READ IN: Español
Javier de la Blanca is a mirror in which to see art without limits, gender activism, creative provocation or fashion reflected from an anti-aesthetic and eccentric focus full of emotions and messages to communicate to a society in the midst of the awakening era.
In the role of stylist, designer or model he has worked for brands such as Chromosome Residence or magazines such as Varón Magazine in the development of infinite experimental projects that flee from normativity. He has also recently stood out as one of John Galliano‘s main sources of inspiration for Maison Margiela‘s latest SS19 collection, for ‘his attitude, personality and rebelliousness’, according to the firm’s creative director.
The artist creates subversion towards the system, playing with the forbidden to make you feel. He vibrates with ugliness and ironizes with anti-fashion in outfits full of colored vomits. But it also does so through distortion and/or deformity, when it transforms itself into a bald, fat, pregnant person or even into an alien. A chameleonic and feminist imaginary that reflects in his posts of Instagram, the platform of artistic expression that loves and hates him at the same level: a limb that makes him feel alive.
We talk with Javier (@delablanca_ ) so that he could finish taking us into that inner world so inspired that it should be projected towards the whole universe.
Highxtar (H.) – I read some time ago that your favourite phrase in the world is ‘make me feel alive’. What really makes you feel alive?
Javier de la Blanca (J) – Nowadays that phrase is so internalized that I feel it until a little past. But in general what I want to say is that when I started to discover myself, I noticed that I could never have a life empty of emotions. I consider myself an extreme person, I need to live everything down to the last pore of my skin.
“[Gender] we must erase it, make it disappear so that absolute equality is part of our society.”
Javier de la Blanca
H. – What do you think of the new creative scene that is being generated in Madrid? How does the whole movement inspire you?
J – It is incredible that Madrid is a great focus of revolution, and I feel very proud to have been able to live that experience in the first person. I wasn’t very aware of the enormous visibility that the people of the city had until I was in other cities like Paris or Berlin and I discovered that many people asked me: what is happening in Madrid?
H. – Instagram is your biggest platform for artistic expression, but at the same time it limits your art. How does it affect you, and why do you think censorship still persists in full 2018?
J – Censorship is part of the provocation and rebellion, of creating and feeling yourself in some limited way because society doesn’t understand the “why”, it is only enclaved in ridiculous rules that force you to follow, but they close the account gagging your freedom of expression.
But if you don’t play in the fine line of “forbidden,” you don’t get people to think, to remove themselves from within. And that’s exactly my biggest motivation when I post.
H. – What is fashion for Javier de la Blanca? What role does gender play here?
J – By one hand, fashion is my way of expression. Like for a painter oil or brushes. But I’ve always believed that you shouldn’t take it too seriously, you have to know how to laugh at yourself and be able to play in an ironic and funny way.
On the other hand, the subject of gender is something much more serious for me, since I consider myself a strong feminist, and being part of the activism of the genre is a very important struggle for me: we must erase it, make it disappear so that absolute equality is part of our society. I began to feel part of this when I wore officially “feminine” garments and people looked at me, insulted me or didn’t understand.
H. – In your images/collages there is always a kind of irony towards aesthetics and the normative through looks, defomation, aging, etc. What do you want to convey with all this?
J – That I see as ridiculous the exposure of perfection, mainstream beauty and all the need to expose an unnecessary false reality. I just laugh, I laugh first at myself, at what people expect from someone with a certain visibility in networks. I think taking things too seriously is very absurd, I like to look ugly, old, bald or deformed. It makes me feel more like me than smiling behind the Eiffel Tower.
H. – If you had the power to change some aspect of Spanish society, what would it be?
J – All that new generation that is growing for days, that have extreme right-wing feelings or even a certain adulation of Franco’s fascism. You can’t change the minds of the old people who lived through that terrifying Spanish period, but how can there be 17-year-olds who raise their arms and sing “Cara al Sol”? It gives me shame and sadness that I could not even explain with words.
H. – Either they love you or they hate you. How do you handle that?
J – Exactly that’s me. Someone of extremes. So over time I have come to understand that those opposite feelings are what certain people project toward me.
H. – J. de la Blanca still combines a Humana garment with a Gucci, but which would be the ones that most identify you right now?
J – My friends always tell me to wear anything, and now I think they are absolutely right haha. Many times I’ve “gone over” with a look, or I’ve put on clothes that didn’t suit me very well, but as I told you, I never take fashion very seriously, so I think I’ll be wrong a thousand times more and with pleasure.
H. – What do you think we could extract/learn from Chromosome Residence? What is your current relationship with the brand?
J – I started helping the brand when I was just 19 years old and it helped me a lot to learn how a brand worked from the inside. It gave me a lot of freedom and support to create and be myself, and I feel there is a great connection between their garments and content and my way of understanding fashion.
I decided to stop working on the brand to look for my own ways, but today I have a very good relationship with the designer and the team, and I feel very proud of the work of everyone and from time to time we continue collaborating.
H. – Which project have you been most vibrant with as a stylist, designer, model or performer?
J – According to the latest events, I went to Paris a few days ago to meet John Galliano and the whole Maison Martin Margiela team, without a doubt.
H. – How do you see yourself in 10 years? What do you dream of being or doing?
J – It is absolutely impossible to answer that question. I don’t even know what I will do tomorrow night.