Anjo Bolardo keeps it real. He is not fussy and is not artsy-fartsy. He just tells you like it is. He does not go into any deep philosophical process about his work to confuse you. He lets his art speak for itself. Anjo loves to be called “erratic” and wants his work to speak louder than any words ever could. He strives to evoke a feeling of familiarity and similarity that is shared by all humanity.
See the straightforward but yet so poignant interview with the amazing Anjo Bolardo below …
“My art is my reaction to my environment. All of my works depict people trying to keep up with the contemporary world …”
Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?
Hello! I grew up with the influence of anime and vintage Doraemon. Doraemon is a Japanese manga series. I saw this for the first when I was about 6 years old. I was watching TV at a neighbor’s house in Tondo (a part of Manila) where I grew up. It was very illuminating for me. I was an introverted kid and I continue to be quite introverted as an adult. I never played outside during my childhood and this continued into my adolescence. I was always an observer. With my creative process, I spend more time thinking and looking for inspiration than with the actual creation of my works.
What do you call your form of art?
I do a lot of paintings and drawings, but I also explore installations and video art. My art form changes depending on the theme of whatever show I am working on.
What does your art mean to you?
My art is my reaction to my environment. All of my works depict people trying to keep up with the contemporary world – how they act, feel, move and adapt to the city. I try to tell stories in my works. I think these stories are very important because no matter what unique situations I depict, many others can relate. I like to show people’s pain and sorrow.
What tools do you mostly use for the creation of your work?
For my paintings, I use acrylics. For drawings, I use watercolors and pens. For installations, I use found objects and any available materials.
Is there any particular emotion that you try to evoke from your audience with your work?
As already mentioned, I want to tell a story that is very relatable to anyone and everyone. I want to express and evoke emotions that people are afraid to talk about because they are scared on being endlessly hurt.
Your work is gritty and beautiful at the same time – how do you come up with the different series of your work? Also you use a lot of black and red, is there a reason for this?
I actually don’t think too much about or plan my future work. I just interact with friends, meet new people, visit places around the city or outside the country and draw inspiration from that. Most of my inspiration comes from travel and people I’ve met and shared stories with. Ideas suddenly pop in random situations. When the ideas appear, I start looking for ways to share these stories in my head. I don’t always think my works are beautiful (aesthetically). The most important thing for me is that I’ve said what I wanted say.
Regarding the use of black and red, there’s no particular reason…. Actually, maybe I think the combination of those colors looks subtle and straight forward at the same time.
What is your favorite movie and why?
I love watching movies, but I like Before Sunrise in particular. I like movies that talk about people and real life situations. I like Before Sunrise the most because it made me listen rather than watch.
What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?
I think the worst critique is to not get critique at all. Fortunately, my audience is comfortable sharing what they think about my work. Some send me personal messages telling me what they thought about my shows. I really appreciate this. The best compliment I have received was when I presented a solo show after a month long residency in Singapore, a lady approached me and told me that my work is “erratic”. I thanked her.
Who is you favorite artist and why?
I don’t have a favorite in particular but I have few people I look up to and follow.
I follow Ai Wei Wei, Yoshitomo Nara and Olafur Elliason. I think I like them so much because their works are very simple and straight forward, but still very arresting. Their works speak to the audience and I want to do the same thing.
Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think defines a man? What is your personal style?
I think the clothes that bring out the best of you are a great accessory. I personally like basic clothes but styling and good pairings makes basics stand out. I like plain comfortable and breathable t-shirts. I pair these with cropped trousers and Nike SBs. I grab my black tote bag and I’m off to my studio.
What is your personal life philosophy?
Robin Hoodery – but in a good way.
How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?
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