Desde Los Angeles, entrevistamos al artista de performance Butch Locsin para Broken Finger.
BF -At the beginning, your work is very focused on performance and public interventions in which the viewers are involved in some way or another. Why do you think the active relationship of the viewer with art is so important?
BL: It has its purpose and it gave me many benefits. When I began in 2015 I didn’t know anything about photography and I didn’t know anyone who had a camera to take photos of me. I was very fortunate to have found a community of photographers who would gather together and take photos around the city. I came to the events where these photographers would gather and perform in front of them. It was a great way for me to get some great photos but it also taught me how to position myself in front of the camera, it taught me how to model, and it helped me gain exposure at a very high rate. Because I’m not solely posting photos of myself, it was a huge advantage to perform and have the photographers also post photos of me. It was a great outlet for me as a today artist to help gain followers. Eventually, I bought my own camera and by this time had many friends to ask to teach me. My art work of evolve throughout the years. More recently I don’t need to have so many photographers to shoot me at one time. By now I have figured out what works for me and the type of photos I like.
BF – Can you describe a little bit about the technical challenges behind Skeleton of color?
BL: My inspiration for the Skeleton of color did come from the Day of the Dead holiday. I love the skull and its strong imagery. Growing up in Los Angeles I would see the sugar skull everywhere. I didn’t know as a kid what it meant but as I got older I began coming to Day of the Dead festivals with friends. That’s when I learned the meaning and reason behind the holiday. I was really inspired by the art work I saw and wanted to create something for myself. So to answer your question, a technical challenges behind the Skeleton of color? It was finding a way to create something for myself using the inspiration of the Day of the Dead holiday and not offend anyone.
BF – Could you summarize the steps leading to the creation and realization of one of your artistic actions?
BL: That is a very long answer but to shorten the answer. I didn’t know I was creating art work initially. It was a few months after I already began performing when I accepted that I was creating artistic action.
BF- Skeleton masks, smoke grenades, levitation, vintage umbrellas … How did you come up with such an unusual combination?
BL: The use of the skeleton mask comes from loving Jose Guadalupe Posada art work. The smoke grenades gave me some spiritual and interesting dynamics for the photos. The umbrellas was something I wanted to use to creating something interesting for photos.
BF – You also manage to consistently work on your own private projects. How important is personal creative work for you?
BL: It is very important. I can’t just focus on one facet of my creativity. It is very important to always exercise every aspect possible because art is a dissolving skill. If you don’t practice your art, you will not be in tune with it.
BF – You are consistently are pushing your work to the next level. In an era where some artist are saying ‘it’s all been done’, what advice do you have for them?
BL: I don’t believe that. In this era, if you don’t realize that social media is an art then you might be stuck thinking of old ways. This era of art, it is so fast and it can be very demanding to keep up with its ever growing ways to present yourself and your art. That today’s artist need to know how to use social media and use it to their advantage.
BF – Are you working on other projects at present?
I’ve been more focusing on school and trying to get transferred as soon as possible. I took some time off from school to do more performing and focus on building the character. I really don’t like announcing a lot of my projects because I would be disappointed in myself if I told people my plans and they didn’t go through.
I just want to say thank you for taking the time to reach out to me and ask me to do this interview. If there is anything else you need from me, please feel free to ask. God Bless.
Miriam Broken Finger