Frank Xarate: Artist Profile
In order to help spread a little more LOVE through these difficult times, we’ve invited 5 artists, local and international, to create a piece of visual art based on the theme of LOVE. A return to the multi-media creativity witnessed during the Super Weird Happenings – the formula reworked to create an online countercultural ecosystem for a socially distant world.
The contributions have all been incredible and in the weeks leading up to the release of ‘The Love EP’ featuring brand new mixes of The Emanations from Soul Clap, we’re profiling each of the 5 artists individually.
Frank Xarate (Francisco Zarate) was born in Buenaventura, a small island in the Colombian Pacific and currently resides and works in Buenos Aires. A designer in visual communication, his work explores the interaction between art and design, and of an ancestral baggage. Swaying between digital and manual techniques, he explores an interconnection between a virtual world in relation to new technologies and forms of communication, in a swing towards a past, towards the construction of a myth, of a ritual to decipher his identity as a visual artist. Creating new representations influenced from the past looking towards a future.
We asked Frank a few questions to find out a bit more about her craft, character and community…
Can you tell us anything about the artwork you’ve created? Or would you prefer it to speak for itself?
Of course, I think the work synthesises the idea that music not only crosses borders, but also unknown planes that we commonly do not perceive, except when we are dancing and we can feel it and leave ourselves.
How did you first become interested in our relationship with ancestors?
I think that somehow as we inherit certain physical issues from our ancestors, I also think that somehow we inherit images that are revealed through dreams. Sometimes we don’t find logical explanations and in my point of view that’s where we connect. Also, obviously through history and the territory in which we are born – for example, at this moment I am very interested in the culture of the Selk-Nam tribe in southern Patagonia in Argentina and Chile, they have a ceremony of men from child to adult, in which they use different costumes that represent a deity and are visually and conceptually amazing.
Has your artwork helped to give you a better sense of who you are and where you come from?
Yes, I come from a very small island on the Pacific coast of Colombia where my ancestors are on one hand indigenous and on the other hand African, and hence the interbreeding, unfortunately there is not much information to build a family tree. This non-information is the space in which I can display my art, in a way paying homage to that which I identify with and of which I am a part as an Afro-indigenous collective. Art helps me to build this imagery that is based on beliefs, stories and personal looks that I have in my head and active in my art.
Your work explores the virtual world and new technologies – what are the benefits and downsides of these new advances for artists?
I think the connection between art and new technologies is something positive, I think there is more space for many artists and everyone can show what they do – I mean the virtual space where images can travel and also express themselves in various formats. The disadvantage might be that not everything is concentrated there, but also something that is made real, where there is a meeting between friends, colleagues, groups, where art can be palpable. I think that if this virtual space did not exist, this meeting between artists and the ‘Spread Love’ project would not have happened.
In what way would you like to see myth and ritual play more of a role in modern society?
People should be more aware of the ritual of dancing and return to the myth of caring for our natural environment.
How has your local creative community been affected this year?
With the impossibility of going to space to enjoy art, I feel that it is also an opportunity and time for new searches.
Have you had to adapt your artistic practise at all amidst all these changes?
I actually activated more my artistic side in relation to graphic design, showing it in the different platforms and virtual calls. So it has been a time of looking and activating my art.
What do you think is the best way people can ‘Spread A Little Love’ in this scary and confusing world?
I believe that by respecting the other with love regardless of race, religion or geographical location; opening the borders; and dancing more. People need to move their bodies more and exorcise bad things.