Meet The Utopian Erotica Of Alphachanneling
Arched backs, entangled hands, open legs and not only that. Genitals are exposed but they are not pornographic, nor dirty. They are simply a part of ourselves, like our eyes and our hands.They make us feel, they put us in tune with the world we live in with our bodies. There is no point in denial, not in repression. Alphachanneling knows this and expresses it through his peaceful and colorful art.
A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 15th issue of ODDA Magazine.
Alphachanneling is indeed quite a curious name. Where does it come from?
Alphachanneling is my practice of channeling of what I call an “Alpha frequency.” A specific band of the spectrum that is made of joy, light, desire, sex, creation and love. There are so many frequencies out there that we can express through our physical form. What we focus our attention on and amplify through our voice is a choice, ideally made with conscious intention.
What brought you to the U.S. from Switzerland in the first place? Was it for the art?
Switzerland has always had a strong influence on me. I’m not Swiss by heritage, so my main point of connection is to the land itself. Growing up in Switzerland I felt a deep and intense resonance with the natural beauty around me. Swiss design, Swiss folk art and Swiss food were among my first cultural imprints. These set the tone for a kind of positivism in me that would eventually be countered by the much more manic culture of the U.S.
I certainly enjoy the art in the U.S., it is so dynamic and quickly evolving here. My main influences are more historical and anthropological rather than current contemporary art, so in that regard I don’t require living in a cultural center.
How would you describe your artistic evolution that made you land, or rather take off to this style and hand trait?
I’m forever seeking to maximize the raw impulse that compels my work, while minimizing any technique or craft that distracts from the intention driving the work. For this reason, I love the simplicity and minimalism of drawing and the use of line. I’m continually developing a shorthand to capture the mythical world of what I call “The Utopian Erotic.” The physicality of mark making is also something I indulge in. I believe there is a great authenticity to expression when more of the body is involved. Our identity is as much contained in our bones and muscles as it is in our brains. Simple contour lines are one way I enjoy translating the joy, freedom and dance contained within me.
“WE NEVER STOP EMBODYING OUR INNER CHILD, IT COEXISTS ALONG WITH THE MANY OTHER ASPECTS OF THE SELF” – ALPHACHANNELING
Your art is also inspired by Federico Fellini’s The Book of Dreams, which he describes as “fairy tales that we tell ourselves.” What is your fairy tale then?
My fairy tale is Shambhala, Shangri-la, Paradise, the Garden of Eden, the end of the rainbow, all the mystical places where all things are possible. My art is my access to that place and the documentation of it, as I know it personally. Fairytales, folklore, mythology, their distillations of universal experiences. The monsters our own shadows, the heroes are our higher selves. I believe there is a lot of power in connecting with these archetypes of experience and exploring ourselves through them.
Those dream journals were a powerful transmission from the moment of my first encounter. For Fellini, dreams were sacred and worthy of his dedication to capture them, in his case visually in rough and hasty marker drawings on paper.
How do you associate the naivety of children to a reality that is so explicit just in adulthood?
From childhood into old age, we never stop embodying our inner child, it coexists along with the many other aspects of the self. Our inner child is inseparable from who we are. It is the instinctive outlook of curiosity and discovery, of delight and play, of dreaming into the unknown.
Some of us have a deep respect for the voice of the inner child and give it freedom to be part of the continued experiences of our life, while other people’s inner child has been chased into hiding from the fear of vulnerability and the harsh circumstances of life. To explore and create from a place of joy and wonder is sublime, both in art and in sex.
Does your naif style of drawing act as a signifier to the simplicity of life/ sex? Like, is sex even simple to you?
The simplicity of my style reflects my desire to focus my energy on the intention driving my art rather than the execution. Simplicity is virtuous. True eloquence requires the fewest words. Yes, sex is simple. Sexuality, on the other hand, the social and cultural container, is impossibly complex.
The contrasting colors, the instinctive trait: why is the immediacy of the image so crucial?
The more impulsive and raw the mark making is, the more honestly it communicates the motivation that compels it. It’s what makes children’s art so direct and easy to access. I prefer to make art that is immediate to access and receive. There’s nothing wrong with deeply contemplative works of art, however, I am drawn to art in which the transmission can be received in a few seconds.
Do you have some affinities with Expressionism in this sense? I think of Matisse’s experience in Haiti…
Expressionism has produced such raw and potent creative works. It celebrates the intuitive and instinctive in both subject and form. Matisse’s work is for me, a teaching in using form to transmit the direct essence of a subject, while filtering out details and complexity that needlessly bind the subject in definition.
Your Instagram account has a crazy amount of followers. Why is the Internet validation so important to you?
Having over half a million people followers is fantastical and surreal. While I would continue to make the same artwork if I had no one paying attention, there’s no denying that having such a large and engaged audience adds a tremendous amount of energy into the mix.
Sharing art on social media is great because it directly challenges the idea that art is dependent on the validation of a gallerist, curator, art critic, collector or any other kind of taste maker. With social media, art can find appreciation in audiences that are far outside what would be considered the art world.
Do you believe tradition and society standards of behavior will ever manage to fit into your portrayal of corporeal beauty?
I do enjoy playing with the social context of sex in my work. We can’t escape the social and cultural forces that organize our collective sexual nature and I think it is a rich and profound area for creative consideration. I’m inspired to artistically explore power dynamics, the sexual language of fashion and costume, environments and role playing. It’s definitely an area of my work I hope to expand into.
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