Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Domingo Castillo and Olivia Ramos.


Olivia Ramos

Systems, 2014

Oil on Canvas

18 x 25"

CASTILLO: is it an image or a painting?


RAMOS: it is an image of a painting


but are we going to talk about it as an image or a painting?


‬‬why does it have to be one or the other?


‪because you talk about systems‬‬


each has a language and systems that they can move though


which is why, is the painting your primary concern or just a secondary one in the attempt at getting to an image?


‪does the image have a higher hierarchy for you?‬‬


not sure if secondary means less important


‪no, but they both don't share the same language‬‬


if you're using painting as a means to an end then image is obviously more important


if you are attempting to make paintings then we can go about this conversation an entirely different way


‪I can't be doing both in parallel?‬‬


I'm not sure you can if the main concern is talking about systems


or working with systems as a starting point


and you are assuming that is the main concern... how come?‬‬


‪from your statement‬‬


‪the title?‬‬


so I'm totally starting off with 100 assumptions‬‬


i mean it's funny, seeing the bacon book and then seeing the title of this painting



Gilles Deleuze

Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation

Book, 1981



‪the book is relevant‬‬


anything Deleuze puts on paper‬‬


but particularly his take on Bacon's work


you think the book is about image?


i guess what I'm trying to understand is if the paintings are just the byproduct of trying to say something else in the action of painting


something else using the act of painting i should say


‪how do you describe the inverse


painting without content?


‪i don't know if thats the inverse, wouldn't it be more like generative painting where the content moves between paintings?


it's always hard to begin a painting conversation for me because i wonder about the reasons for painting or for using paint on canvas in order to get ideas out in the world


‪I like the idea of content moving between paintings‬‬


cause theres this‬‬




and this




which essentially ends up being a byproduct of




and goes back into the conversation that art is now functioning as currency or how I've heard someone say it before liquid capital


and I don't think your going for this


I'm not sure what "this" is exactly‬‬


art has always been a currency


‪i don't think it's been currency in the same way it's being manipulated now‬‬


you mean after the Mona Lisa effect?


(Mona Lisa curse)


Robert Hugh

The Mona Lisa Curse

Documentary, 2013

1 hour, 14 min., 50 sec.

‪it's an hour long


well Mona Lisa is different


she was literally the first painting to have to much media visibility


she's literally the most reproduced image


and thats something she's held the title for since the early 1900s


‪according to Hughes, after the Mona Lisa came to the states in 1963, art shifted into celebrity icon... and all about money.‬‬


‪is being on Art Rank a goal or a consequences?


being on art rank is just an example of the functionality of art

more so than something you work towards


‪personally i think you failed at making art if it has a function‬‬


‪what if the function is communication‬‬


and if it eventually ends up becoming currency then it's back into functionality‬‬


‪the art doesn't become a currency, the artist does‬‬


‪no way‬‬


this ranking


is dealing with art at auction


the artist functions like a country


‪it is ranking the artist‬‬




‪so the value is in the artist‬‬


not in the particular piece


but it only effects people who want to buy and sell art work second hand‬‬


nobody cares about the piece at that point‬‬


‪well yeah‬‬


it's currency


which is a value attached to the artist‬‬


not the work


and therefore the artist is the currency


no it's their work‬‬


i dunno


‪it matters‬‬


yes, it states the artist because it really won't make sense just putting a body of work‬‬


i don't even see them as artists at this point


because it's a production line


of work


artist as brand


not artist as human


‪how would you describe the work before it gets to this rank?‬‬


is it more authentic?




‪not at all‬‬


it goes back into this thing i mentioned right before


zombie formalism / crapstration


theres a formula


that we as humans inherently follow


when we're heading towards that paper




‪so it's never about the work?‬‬


‪i mean even if it is the fact that now it holds a function really changes it i feel


it's like self replicating nano bots


I've had your painting next to this chatbox the whole time


mentally i keep going back to it


‪so instead of wondering I'm going to ask why do you use painting in order to communicate your ideas? ‬‬


‪where is this work coming from?


‪i find painting to be the least limiting of all the medias I've tried‬‬

and also the most challenging


‪where are the limits with other medias that painting seems to have no reason to hold you back


why is it the most challenging? what's your end game with painting?


for example, collage is limiting in the sense that I can't blur the edges of the image, or paper


or I can't scale or produce transparencies


most challenging because it's limitless


the challenge is to create rules for myself, in each piece


there are no parameters inherent in painting


my end game, there is no end game


that's the beauty of limitless


i don't think there are any parameters inherent with any of the things we choose to use as tools.




‪and if your using painting as a tool are you painting?‬‬


‪did I call it a tool?‬‬


perhaps a tool for discovery


a tool for new forms of communication


i only imply because of the way we're speaking about it. maybe I'm totally extracting that from our conversation‬‬


‪i think it's valid‬‬


I'm trying to understand what you consider painting


can you describe that?




Henri Matisse,


Oil on Canvas, 1911

140 x 95 cm


‪what makes it a painting‬‬


‪i know it's really cliche‬‬




‪i dunno, i'm going to butcher everything right now. it's completely personal for me in terms of how i understand painting and how i understand things as paintings‬‬


i put it into context with the times when their being produced


thats why while i also hate this crapstraction it really is a sign of the times

and to get back to your painting i'm trying to find the urgency in making these paintings


you managed not to answer the question‬‬




it's really complicated


which is why i keep going in circle about why you're using painting as the way to express your ideas‬‬


theres a sensibility, i think thats it


theres always a sensibility with painting


‪i'm hoping painting shows me something I am not able to describe otherwise‬‬


please elaborate‬‬


the urgency is in articulating how to coexist within our environment and since painting is limitless perhaps there I can find some clarity or get closer‬‬


how to move forward as humanoids


but why painting‬‬


‪painting allows access into the unknown‬‬


into my subconscious


because I don't see before I paint


as opposed to orchestrating an image


your still orchestrating an image‬‬


even if it's based on formal judgments


or non formal judgments


you can argue that, but for me it is a loss of control and manipulation and therefore allowing something else to come through‬‬


I become the tool, as opposed to the paint


i can't accept that because the goal is always a discernible image with points of reference‬‬


here the title brings me to Bacon which is reinforced by the image and then there are a network of drains


‪systems, infrastructural systems, they work more like the body, since infrastructure is an extension of our bodies... what does that architecture feel like, those are my parameters‬‬


theres this work that Robert Gober did for a year called slides of a changing painting‬‬


“It was met with a yawn,” Gober says. “I put it away and kind of forgot about it.”


Yet the imagery continued to bubble to the surface. Flood calls “Slides” the “Rosetta Stone” of Gober’s oeuvre. Gober says it wasn’t until five years later that he realized the drain sculpture he’d been struggling to get right was pictured in the earlier piece. He has since returned to “Slides” again and again, like a visual journal.


‪can you imagine this project being done with clay?‬‬




so what is the extension of the painting in the real world bringing it back to architecture and it's relation to the body


‪no necessarily, architecture is much too slow‬‬


the extension is in the process of painting and how quickly and far it can go



there is no point in "bringing it back"


it's about moving forward, fast


‪but it's still an object in the world‬‬


and that object has a very slow life in comparison to us


‪are you referring to architecture or the painting?‬‬


‪there is no fast with painting‬‬


panting is much faster than architecture‬‬


not architecture in Miami