©2017-2018 by Reciprocal art magazine

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    Cherry Pie, Baking Instructions Not Included, acrylic on canvas, 18x18", 2017


    Alonzo Pantoja

    Talk about your journey as an artist. How did you get started?


    I attended a high school of the arts where I was introduced to a lot of methods and mediums. Once I graduated high school I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to major in. I just knew that I wanted to attend college. I ended up majoring in Criminal Justice and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. It was during my first year that I was in an art for non-majors class that reminded me of the art days in high school. I decided to take a couple of art courses and enrolled in Drawing 101 and 2D Concepts for “fun.” However, there was something about the maturity, technique and critiques that made me rethink the way I saw art. It wasn’t long after, that I switched my major to art and design and eventually made my way into the painting and drawing program. Art school redefined my whole perception of artists and designers.

    Fruit Salad, acrylic on canvas, 18x18", 2017

    In your artist statement, you said that a constant in your work has been mundane subject matter. What draws you to specific subjects?


    That’s a good question. I often find that the more interesting objects that people normally gravitate towards to, bore me. I prefer to go to objects or subject matter that is “boring,” but interesting to me. For instance, a lot of people would probably go to flowers or fruit in a still life, but I would go to a broomstick or an empty pot or pan. There’s something about making the boring interesting, rather than making the interesting more interesting.


    What led you to collage? Is there something in the physicality of cutting and pasting that is integral to you and your work, as opposed to painting alone?


    I have always liked the concept of collage. The way you’re able to move things around without being permanent. I took an Intro to Fibers course and that kind of made me forget about paint for a while. There was something about being able to move things around with my hands rather than with a paintbrush. It wasn’t after earning a BFA and being out of school for a year that I realized that painting alone was not helping me achieve what I wanted. I remember looking at the series of paintings in my studio and for once I saw them as fragments. I think the idea of “collage painting” begins to move away from traditional painting. I’m interested in image making and collage is a good tool for that.

    You have said that there are no set rules when it comes to constructing your collaged pieces. What do you strive for in your finished pieces? Is the process more important than the final image?


    Initially, I was just creating compositions based on how certain pieces interacted with one another. How does this striped, orange shape fit with this flat, dark shape? And the more and more that I created these collage paintings, I’ve started to find information that goes into the following piece. For instance, after finishing a piece I find that the color combo is working and so the next piece will have that idea. And yes, the process is more important than the final image. I don’t make sketches. I don’t want to know what the end result looks like.



    Who or what are some of your influences?


    I’m always reading about contemporary art and theory. I also use a lot of social media to keep up with current shows, articles and readings both national and internationally. I think it’s important to be aware of what other artists working in similar or different mediums are doing. Research is a really big part of my practice. I do a lot more research than painting. I think that has to do with my science background. There are a couple of artists that I’m currently looking at, Jim Gaylord, Katie Batten and Zoe Nelson. Although, Jim Gaylord is the only collage artist, I’m interested in the painting methodologies in all three artists.

    Rocking Chair Assembly Required, acrylic on canvas, 10x12", 2017