Los Angeles artist BB Bastidas has always had a thing for the outerspace. His colorful artistic universe is rich in Aliens, starry skies, apex predators and more awesome cosmic psychedelia. It seems like he recently found conceptual climax blending contemporary cultural references, astrological and mythological tidbits and life slices from very own birth chart in a very personal series of paintings titled BB The Extra Terrestrial, shown in Paris earlier this summer. I had a chance to sit down with BB and chat about his recent travels, ideas, icons and dreams. Enjoy!
LF: Tell me about how you got into painting…
BB: I always loved art for the simple reason that if you can think it, it can manifest in to something. But I would say it was on a trip I took to SF when i was 18, which opened my eyes. I was staying at a house full of creative people and I guess it inspired me to really give it a go.
LF: Can you explain the concept behind the Solar System series?
BB: The show was based on the solar system and each planet was represented by a prolific person who inspired me. Each planet in our solar system is named after a Roman god – Mars for example is the God of war, which I choose to portray as Martin Luther King, because he was fighting a war… but not in a typical fashion. There was a lot of symbolism in each piece; some were ironic. I wanted to do this so that people who aren’t too familiar or knowledgeable about the solar system and Roman / Greek mythology would have a new outlook on it.
LF: What inspired you to show it in Paris?
BB: I wanted to go to Paris and do the show because when I was younger I Google-ed top 5 places to sell art and it was Paris, London, LA, NY, Tokyo and I’ve been trying to mark them all off the list ever since its kinda dumb reason but that’s why 3 down 2 to go.
LF: You had 40 days to pull off 10 paintings. How in hell did you make it happen?
BB: Coffee, weed… I dont know it was a lot of work to get all those paintings done and and set up those shows in a country I had never been to, also my dad got really sick half way into it and I was taking care of him then he passed away, so that was hard on me I moved out of my house, threw my dad’s ashes in the ocean and left.
LF: How did your trip pan out? What did you learn there?
BB: The trip was rad! I got to see Europe for the first time and to do two shows there. Met a bunch of new people, skated around, painted some walls. I guess I just saw how Europe works and got to experience it. I learned a little French.
LF: Tell us a bit about your creative process.
BB: I just live my life and something will happen where it sparks a idea in my head, or when I’m about to sleep I think of good ideas then just write them down and make it happen.
LF: You titled your show BB The Extra Terrestrial. Do you feel alienated as an artist / earth citizen?
BB: I do sometimes feel alienated form society more than less, humans are animals.
LF: What’s on your playlist right now?
BB: Rodriguez, Abner Jay, Speed Glue and Shinki.
LF: How does skateboarding influence your art?
BB: Skateboarding is freedom and so is art so they go hand in hand. If you want them to take you somewhere they will.
LF: What’s your favorite deck you ever created? Why?
BB: Maybe Figgy’s first Baker board, Andrew asked me to do it as a surprise, it was an honor!
LF: What’s next for you?
BB: I want to keep traveling and do my art in new places.
LF: When are you happiest?
BB: When the ball of life is rolling!
LF: How fast do you live?
BB: 100mph in the car pool lane with no passengers!!!!! I dont know… I have my ups and downs.
BB Bastidas Links