Pam Sustaita is a multimedia artist based in Mexico City. Pam’s work is a fantastic mess of the weird and wonderful. It’s like licking off the last bits of an acid trip from your fingertips. Childhood nostalgia is implanted with haphazard lines, symbols, and associations eliciting a range of emotions in the viewer from excitement to fear to sadness.
“My work takes the art-brut as a constant reference, using materials that remind us of children materials, as there will never exist a purer form of expression than the children stroke.” Pam muses.
On the eve of her first solo show, With the Glimpse of Your Eyelashes, at Leiminspace on August 11th in LA, we chat with Pam about her work, her inspirations and how she wants to be remembered in history.
What inspires your art?
Intense things, feelings, colors, sparkles that emerge from the sad things, experiences and emotions.
When was the first time you were moved by art?
I started to draw in an intense mood when I was like 3, my mom told me she was worried because I spent so much time drawing and not playing around
Who are some of your historic artist muses?
Henry Darger is my forever inspiration.
What is your mission statement for the way you make art?
To be willing to disintegrate every time you blink, to feel intensely and to make your existence worth it.
What is your process?
There’s this tiny secret, sometimes when I close my eyes when I’m about to sleep I see drawings, I often get inspired by that, sometimes I like to be in silence or sometimes I like to hear loud music, I put all my colors on the desk, spread around and start to work.
What is the weirdest thing that has ever inspired you?
I have so many answers for this one but probably the weirdest thing was that once I was at this pen pal project to exchange art pieces and my pen pal was mad because she thought I was happy, she sent out a piece of raw meat with nails on it. First I thought it was a pretty violent act but now I think It was really inspiring and I actually made a video project that only involved raw meat.
Your art has such a childlike characteristic that pop out at times Is that intentional?
Yes, I think the child stroke is the most honest one, I will always admire my art from when I was a kid, there’s something really honest and intense and violent in that. I also like to use childlike materials such as crayons to make a reference to the art brut and to let myself do what I really want to do without any pretension.
What were you like as a kid?
I was really adventurous and playful, I remember I used to put honey in the door of my house to invite the ants to this tiny houses I used to make, I made tiny leaf beds and tiny pools and everything.
What is the hardest part about being an artist?
Getting money but I actually enjoy my work a lot so I’d never change it
How did you get the job at Nylon Japan??
I first collaborated with Nylon USA, then I got an email from Nylon Japan, they invited me to illustrate their horoscope page after I delivered my first drawings they told me the editor-in-chief really loved my work and that they were hiring me for a year. After a year they renewed the contract and so on, during the time I was there I got to illustrate so many cool things for them & it was pretty exciting to meet everyone at Nylon’s team when I was in Japan.
What was it like living there?
It was truly a dream come true, every tiny sound and smell was a new discover for me, I kind of think I was living inside one of my drawings, Tokyo has a magical juxtaposition of elements that create a chaos that is extremely charming and that really inspired me to work. I remember I spent days drawing until 4 am just because I was super inspired and happy.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I like to leave that to destiny, I’ve loved every single collaboration I’ve made and I think the only thing I ask for in a collaboration is to learn from the process and the person I’m collaborating with.
When you are gone from the earth what would you want people to remember about you and your art?
I’d like to be remembered as a person who created an alternate world inside my drawings and that my work was honest and that you’ll always find a different way to transit inside them.
The opening reception for her show will take place from 7-10:00 pm on the evening of Saturday, August 11th, 2018 at 443 Lei Min Way in Chinatown, Los Angeles. The show is open to the public until August 18th, 2-6 pm, Thursdays through Saturdays.
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