In conversation: Santiago Paredes, The Artist and Designer Whose Paintings Are Transformed Into Beautiful Garments
After some Whatsapp messages and emails, WE WEAR gets to know Santiago Paredes, the artist and designer whose paintings are transformed into printed garments.
Santiago Paredes was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he studied and graduated with a BA in Multimedia Arts. His work focuses on combining art with fashion, on which abstract drawings, the design of different silhouettes and imagination are the protagonists.
On his vision...
On the many areas of art in which I work, sometimes the one that excites me the most is fashion because it is so unpredictable.When I make a piece, and then a person tries it on, it’s one thing, but it is a totally different phenomenon in another body. The complete image of the outfit plus the person is what always changes and maintains the dynamic.
I started designing clothes without any idea. I was drawing the clothes in photoshop as if I was doing it on paper; then I printed the textiles and obtained the results. Little by little, I became more sophisticated, but the principle is pretty much the same as it is more a painting in use than a printed item.
I love the experiential dimension of clothing, how it evolves with its owners. Suppose they use it for a special event if they only wear it inside the house if they add perfume or wear it on a trip.
On his design...
My main interest is colour and how it behaves as a dynamic organism. Then it's the story behind the image. None of my art is naive or abstract. All colour orchestrations rest on some motive. Everything is there for a reason.
I think if there is a visual language signature, that would it be diversity. Whether in the palette, in the genetic, in the symbolic, in the format ... I am interested in it being a flexible message that can take on many forms.
I'm also interested in experimenting with different fabrics, like the plush, the matelasse, the silk, the windbreaker. They all have unique qualities and particular effects. Softness, shine, elasticity, volume… Mixing them produces a fascinating phenomenon.
My connection with images was always troughing the screens; first, it was the Tv and the internet. I always collected images that caught my attention for no reason. I could compile from magazine clippings, stamped bags, postcards, photos, records, etc. When you want to learn, you see beauty everywhere.
I like that my paintings refer to something explicit; they generate a sharing code with the spectator. I also like to see how other artists resolved some of the aesthetic problems by finding a solution instead of fighting against the problem.
It makes me think a lot about the ageing of the images. A movie, music, and play has a specific duration, and some mechanisms have to reproduce them.
The images are like a door always available. You can see them for a long time or know everything they say in a blink of an eye. The images can be in a drawer for hundreds of years until a century, later someone when opens it, they still communicate the same message, but indeed it changed its meaning.
On his brand...
I think what makes my brand unique is that it doesn't follow any format. More than a brand, it is another extension of my artistic practice. I do not follow seasons or design rigorously. Maybe I put together a whole collection in a week, and for the rest of the year, I think about music or painting.
It started as a whim for myself, as a possible universe, a big 'why not'. Today I have a demand from the public for new things, but I cannot design out of obligation. So far, all the pieces I made were because they felt it necessary.
On his plans...
about the seasons and move to a more relaxed state with more thoughtful products to last and not to obey the current fashion that lasts three months.
3-How do you see the influence of social media in the fashion and art industry?
There is a very tremendous and instantaneous universalisation. A small gesture from a designer in any part of the world is immediately a starting point for another.
It is a problem when this is taken and appropriated by the big brands but I think there is an interesting question and answer to that. It also happens in art.