by Anmol AhujaJul 05, 2022
When approaching this interview and discussion with the Barcelona-based artist-designer and virtual creator Andrés Reisinger, I will admit that the “unclassifiability” of his work - not fitting into brackets - is what proved to be the most attractive aspect of his repertoire to me. It is unlike an attempted act of classification that failed. It is, rather, an assured refusal to let rigid classification lend definition. The act of creation, whether digital, physical, even mental; by hand, machine, or a computer, seems to be such. Design routinely moulds utility to cross over the bridge to art, and art, often, conversely constitutes more than an intangible expression as an object. Their intersection, more correctly overlap, is almost another solid circle on the venn, yet almost as exclusive as a point.
If anything, the dawn of the age of the NFT has further emboldened those brackets, and the advent of the metaverse firmly stands to make those boundaries even more fluid, even more limitless. And that confidence in adapting his creations to both worlds, both mediums, comes across firmly in Reisinger’s work. Carefully placed at a well calculated precipice between both, constantly tugged by the two and yet planted in a realm in the midst, something Reisinger calls the “emotional” realm, his creations are his emancipation from the practicality of it all, and what comes after design.
Reisinger is also at the forefront of the new cohort of artists and designers surfing the new NFT wave in style. Reisinger’s digital edifices have sold for handsome, multimillionic amounts, truly indicating the arrival of the future. Particularly interesting are the otherworldly environments he chooses to place his creations in - ‘products’, or a semblance of them derived from real-world objects, designed to surprise, startle, raise questions, and arouse the uncanny. Commonplace, utilitarian objects, including a chair, a sofa, a table, a bed, or a painting, lend his works primeval definition. However, in the form they finally appear, they are but a playful perversion rendered to the last fold, crevice, and knot of the fabric.
Much like the brackets he shuns, these “hyperrealistic” worlds too appear boundless, a stage to an endless show devoid of motion, yet sensual to the touch, also credited to the dreamy showrunner that is Reisinger. These new hybrid worlds he introduces his audiences to are entirely sensorial experiences. The sheer overwhelming-by-will colour, texture, mood, and staging of these worlds commands immersion. You wouldn’t build a house in there, but would be willing to get lost for hours at end in a willful gaze.
In Reisinger’s own words, experience his art of creation, finding its genesis on paper, although manifested in words as opposed to seemingly randomly drawn lines and curves. The result - a mere chair, or a planet to house it - is for the beholder to decipher.
Anmol Ahuja: You describe your studio as “unclassifiable”. In what terms would you say that is? What does that classification refer to: style, disciplines, or mediums?
Andrés Reisinger: I work towards constant change and development - the term “unclassifiable” refers to all of it, my practice, the media I use, the disciplines I revolve around. I focus on a mix of many things that are in a perpetual state of improvement, so in that sense, it’s unclassifiable, and because of this specific nature, probably forever will be. I was inspired by the Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges, who was also defined as unclassifiable.
Anmol: In your pursuit to bridge the imagined and the tangible, do you see a middle point? Where do you think they meet in your work?
Andrés: Yes, in the blurred boundary between the two, that limital state that instills confusion about the real or fictional nature of something. The foundation of my creations is that uncanny feeling and all the questions and doubts it raises on the implications of the digital realm. My creations are real - just set in a different reality.
Anmol: You are originally from Argentina, and now operate in Barcelona. Would you say that these two places or their cultures have had any impact on your work?
Andrés: Growing up in Argentina and living in South European countries and cultures has without a doubt influenced my work. More specifically, the fact that they are central social territories has impacted my approach to creation and my relationship with the internet, the platform where I have been constantly sharing my journey since the very beginning of my career (15 years ago, when I started with digital art and design). Sharing the way I see the world is an integral part of my practice.
Anmol: While you describe yourself as a digital artist, have you ever thought of designing for the physical world? If yes, where would you like to start, or what would be the first thing you would design?
Andrés: I have designed in the physical world - take for example my Hortensia Chair. Hortensia was digital before becoming physical, and I was doubting the feasibility of its production. There are undeniable differences between the two realms, but I cannot say which one is harder to design in. My preferred and main tool is 3D as it allows me to test, explore, make mistakes, undo and redo all over again. I live by that experimentation and the physical realm imposes many limitations.
Anmol: Do you sketch your ideas or designs initially? What is the genesis of the first idea for Andrés Reisinger? Talk to us about your creative process.
Andrés: I usually write a lot, my ideas are notes before becoming visual; this allows me to work on and develop many concepts at a language level before giving them shape and making them accessible to the eye. I have more time to comprehend and absorb all the inspirations on how it should look like, which shape it should have. But the idea is the origin of everything.
Anmol: How do material properties like softness, hardness, smoothness, roughness, etc, manifest in your work? Do they feel as ‘real’ without the element or choice of tactility?
Andrés: That is one of the most difficult differences to overcome between the physical and the digital, and so I play around it through an emotional dimension: I try to evoke feelings that, despite the digital context, trigger a memory to a physical, tactile experience.
Anmol: What is the one property of your art and design that you like to experiment with the most: is it colour, materiality, light, or something else?
Andrés: All of them and none of them: I like to experiment with context and with the combination of disciplines.
I try to evoke feelings that, despite the digital context, trigger a memory to a physical, tactile experience.
Anmol: Your work is featured in interesting settings, from deserts to finely designed rooms. Describe the ideal setting or the mise-en-scene for your work? How much would you say the setting draws from the product in focus itself?
Andrés:I would say a hyperrealistic setting. I always strive to include an element of oddity in my generally realistic work, as I want viewers to feel slightly unsettled. As I was saying, it’s all a matter of context, so it’s a game between the objects in a space and the space itself.
Anmol: You already have a firm footing when it comes to NFTs. What are your plans for the upcoming Metaverse?
Andrés: I am currently working with other partners on establishing an architecture firm for the metaverse - there is an endless amount of possibilities that are unfolding and it’s the right time to delve into them.
Anmol: Do you think creating NFTs is somehow freeing as a designer and an artist, not having to worry about utility and other more commercial aspects of product design or art?
Andrés: Absolutely - as I was saying, it allows for experimentation, it allows us to create unique pieces that cannot be replicated, and it allows us to sell our creations directly to a global audience of buyers without intermediaries (hence leaving us a bigger portion of the profits from sales).
Anmol: When we see art and product design intersect in your works, does one of them ever upstage the other or impinge upon the other?
Andrés: My work challenges the boundaries between disciplines, and thus creates new and unseen hybrids. The different elements take on different roles according to each scenario, but I wouldn’t say they upstage each other - my approach to creation is egalitarian: I consider all elements equally important.
Anmol: Is there a creation you hold closest to you?
Andrés: I am most proud of Plastic Rain, The Shipping, and The Smell of Pink.
Anmol: With the emergence of NFTs and a significant rise in the number of digital artists, what do you think the future holds for digital art and design?
Andrés: I think the physical will become more and more integrated within the digital, both for artists and consumers alike. We will get used to understanding and acknowledging our daily presence in these two realities, as well as considering both experiences just as valid.
- Andres Reisinger
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- Crypto Art
- Digital Age
- Digital Architecture
- Digital Art
- Digital Artist
- Digital Design
- Furniture Design
- Non Fungible Token
- Space Design
- Virtual Architecture
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