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Joseph Hovadik is a French-born, Guatemala-based visual artist with a background in geology, data science and art. His multidisciplinary practice extends beyond painting to include, works on paper, prints, digital media, sculptures and algorithms. His experimental artmaking can be playful and inconsequential, or explore dark and humorous takes on the multiple concurrent global crises.




My motivation as an artist is to regain the total creative freedom, spontaneity and playfulness of children. After all, kids' art is confident and joyful, and is not hampered down by a myriad of expectations and insecurities. Therefore, how can art creation maintain childlike freedom without appearing childish? My artistic  process normally alternates between three phases: creation, contemplation and destruction.

In the creation phase I attempt to maximize creative freedom by holding off on judgment. I try to curb natural tendencies for self-criticism, self-doubt, self-evaluation, self-comparison. I forget about culture and external references. I channel my unrestrained sensibilities and emotions directly into the brushstroke. The brushstroke is guided by intuition rather than by critical thinking. The brushstroke is constantly responding to an evolving canvas. Having fun is definitively a good sign. I am open to accidents, to surprises and to strangeness.

In the contemplation phase I become self-aware, hypercritical. I analyze pictorial elements such as background and foreground, positive and negative shapes, color contrasts, light and shadow, energy and calm, chaos and order. I compare the work-in-progress to my previous work, or to the work of artists I admire. I search for meaning, for references and for the work's "raison d'être". I imagine what the work can become.

In the destruction phase I simplify, I erase, and paint over. I rarely discriminate between what's good and what's bad. Good and bad are often interchangeable. Destruction opens a new space for the next creative phase. Destruction helps to de-emphasize dominant features, and to promote spontaneity and freshness of ideas.

Sometimes the artwork is successfully realized when it is worthy to stand on its own as an aesthetically pleasing object, with its own vitality and internal coherence. I prefer the completed artwork to be an affirmation of its own existence rather than be determined by external realities. I don't want the artwork to be a repetition of previous artworks. Some other times the creative process stops, leaving the artwork at an interesting place that is both joyful and serious, and that is perhaps accompanied by a humorous subtext on culture and society.

I manipulate a variety of media and materials in an organic and loosely structured way, allowing for exploration, experimentation and surprise; media such as acrylic paint, drawing, sculpture, print, and digital. Rather than perfecting a craft, I prefer developing confidence in my artistic intuition and in the spontaneity of the creative gesture.  My work can be figurative or abstract, 2D or 3D, still or animated, mathematical or poetical. Recently the focus of my work has shifted to examine the contingencies of the world.

Born in 1979, I lived in France, the USA, Brazil and Guatemala. I try to infuse my work with my world experiences.