ALIEN/ATION TODAY: Interview with Featured Artist Jorge Mascarenhas

July 10, 2010

Together with Paper Hat Productions, Hyphen will be hosting its first-ever illustration show, ALIEN/ATION, on July 10th -- which is today! I've been conducting short interviews with some of the featured artists. Today I chatted with Jorge Mascarenhas.

How have you been involved with Hyphen magazine?

I've worked for Hyphen once. It was in 2008. It was my first year as an illustrator.

Tell me about this contribution.

I did a couple illustrations for an article about eco-friendly seafood. Basically I did a couple of images of seafood coming out of plant vases. The article was about how Asian Americans are eating more eco-friendly fish in order to benefit the environment.

Can you describe your visual style or artistic style?

I like to describe it as a combination of everything that I like.

So what do you like?

I like monotype textures. I like graphic style painting, printmaking. My style is borne of my liking of printmaking and painting at the same time. It's the result of experimentation. It's combining the printmaking look with graphic painting and also classical painting, which is what I was trained to do in school. In school I did fairly realistic stuff. I kind of wanted to move away from that direction.

You know, the hair -- a lot of people tell me that the hair is what makes my style. I use the same hairstyles in all the people I put into my paintings. The hairstyles actually come from friends, people that I know. The hair is what I've been identified with lately.

Subject matter -- I like a lot of mystery, ghost stories, detective stories.

It's a fusion of all those little elements put together that define my style, I think.

I noticed a lot of animals and nature elements in your paintings, as well as a lot of female subjects.

Ever since I was little, I've always loved animals. I wanted to be a vet when I was 7. They make an important element of my picture-making.

Sure, there are a lot of females. I find it a lot more interesting painting women than guys, actually. I love painting the female figure. I love painting women. I think they're way more interesting than men.

I have a lot of female friends. They always have interesting stories, interesting things going on in their lives. I have guy friends, too, but we just talk about guy stuff, sports, you know.

Drawing and painting the female figure, I think, is more challenging. Painting a beautiful woman is way more challenging than painting a guy. You have to be more delicate, more attentive to the subtleties. Painting a guy for me comes easy.

Is it because you're a guy?

Yeah, I guess. I can do whatever I want, make them ugly, make them have a rough edge. I'm not so concerned about how they look. (laughs)

ALIEN/ATION will be held today at Space Gallery in San Francisco. For more information about the event and more interviews with the featured artists, follow this link.