Interview with Al Preciado & Andre Hart on the occasion of their joint exhibition Flowers at KALEID during the month of November 2013. Interview conducted by Donny Foley..

KALEID: What was the best part about working with each other? Have you guys ever worked together before?Al: The best part besides the painting was the conversations we had about art, women, family and our changing mindsets

Andre: There were no rules. No fighting, it was an open experience for the both of us to understand our two totally different styles and make them work together.

KALEID: Who’s idea was it to team up for this show?

Al: Andre’s. He proposed it to me

Andre: I knew that Al would be willing to do it just for the pure fact that he’s a real artist. He walks the talk. So unselfishly, I came up with the idea but I couldn’t do it with out Al. Well, I wouldn’t have done it with out Al period for that matter.

KALEID: What was most challenging aspect of working on this exhibit? Would you ever do another collaborative show together?

Al: The most challenging thing was keeping up with that ball of fire known as Andre

Andre:  I was put out of my comfort zone. But I like that. I actually try to do that often. Al obviously has a different style than I do, but I feed off being stuck in the corner so to speak. I did love it. I think it’s pretty clear that we might work together again.;)

Kayla, acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 36″, 2013

 What was the process for working on one of these pieces? Was it different from how you normally work?

Al:  I started the piece, messy, sloppy, out of control, stupid, mad ass painting like it was my last day on earth and Andre would finish, polishing it into a gem

Andre: Some pieces the decision was made that Al would start and I would finish. I’d say half were simultaneous. I brought the realistic form into play. Al brought his wild brush strokes. You could even say the wide age difference played a fracture: youth verses elder. Al did a lot of accenting, but so did I. I even found myself mimicking his brush work. It was actually similar in ways. I usually start out pretty wild in my solo work, and then tighten the painting up. This was almost the same concept though the brush work was looser, and less thought consumption.

KALEID: Why flowers? Do they have particular meanings to you?
Andre: Mostly because I talked a lot of smack about people who did flowers. Or a bowl of fruit. I wanted to see what the all the fuss was about. Now it’s obvious to me that it captures the life and death in something that is able to live. A flower is born, but then dies. Just like I’m going to die someday. I feel I’m drifting off topic, but it was more of a “why not” than a “why” in the end and cultivating the essence of the flower.Al: Flowers are a universal symbol of beauty, but also because a flower shape is so well known, it made the perfect structure to hang our very different ways of painting on, and achieving a synergy.

The Fool, ixed Media, 80″ x 120″, 2013

KALEID: What is your favorite piece in the show and why?

Al: My favorite piece is titled and is for my “Sister Elena”, who has been incredible, kind and really supportive of this endeavor and others.

Andre: “The Fool” sculpture (inspired by the Tarot card).  I feel that’s what I was in this. I dared to go there. To leap into a different place and try something drastically new. And guess what…I loved every minute of it. The Fool represents this idea to me, so call me a fool for jumping but I feel liberated.

KALEID: When you were working hard on a painting what was going on inside your head?

Al: I was playing BB. KING, Bruce SpringSteen, and Public Enemy in my head, while Andre blasted out on his system some unknown Folk singer from the sixties. But really what was going on was me studying what Andre had done after my initial strokes and adding a little dab here and there in a subconscious way. I love how Andre treated the surface of the Sculpture.

Andre: I wish I knew really… this process was totally organic. Therefore limiting the process down to one’s thought during creation would be hard to define. It was more about following Al’s movements and connecting it into my realistic sense of form.I feel we communicated just by working on the piece, with no thought or real conversation about how to do it. We just did the work.

KALEID: How do you spend your time when you’re not creating paintings?

Al: I am preparing for a Solo Exhibition on Dec 14th at the Citadel. Other times, I teach, read, watch movies, hang out with some of  my art buddies like Maggie, Jesse, John, Chris, Bea and of course Andre!!

Andre: Talking to the ghost of Andy Kaufman and doing other art work.

KALEID: What would you like the viewer to walk away with after observing your show?

Al: A sense of beauty in motion, of dual artists clashing and merging, of the joy that we both took creating these special flowers . This was an exhibition that was a redemption show for me, if not Andre. His redemption will be in January when he does his Solo Exhibition at the Citadel.

Andre: Whatever they want. They can be happy, sad, upset, confused. Anything really. I personally don’t create to please anyone, but provoke some kind of thought, be that good or bad.

View available works for Flowers here.


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