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GET FAMILIAR: JEANPAUL PAULA

Posted by Anne van Lingen on

For OSCAM'S second art exhibition in their new location, Patta curators Violette Esmeralda (head of photography) and Lee Stuart (brand director) have selected a variety of artists from Gilleam Trapenberg, Wes Mapes, Stacii Samidin, Serana Angelista, Shertise Solano, JeanPaul Paula to Dion Rosina. The show has closed due to COVID-19 safety measures, but we still feel you should get to know all participating artists. Next up: JeanPaul Paula.   
 JeanPaul, as a quick introduction to our readers, who are you and how would you describe your art?
My name is JeanPaul Paula I would say it’s a conversation on masculinity that I'm having with myself. 
How did your relationship with art begin?
Music, movies, video games, fashion and anime. Born in the 80s i grew obsessed with TV and visual culture. It shaped the way I look at the world and myself.
 
How would you place your art in our current social/ political landscape?
As a BLACK GAY MAN my voice is secondary and people like me are being murdered and silenced daily. Existing, being visible and using my voice are all forms of protest against the status quo that is the heteronormative white world that we live in now. 

What do you feel an artist needs to add on a cultural level?
If you're not in one way or the other trying to be part of the solution with some of the big problems we have in the world when it comes to racism misogyny and the environment, you're part of the problem.

What messages are you trying to convey to your audience through your art?
There is a reason why we are where we are at now, let's take a good look at ourselves and do better.
Please explain your creative process.
Education, Open a dialog, Fight myself and Others, Produce/ Create and repeat. 

What is the hardest part of being an artist? What part is the most rewarding?
The hardest is getting to the point where you are proud enough of yourself (being your own worst critic). The most rewarding is the orgasmic feeling of pride when a job, work, process is done.
 
  What advice would you give to young artists trying to find their voice?
A lot of people talk about what they want to do and never do anything. Trying, doing, failing doesn’t mean death just dust yourself off and do it again.

How has your history of working with Patta been so far?
Being able to be myself and never having to tone myself down has been my relationship with Patta. Being black and Gay has closed allot of doors especially in the Macho culture that runs street wear culture. Patta has always welcomed me with open arms and respected me for me.
 
 
Can you tell us a little about the intention behind your work on view in the OSCAM exhibition, and how it came to life?
Why do black people believe in a book that was given to them by white people? I have a hard time understanding how religion has shaped black culture. Especially when you look at how colonialism and slavery has shaped the world. This is my baby brother, my fathers youngest son and his path between being a saint and the choices put before young children to choose a path or go astray.