Ivan’s work has many layers to it – not only via the optical illusions of mirrors and lights, but in his intentions and the motivation behind his materials. Ivan started to use electricity for his art simply “because it was a very available material in any space, through outlets. There was this literalism, this source of power. So I started making sculptures that would depend on this source.”
Since then, his work has explored electricity in various creative and intellectual ways and has been shown around the world. We were able to walk through his multi-leveled studio and talk to him about the intention behind certain pieces, his other job as a record label owner, and the beginnings of his art with electricity…
On his series of mirror and word pieces:
I started developing this kind of idea of fictional depth in very shallow pieces, in very thin sculptures. These…are only five inches deep, but they create this very endless space, just by combining two pieces of mirror.
On making art in Chile in the 1990s:
When I lived in Chile, during the mid-nineties, the dictatorship just ended only five years before. So in those five years still there was no place for young artists to show their work. My group of friends were always discussing what will be the way to make art in this context when there aren’t any institutions to show art, and my idea was to make pieces that can be used in ordinary places like living rooms or lobbies of hotels or whatever places that weren’t fine-art spaces as furniture but at the same time understood as sculptures. So they could use a space that wasn’t officially for contemporary art.