The young, creative Cristo Stefanoff was born in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, where he received primary and secondary education and started developing his artistic bent, in several painting and sculpture workshops.
In 1992 he learnt what “self-taught” means, when he won the first prize in the Patagonian Literary Contest of Arabic themes, granted by the Fund of the Arts. He nevertheless settled for painting, because he can’t adhere to the rules of spelling.
He arrived in Buenos Aires in 2000, where he continues to create works on paper, until 2003, when he takes the opportunity to begin experimenting freely in fashion, choosing the artists Delia Cancela , Marina de Caro, Yiya Marcilese and Marcos Porcella, among others, as teachers. After his graduation, he created his own apparel brand: MERBELLUX. From 2006 onwards, he made several presentations in various places in Buenos Aires, such as a night club, the City Botanical Garden or a movie theatre. Currently, Merbellux and Cristo also take part in several fashion productions for various media.
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
I choose “The journey”.
I made this drawing on an envelope I received at my place and put in my backpack, I don’t know why. One day, I went out on a trip and I really felt like drawing on the plane, so I took the envelope out and I let my hand move by itself, to the color markers’ rhythm, throughout the flight.
That’s why I chose this work. I think it is very representative of me, as I generally work spontaneously on everyday materials. I have an “automatic” hand that allows me to cover all spaces, and thus all characters, dreams and deeds, imagined o real, can be captured on paper and surrounded by a thousand colors.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
Almost all my works have an Expressionist / Surrealist look, sometimes with a fun and carefree touch, so my best piece of advice is for you to look for all the little details, surrender yourselves to the colors and immerse yourself, at that instant, in the work’s dimension, that is to say, enter the work and feel the breeze breathed by the characters and the canvas that embrace them.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
I’m a mixture of every tradition, I’m like a collage, with several influences from all periods starting from Baroque, but mostly from Impressionism and almost all its derivations. In any event, I don’t want to categorize myself: I’m an artist that just lets what’s inside of him flow. In every work there’s something of the artist’s feelings, it’s like a rule: Nordic Expressionism or the fouves …
I’m interested in several artists: Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Climp, Van Gogh, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol…
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
I simply don’t have much to say about that (in the last 15 years I’ve spent more time with TV cartoons than in reality). I think it was interesting for Marta Minujín to pay the external debt with corncobs in ’85. I just think it was a fun and generous act, pretending to settle a debt of the country.