Eugene Sarmiento

Artist's Website: https://eugenesarmiento.com/

Artist's Instagram: @eugene.sarmiento

Recording of Zoom Artist Talk can be viewed at the YouTube video below. The talk was held on Sunday, May 23, 2021 @ 2 pm CST/3 pm EST.

Musik is proud to feature Lexington, KY based Artist Eugene Sarmiento. Sarmiento was selected from the Spring 2021 Artist Feature Open Call. Sarmiento's work is whimsical and bright. He distills his everyday experiences to extract the heart and "soul" of the moment. Musik  conducted a Q&A with the artist prior to having a virtual talk. Watch the artist talk video to learn more about Sarmiento's practice!

"My work focuses on a nuanced representation of the plight of working life, and the struggles of finding acceptance/purpose while highlighting melancholic beauty in lived experiences. My work is invested in exploring a purpose in life while feeling disconnected, and grappling with a sense of mortality with the notion that my life (every life) becomes a speck in an infinite line of time. Through my own developed iconography, I personify many objects relating to markers of life, methods of communication, and color forms representing the transfer of energy from object to viewer. Many of the influences depicting these icons derive from past experiences of life lost and perpetual hardships capturing life’s sincerity through ideas of my own existential despondency."

- Eugene Sarmiento

Biography:

Eugene Sarmiento is a visual artist living in Lexington, KY. Eugene received his BFA from the University of Texas Arlington in Printmaking and his MFA from the University of Kansas in Printmaking and Drawing. He enjoys spending time in gardens smelling the roses and drawing
them, listening to Outkast in the studio, admiring the works of William Blake, and making zines about time’s perpetual existential dread.

Q&A:

1.  What are the some of the things that inspireyour works?

Perpetual hardships that get to the point where you can only laugh at your life! I would describe myself as a sensitive boy and I love to romanticize/indulge in my emotions and try to visualize those through the little drawings I make. Also I look at alot of art and that is always
inspiring to be in dialogue with dead ppl and living ppl that kinda only live through my eyes. I love looking at flowers. Flowers are so beautiful. So much color and volume and shape and so unique and all of the meanings/symbolism that humans have created, associated with an object that can be held in your hand.

2.  Describe your process when you creating yourpieces.

I usually start with a sketch like super rough with some scribbles and scrabbles on a post it note or scrap piece of paper. Then I transfer that to my sketchbook and redo the composition or iconography multiple times and then I would take the work to a larger sheet of paper or create
a sculpture, or print, or installation. Mostly everything lives in my sketchbook and my concepts are taken from life’s experiences, like, life is weird and so should art.

3.  What is your most satisfying part of yourartistic practice?

DRAWING! DRAWING! DRAWING! And drawing whatever I want, and lately it’s been drawing tombstones and flowers. I say it in that way because, I am finally out of school (grad) and you have so much input on making work and after a few years it can be debilitating. But it’s
been so much fun filling up my sketchbooks with nonsense

4.  What are some of your career aspirations?

I feel like I am almost there with this. I currently teach and have been for a bit, but would love to reach a “professor” position at some point in my life. I love teaching! Another “maybe one day” dream is to open a stationary/art gallery/community art center of some sort. Growing up, I
always had the impression that art was for the privileged ie. white space/ people/ everything, and I had to unlearn/learn alot and really think of why I had that impression. Of course that is a whole nother convo, but would love to bring art to areas that don’t see it/reach it or would
ultimately benefit from a center that revolves around helping the community and providing an outlet to life’s stressors.

5. What makes you the happiest person in thisworld?

Being a professional procrastinator! JK! Whenever I truly feel happy, happiness, it’s usually when I catch myself feeling the moment. Like when I realize that a certain moment is special/rare as it's happening, like experiencing something new- seeing new colors, the air just
hits different, being in the sun. I know that may sound super cliche-ey and super vague. Those moments usually come when I'm drawing and watching time do its thing.

Zoom Artist Talk Recording:

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