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John Paul Fauves is the acclaimed Costa Rican artist who is exploring the concept of innocence via his latest exhibition, entitled A Loss of Innocence, in association with The Tax Collection. His show, which travelled from Guy Hepner Gallery in New York to Meir Art Gallery in Antwerp during these past months, is all about hedonism versus redemption. Last week, he presented it during Paris Design Week, when wehad the opportunity to catch up with him. 
How would you sum up your aesthetic in three words?
Neo Pop Expressionism.
Which artists have shaped your career?
Van Gogh, Matisse, Warhol, Basquiat, De Kooning, Modigliani, Caravaggio and Picasso.
Are there any new artists that you admire?
Ai Weiwei, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Banksy, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and George Condo.
Who/what has had the biggest impact on your work?
My own life. I once read that an artist of the Romanticism era was created because they were so romantic when it came to life experiences – they always lived in the extremes and there was no middle ground. I am a canvas and my life experiences are brush strokes to my soul.

Tell us about your current exhibition.
It is called A Loss Of Innocence. It discusses how we are all born innocent, but as we grow we start to experience events that create our new selves. I try to reflect on the hedonism of our own ego, where we search our own satisfaction no matter the consequences. I'm also using masks during the show trying to break this false ego creation we all have; once you have it on, you stop judging the external world.
The idea is to start looking for happiness within yourself and not within this constant shallow endless need of external distractions of the world. In my art I try to reflect on the deterioration of that false illusion and how this egocentric world creates us. The show has been held in New York and in Antwerp (Belgium) recently. From there it’s moved to Paris now in September with new art, and it’s going to travel to China in October. I am also planning the last show of the year to take place in Los Angeles.
When did you start to prepare for the show?
The whole concept has been a two-year-long project and I'm still developing it. I already have a new project in mind, which I will start working on in early 2018, so this is the last year for A Loss Of Innocence.
Which is your favourite piece and why?
I like them all, since each piece is a part of my own life experience. I can't choose the best moment of my life since they are all lessons for my growth, and it is the same with my art.
What do you want the viewer to feel?
That they are a soul.

Words
Sarah Jones

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