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Joseph Hovadik is a multidisciplinary visual artist from France who lives and works in Guatemala. His work spans a wide range of media, including painting, 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 world's many concurrent crises.




As an artist, my goal is to reclaim the total creative freedom, spontaneity, and playfulness of children. Children's art is confident and joyful, untamed by expectations and insecurities. How can art creation maintain this childlike freedom without appearing childish?

My artistic process oscillates between three phases: creation, contemplation, and destruction.

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

In the contemplation phase, I become self-aware and 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, references, and the work's "raison d'être." I imagine what the work can become.

In the destruction phase, I simplify, erase, and paint over. I rarely discriminate between good and bad. Good and bad are often interchangeable. Destruction opens a new space for the next creative phase. It helps to de-emphasize dominant features and 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. I work with a range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and digital art. 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.

My work is infused with my world experiences, having lived in France, the United States, Brazil, and Guatemala.