It was about two years ago when I crossed paths with this artist. I met him while I was interning for the Tribeca Film Center at the time and spent a week during the summer setting up an event called The Creators Series. It was an exhibition showcasing interactive installations, fine arts, films and photography by new artists who embraced technology. The most distinct artist who caught my attention was Luis Nieto, a young artist who was born in Columbia and resided in France. There is very little information floating around about him and I have a feeling he prefers it that way, to not be mainstream.
If I recall correctly, besides stating his name, he didn't quite formally introduce himself. He went straight into his act, which consisted of a vivarium in a little black box with a camera hooked up to his computer. He explained that we'd see what was going on in this little black box on the projector, real-time. He picked up a real live hamster, named Carlito, and dropped it in the black box. He proceeded to perform the most bizarre procedures to the hamster, which looked real and fake at the same time. He would slice the hamster in half with glass (PETA was not thrilled about this), blew him up with a straw, and actually blew him up with a small bomb. Of course none of this was real, but his precision in timing his hand motions to what we were seeing on the projector was surreal. Watch it here at carlitopolis.com.
So why did this artist capture my attention? Because he truly embraced interactivity and art and combined the two forms to create the most perverse and creative work. He calls himself a "Perversionist" artist and his art speaks for itself. His paintings gave me an uncomfortable feeling, but I couldn't help but stare. One of his series comprised of several small paintings of diseased folks. Gross indeed, but He is a highly regarded art producer for advertisements and has created some of the most creative television commercials for Nike, Playstation, Heineken, Ford and Peugot to name a few. If you're curious, go to his website and take a look for yourself. The website itself will intrigue you. luisnieto.com
Travis McElroy MANAGING PARTNER