Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Artist Interview: Michael Joachim Westfried Soriano
What is your name: Michael Joachim Westfried Soriano
Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:
To some degree, I imagine that every artist is self-taught. However,
I have received both public and private training throughout my
childhood. I received my first degree from The University of Texas at
Dallas and my MFA from La Universidad Polytecnica de Valencia which is
What is the style of your pieces: I find myself drawing different
visual elements and philosophies from several different genres. I
don't know if there is really a genre of art that I have let
completely untouched. In some way or other most styles have had an
influence on the way I make art. I suppose that I borrow more from
neo-expressionism or symbolism then I borrow from futurism for cubism,
for example, but I do incorporate elements from many different styles
in my work.
What started you on your path as an artist: When I returned home from
my best friends funeral in 2007 I smoked a few cigarettes with my
father and had a very serious conversation about life. I expressed
gravitas in continuing to pursue art with the full force of my will.
He responded by expressing to me that the first time that he had ever
seen my hands, he had thought to himself and had told my mother that
my hands were the hands of an artist. My very first memory is of
where my mother kept the finger-paints when we lived in Bristol,
Connecticut. Please don't misinterpret this story and memory as a
pretension. I believe that all things are predestined.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your
life: introspection. focus. joy. a state of wakeful meditation.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: I find
Dada to be fascinating and I commend/blame the genre for playing a
crucial role in the creation of post-modernism.
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: Yes,
they tend to be dramatically different in their nature. The art
showings that my work has been seen at tend to involve fairly large
amounts of people drinking wine in a gallery though I have been in
other kinds of shows.
try very hard to have my art seen by the most people possible and
have done some pretty ludicrous things to get my message across. For
example, while I was living in Spain I decided to do some performance
art in public. I remember thinking that people tended to be creatures
of habit and pride. One of the things that I would do, for example,
to break the routine of people's lives and embarrass people (thereby
diminishing their pride) would be to teach total strangers the hokey
pokey at random, inappropriate times. I coerced people to do the
hokey pokey at house parties, while being introduced to people and
during music concerts.
I have been in shows with live music, even a band, as well as a show
at an artist residency in Dallas called Centraltrak which also
featured live music. Here is a video from that particular exhibition.
Also, this page talks more about that particular show and features the
artwork that was shown.
I am also going to show some work in a house party/art show that will
feature some other artists from the Dallas area. I'ts really fun to
be involved in that kind of a hip, underground kind of show but it
doesn't really do much for my resume.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: Yes. I have
been living as somewhat of a shut-in, and the clothing that I make art
in is generally the clothing that I wear all the time. I will change
them if I am going to be in a situation where I might need to meet new
people. So far this means that I only wear my "normal people"
clothing about once a week.
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? It
really depends on what I am going through at the moment.
Self-promotion tends to be an extremely frustrating part of the art
game for me and I look forward to being represented by a gallery or an
What is your favorite sandwich of all time: I am not familiar with "all time".
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what
are they: Yes, they have. I have begun a new series of drawings
that are far larger then anything I have done in the past. I am still
painting and following inspiration, but the drawings have become my
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: My answer to this question
is constantly in flux and I'm not talking about Yoko Ono.
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person:
Hmm.... Depends on what kind of movement we are talking about... How
can I measure the amount of sadness that a work has inspired in me
against the joy that I have experienced from another?
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have a
pet Rottweiler/Box mix, also know as a Boxweiler. She is a fairly
intelligent dog but I assume that her thoughts are non-verbal.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:
Sure. I will be in a juried show at the Mighty Fine Arts Gallery in
Dallas on the 7th of August, 2010.