artist of the day #39: Freegums

What is black and white and seems to never stop? Well aside from a zebra running from a white tiger on a mobius strip, it is the art of the Peruvian artist who goes by the moniker Freegums. His real name is Alvaro Ilizarbe and he is based out of Miami, Fl. Although he has very little formal education in the arts (less than a year at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale) he has managed to really get his name out there. He has had his work represented all over the United States, in Canada, and Thailand. Many of his projects have been collaborative efforts with other “street” artists who share some of his sensibilities. His reputation even caught the attention of Nike Shoes, so they let him design a pair of sneakers.

The work of Freegums is sort of one part op-art, one part street art, one part tribal art, and one part pop-art. He works almost entirely in stark black and white. He is probably most well known for his anamorphic line patterns. With these he has done several different things. At times he will take a random piece of scrap wood and fill it with these designs. Other times he will fit these patterns into an infinite design and create wallpaper, which he will use to cover an entire room. Then he likes to use this room to display his wooden pieces so it becomes difficult to tell where the room starts and the pieces of art begin. In other pieces he seems to be very inspired by indigenous art styles including Native-American and his own Peruvian background. These works often include various kinds of mythical creatures that weave in and out of each other, again often creating an infinite pattern. Although he sometimes works on a smaller scale with individual pieces, it is safe to say that his work is best represented when it is all encompassing and huge.

Judging by his website, he is also very inspired by and interested in music, specifically that of house dance music. He has several videos featuring very intense beat patterns that could be seen as an audio version of his own painting style. These videos also feature footage of him dancing with seemingly random backgrounds. If nothing else it proves that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and likes to have a good time.