Evidence II (Love Letters)


Evidence II (Love Letters) by Felipe Campos
– 2013 acrylic and blood on canvas

Interview with Felipe Campos

Felipe Campos was born in Ecuador and grew up in Brazil and Houston, TX, USA. He has attended Glassell School of Art with a full scholarship. Once as a child, he almost lost a thumb to an accident and also suffered a head injury playing karate. As well as being an artist, Felipe is also a filmmaker, singer, and musician.

Anna Sudderth: Your bio mentions that you work not only in visual mediums, but also as a filmmaker and performer. How do these creative endeavors and mediums interact for you?

Felipe Campos: Being a filmmaker and performer allows me to use touch base with my creativity beyond a paper and brush.   Film turns me and my visions into the work of art, and my mind is the tool I need to convey expressions.   Film is the perfect medium to combine visual art, music, poetry, narrative, and performance art.   It is ironic but I am a bit shy when it comes to meeting people, but when the camera is on towards me, I tend to take over and try to steal the scene.  People tend to become intimidated by me when I perform because they like to make assumptions and put people they see in boxes with labels, thinking “Oh, you must be like this ALL the time!” which is certainly not true with me. 

Anna Sudderth: What was the inspiration for this particular piece of art?

Felipe Campos: When I was growing up in Brazil during the 80’s, it was a violent time to live in.  There were lots of crimes being committed such as robberies, assaults, kidnaps, and murder.  As a child I witnessed accidents and assaults on people.  What I can remember was all the red hue left behind which would make my hairs freeze.  I saw a pair of young men beat another young guy mercilessly with sacks stuffed with rocks.  The victim’s face was painted red as he collapsed to the ground, I never forgot that moment.  

There was another time where I saw two boys in school accidentally run head on into each other.  Blood dripped everywhere and one of the boys had some type of cartilage sticking out of his nose bridge.  It was an awful sight to see as a kid in school.

Evidence II is part of a three part series inspired by crime films such as Blue Velvet, Manhunter, and Taxi Driver.  

This painting is meant to be two gunshots (or love letters) aimed by a jealous person.   One shot to the spouse and one to the lover.

The work exhibits the amount of troubled emotion and use of force put into the act.  Stains of blood on walls always invoke an aura of violence and horror that has taken place which can set the mood for fear and sorrow.

The crimson stains marked on the wall are the evidence detectives first look for.  The color red is interestingly one of the most bright and noticeable colors. 

Anna Sudderth: One advantage of writing is, perhaps, that it’s easy to change during the process of drafting—erasing one line of poetry or moving a paragraph of prose from one place to another is not too difficult. What is the process of “drafting” a piece like for you as a visual artist?

Felipe Campos: The process of drafting a piece as a visual artist is almost the same as the one for writers.  You close your eyes and have a vision of a completed project, or at least an idea that you want to experiment. It is very important to have ambiguous feelings towards your work in order to give it life.  Like writing, there is a starting process of placing things and creating strong visual points which can be your “characters”.  

But with abstract visual art, there is a mid point where you let loose and allow the paint to take over and create the work.  You can use wild strokes or splatters and let the paint guide your emotions.  I learned that white paint is one of the most important colors in painting because it helps to pull away an area you are not satisfied with.  

Once you are satisfied with the way things look, then your artwork is done.   

Anna Sudderth: Can you describe your creative space?

Felipe Campos: My creative space consists of mainly my room which is small but interesting to look.  This space contains my own artwork, a pan pipe from Ecuador, a guitar from Spain, and masks I collect.  I have masks from Africa, Indonesia, and Mexico.   My space needs to have art from all over the world.  

In my creative space is also a computer and lots of music and movies playing to give me inspiration.  

I usually work on abstract pieces at about 11pm until past 3am, that’s when I am most creative.

I also like to sit outside in a garden during the day when I watercolor and look at nature, it can very peaceful and comforting from a safe distance.

Anna Sudderth: If you could pick one artist whose work you wish more people were familiar with, who would it be?

Felipe Campos: Mark Rothko, but I’m sure people know him.

Anna Sudderth: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Felipe Campos: Creative rejection should drive you to create more.