Joining us for an interview is the fantastic Armando Cabba.
Hi, how are you?
I can’t seem to decide if I’m hungover or maybe some of my chakras are out to lunch today. I’m existing today. We’ll leave it at that.
So, how did you get into art?
This is a question that comes up a lot and I wish I had a catchy theme song to explain it like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Long story short, it was an accident back in high school when I didn’t get into jazz band so I can be a rock star and perform at Disney World to impress a girl from another school. This resulted in me being placed in art class where I went from absolute zero to hero with lots of hard work that merits a really great 80’s style montage.
It was back in the tail end of college that I really began to feel like an artist as opposed to being an art student. Of course to this day I have so much to learn, so I’ll always be a student in that regard, but I’m an artist. I began to see university more as a launching pad and began to do shows and focus on portraiture. I feel I took in a lot more from the people working beside me and a select few teachers as opposed to the academic experience as a whole.
My next stop was Italy to join an academy in hopes of finding a sense of belonging which ended up turning into a dramatic episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. A lot of creative differences which made me quit and resulted in the birth of my ongoing self portrait series. I was just a small town girl living in a lonely world and I took the midnight train going anywhere.
After spending the time to rediscover myself and focus on painting, I moved to Paris and opened up Atelier Cabba where I’m currently creating.
What are your working on at the moment?
I tend to bounce back and forth through different projects, but right now it’s more realist portraiture. I’ve been doing some self portraits on the side, but that all really depends on my headspace. I’ve met some wonderful people that I really want to share with the world. They have gorgeous traits and fascinating stories that I feel too selfish keeping them all to myself. My emotional health is quite stable, so I’m not pumping out mass amounts of self portraits at the moment.
What inspires your art?
My inspirations have changed over the years. It was a lot more self centered at the start, but as time went on I realized there was a potential for positive influence that I can share with others. When I dove into my self portraits, lots of people came forward to share their feelings on how they felt a connection. They weren’t alone in their emotions which opened up a dialogue for mental health. It’s important and we should all be aware of it. Knowing some people have taken things from my story or work and used it to improve their lives makes me the happiest person in the world. The money and trivial accessories were never a motivation. Sure, I want a diamond encrusted pendant of Bob Ross, but that’s not the end goal. If your heart is in it, all the rest comes to you. I’m painting to inspire. I’m painting for my own need to survive because it’s a part of me. Being able to give back in one form or another is what inspires me to keep going.
What are your plans for 2019?
My more immediate plans include some sort of food and classical music. Like spring rolls and Jamiroquai. I have some projects lined up outside of painting. I’m Looking forward to a fashion collaboration in the near future followed by the good types of growing pains. There are some other things too, but I like keeping things a surprise.