Marcos Lafarga: Oddly Inspiring

Originally published on Visionary Artistry Mag with photos here:

Every artist has a statement. Sometimes, it’s just art for art’s sake. Images are placed together very specifically to create a message. Sometimes, those messages are written out right in front of your face. This is exactly what Marcos Lafarga does.

Born in Antioch, Calif., the artist now works and lives out of the Bay Area suburb of Concord, Calif. Though he’s got his family in the ‘burbs (the picturesque wife and two kids), Lafarga spends some time in San Francisco and especially Oakland. Now, he’s most commonly associated with Oakland’s art scene, something with which he’s totally content. He worked and went to school in Oakland, so it’s only natural that Oakland welcomes him to the scene with open arms. Lafarga has found that the art community (especially in the Bay Area) is largely positive, but there are a couple of negatives to being an artist – there’s always a yin to a yang.

“I think the positive is the art community in general and meeting people. I’ve met some of the most incredible people and great friends through being an artist. The negative can be keeping up the energy to keep going. On occasion time, money and energy can be extremely low and I ask myself why the hell do I keep doing this. It can be a depressing and emotional thing. Such as life though and in the end I love being a creator,” Lafarga explained to online culture mag Boogie Bot Monthly.

The positive aspect of the art community that Lafarga mentioned is apparent in his own works. His images are text based and offer words of wisdom. Phrases like “fear is the enemy” and “quality not quantity” offer positive reminders of what’s really important. Sometimes, these affirmations are necessary for the artist and not just for the audience. A common issue for artists is the business side of the industry, but Lafarga uses that yin and yang approach to his art as a product as well.

“I take it as it comes. There are ups and downs to everything. I ask a lot of questions and I learn as I go. Communication is key. Being organized helps a lot too,” the artist said with online art and photography mag Neo Collective.

Aside from the text, there is also a very clean-cut graphic aspect to the artist’s work. Some pieces feature using diagonal lines and stippling as shading – similar to what you’d see in a comic book. Some pieces are just black and white with maybe a little cream color to make the words pop. Here, the focus is on the actual message of the words. In other works, there are almost naked ladies and bright colors. Here we have something aesthetically pleasing to look at while the artist gets to play around with different techniques. Lafarga practices the hard corners for letters and the gentle slopes of the human body.

Though the ability to master many techniques, there is always a desire to have a specific, recognizable style. As the subjects change, Lafarga still would like to focus on his lettering.

“My style has become more graphic and more consistent. For me It’s the subject matter that will continue to change. The typography and lettering has definitely become more of a focus in my work as well,” Lafarga said with Boogie Bot Monthly.

Artists often provide commentary on the world around them – politics and culture are always a topic of artistic discussion. Though this is necessary, sometimes we need those positive reminders that while life is tough, we have the ability to deal with anything life throws at us. This is what Marcos Lafarga presents.

-Geneva Toddy


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