD, since then my perspective on the world changed. I perceived that there were parallel worlds. No, of course, I did not take it for a long time, it scares me. However, I do allow myself to smoke some marijuana when I am faced with a creative process. It is the key through which I can reopen that door that opened in my youth.

red wind
Red wind, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

AM: It jumps to the sight that I am an admirer of the woman, of the power of the woman, of its beauty. More than 90% of my portraits have women as protagonists. As a creator of life and a source of inspiration. I wrote once that the passion of the woman is the force that moves the world, I continue to subscribe. I am sure that the world would work much better if it were the women who governed it.

mother
Mother, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: When you start a creative project, how do you overcome self-doubt –

AM: Fortunately, I have a lot of experience and many years of preparation that allow me to save the initial doubts with a certain ease. However, that doubt always lurks, especially if I will be able to generate something really new and not copy myself.

I receive many custom orders. There yes, the doubts begin, since not only I have to satisfy myself but to manage to transmit my satisfaction to the client and that is not an easy task.

ruins
Ruins, Antonio Mora

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why-

AM: I would be Lucidman. Always able to have immediately the creative response at hand that would allow me to disturb the conscience of others.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor- 

AM: I would have liked to be George Baines (Harvey Keitel), in The Piano. A tormented and unforgettable character.

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

AM: Live and let live.

 

To learn more and for commissioned artwork please refer to mylovt.com.

 

The Art of Afsoon

How to peacefully tackle and question the ideologies, values, and happenings of the 21st century? The disagreements, the conflicts, the foolishness yet the ever-present of innocence and divine are the prismatic reflections in the artwork of Afsoon, a renowned Iranian born,  London-based artist. Her assemblage tells the story of individuals who bare open the vulnerabilities of humanity such as her collection of poets. At the same time, she shed lights to paradoxes of war and allegorical beliefs of our times in an imaginative and whimsical manner.

Poets in Heaven Series - by Afsoon
Poets in Heaven Series – by Afsoon
War Carpets - by Afsoon
War Carpets – by Afsoon

Afsoon explores complexities of our world and takes us a step forward to examine perceptions and tenets. Similar to our pure ideals of love, the original sin, transformation of Adam & Eve, the defiant celebrities to earthlings, or the schisms of feminine experience. Still, hope is in existence. A firm believer of a fairytale, she constructs narratives, she remembers, she solves, and she implies survival of not only the fittest but the one that still believes in humanity.

Adam & Eve - By Afsoon
Adam & Eve – By Afsoon

She makes use of linocut, photography, watercolour, collage, and etching for her multilayered creations. For the most part, she illustrates her deep connection with her homeland while exploring the splendor and the Achilles heel of the East and the West. Afsoon’s works have been extensively exhibited and can be found worldwide in prominent collections and museums, including the British Museum, Los Angeles County Museum and Berger/YSL Collection, among others.

 

Afsoon
Afsoon

Interview

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

A: As long as I can remember, I have been making things. From drawings with crayons at a very young age and my preteen magazine collages to film art in my early twenties to work, I do now.

Jupilings: How do you choose your protagonists-

A: I am my protagonist.

Jupilings: What is the fundamental principle in your creations-

A: Storytelling

War Carpet - by Afsoon
War Carpet – by Afsoon

Jupilings: As an artist, what role and social responsibility you shoulder-

A: An artist should be honest.

Jupilings: When you are creating a work of art, you are forging an engagement with a situation or an emotion. Do you aspire to drive public awareness to activism, in any stage of your creation-

A: Emotions are always involved in creating my art. I tell my story and leave it up to the viewers to engage with it in their own way.

Jupilings: What is one undisclosed or mysterious piece of information about yourself, you would bravely share with your audience-

A: I am scared of the dark.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

A: I am a woman and a feminist. Equality is the answer.

Keys from Persian Magic Series - by Afsoon
Keys from Persian Magic Series – by Afsoon

Jupilings: Three tips about building a brand name as an artist-

A: I don’t believe in this brand name and so forth. I am an old-fashioned artist. My only tip is to keep on making art.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

A: I make art and write short stories.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have-and why-

A: I would like to be invisible to see and hear things that are not meant for me.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor-

A: Nostalgia by Tarkovsky

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

A: I follow Louise Bourgeois with: Art is a guaranty of sanity.

Forough from Fairytales Icons Series - By Afsoon
Forough from Fairytales Icons Series – By Afsoon