If you ask us, Esteban Ocampo-Giraldo is one of the most talented young painters we've recently encountered. A native of Colombia and New York City transplant, Esteban attended the New York Academy of Art. After a few years in the city, his visits back home to Colombia began to inspire a new body of work, paintings that integrate memory, experience and imagination to weave scenes that recognize the humor and connection in everyday life.
Check out his artwork on Sugarlift here!
LIVES & WORKS IN Harlem, NYC
ON THE CLOCK I wake up at around 8-9 am and get ready to go to the studio to paint :) After that no one knows what will happen.
YOUR ART WEEKEND (Ideally) On Saturday, start at the American Museum of Natural History, walk across Central Park, then visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Then on Sunday, a double feature at the movies!
ALBUM Room on Fire by The Strokes
FILM Paris, Texas
ARTIST There's really no way I can answer this question writing only one name or a million.
BOOK Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar
LATEST PURCHASE A nice piece of 12 oz cotton duck canvas for a painting.
GUILTY PLEASURE The chicken salad croissant at Dunkin’ Donuts and watching “Maury” while I run at the gym
GRADE IN ART CLASS 3.5 to 3.7?
36 HOURS I would go visit my family in Colombia.
So your paintings are representational, but you're not looking at any source material (most of the time). Why is this so important to your process?
I think that when I don't have a reference, and I'm working 100% from memory or imagination, the chances of being completely true to my goals and completely unique in the way I paint are increased by a wide margin. I really believe this is the only time I can be truly original, or at least try and not fail so disgracefully.
Who are some of your biggest influences? If you could spend the day looking over the shoulder of any painter who came before you, who would that be?
Mmm…this is always such a tricky question because I cannot name all of them. I would say just the history of painting is something that I always have in mind, because my taste changes so much and I get obsessed with so many different artist at the same time from so many different periods in history. Ensor, Velazquez, Freud, Schiele, Eisenman, Staver, Picasso, Kirchner, Uribe, Von Kaufmann…you know, the usual suspects if I have to name some.