Ivan Alifan: An Exclusive Interview with A.I.M.O.
Ivan, can you please tell our audience about how you choose your subject matter? My subject matter is most often a portrait that has been dipped in ambiguous liquids. This started with my fascination of how sexy and attractive paint can be; the way the paint slowly squeezes out of a tube and on to a pallet . I often wondered if I was the only one that felt this way. I once was caught standing in line, staring, watching a Dunkin Donuts commercial. The image was of donuts being dipped in a chocolate glaze. It revealed a lot to me about our cravings and desires, and the innate sexuality that we as humans put into most things. I understand now why they call it “food porn”. I take those elements and bring it to my work in the hopes of revealing to the viewer the underlying sexual relationship that we might all share.
What mediums do you prefer to work with? Are there any that intimidate you that you would like to try using? I prefer to use oil paints, because oils were created to paint flesh. I would say watercolor intimidates me. You have to act fast with it. Watercolor is for people who think quickly, while oil paint is for the artist who sits and thinks as he or she pushes paint around. I believe I still haven’t fully explored oil paints, because only now am I able to use it in a sculptural way; using cake pipping bags to build up the surface and make a more textual work of art.
Seeing you at the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series was like a dream come true for me. Special thanks to fellow artist Elizabeth Waggett. How did you become involved with that particular contest? What exactly did you win? I saw the contest online on Instagram. Singing up took me a minute and I completely forgot about it. After a few weeks, Bombay contacted me and told me that I was chosen to be one of the finalists out of thousands who applied. Honestly, I didn’t think much about the contest in the beginning, but as I got further in the process and found out more about it, I began to see the wonderful possibilities that it could bring. The prize consisted of being flown to Miami, Florida during Art Basel, having VIP passes to the majority of the art showings, staying in a beautiful hotel, meeting celebrities and walking away with $3,000 and a solo show in an NYC gallery of my choice. I was very honored and lucky to have had the opportunity to participate and get as far as I did.
What is next for you? I have a group show in the Shelburne Museum in Vermont entitled “Sweet Tooth” beginning in September, and running until January 2018. I am also currently working on multiple large commissions for a few of my private collectors. In addition to all those things, because The Bombay Sapphire show went really well, the gallery I showed with offered me another solo show in the future.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be with and why? I would love to collaborate with a professional photographer. An Le is the perfect candidate for this because he its another young artist that I admire. We also share similar interests and aesthetics when it comes to how the human figure can be presented. He has already created multiple covers for vogue magazine, as well as numerous other publications. We have already started throwing ideas and concepts around, and there is a good chance that we will work together in the near future. The goal right now would be to create a wonderful photography spread, while also getting a stunning painting out of the process. Where can our readers learn more about both you and your work? Readers can find me on Instagram @ivanalifan and my website www.ivanalifan.com.