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Image courtesy of Jeremias Lentini

Artist of the Week: Jeremias Lentini

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Jeremias Lentini: I’ve been creating and making things all my life. Since I was a kid I always had an urge for expressing myself. I started acting in theater and making independent movies in Argentina. Later I transitioned to make-up effects and prop making for movies and advertisement. After moving to the USA, I became involved with the fine arts world and I created figurative sculpture for at least five years. Nowadays I’m experimenting with temporary installations and performance pieces.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
For me every project is an opportunity for experimentation. I constantly exercise my imagination and expand my creative potential. My process always follows the three basic steps for creative thinking. There’s an incubation time when I research and meditate on what the project is going to be about. I ask myself questions. I look for challenges that would help me grow artistically. I attempt to find new ways of expression that would bring new perspectives about the world and our human experience. Once I choose a specific topic to work on, I start the second stage on the process. This is the most playful moment, when I just let my mind freely assimilate concepts and develop connections. It’s the most experimental part when everything could happen. I try not to judge the product. I just keep moving and materializing ideas into a physical object. It gets to a point where I feel like there’s a need for completion in the piece. That’s the last stage on the process. It’s the most time consuming and exhausting part, because I need to tie all the ideas together and find unity in the work.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
I’m inspired by nature and our human experience in this shared reality. I believe art has the power of changing the way we see the world. It help us communicate our feelings in a healthy and cathartic way. By exercising creative thinking we learn to overcome obstacles more easily and always open up to new perspectives.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I’m definitely a big nature lover. But this includes human nature with all its shades and diversity. I like experiencing culture and traveling a lot. It helps me keeping a fresh and flexible state of mind.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
There are some pieces that represent big pivot points in my body of work. I think those are the most “successful” ones because I was able to get over some personal struggle and move my work in a different direction. I embrace constant change both in my life and in my art. For me, success means to evolve and find new ways of experiencing the world without getting stuck in dull repetition.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
I think being gay and repressed during my childhood was the main reason why I have the need to express myself through art. Emigrating to other countries and getting immersed in different cultures was also a big reason to be interested in art-making. I think we are strongly modified by our environment, and that gets reflected on every public act and the objects we create.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
My most updated body of work can be found on my website: www.jeremiaslentini.com.

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
This year has been a big transition time for me. I just started a series of temporary, site-specific installations made out of forgotten objects and trash from the streets. I’m planning on repeating the project on several cities around the world, using whatever I find on every place that I visit. I’m really curious to see where this project leads me to and how the pieces are going to look like.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
Black, no sugar. I like feeling the full taste and aroma from the coffee beans.

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