Masterminds 2013: Artist of the Day, Charles Papillo

Categories: Art, Artopia
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Who are today's most promising emerging artists? Each year, SF Weekly finds 10 of them for our Masterminds issue. You'll be able to see these artists and their work up close at Artopia on Thursday, Feb. 21, at SOMArts Cultural Center.

That night we'll also announce the three artists who will receive grants. Come out and meet them. But first, get to know their work.

See Also: All the Masterminds 2013 artists

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Charles Papillo
Grown Up: Part I

Painting the Better You:
Charles Papillo

Here's what happens if you know Charles Papillo: He'll ask you to recall your childhood, then to recall your career aspiration. Crime fighter? Ballerina? Astronaut? President? Whatever it was, Papillo will make a portrait of the idealized you -- an intricate synthesis of photography, collage, and drawing that compresses your former dreams into your current physical state. The portraits are called "When I Grow Up."

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Charles Papillo

"I try to connect all these things, and I'm actually creating a costume for people," says Papillo, 26, who graduated with a fine arts degree from Parsons The New School For Design. "A lot of these portraits are layered, and there are different stories within the portrait."

His portraits are part of a bigger body of work that includes mixed-media art on paper (mandalas are a big theme), and a new project involving anonymous grocery lists he's found at Rainbow Grocery and other San Francisco markets. Papillo, who lives in San Francisco, says his approach is about taking objects and people out of a particular context and placing them into a new and sometimes contradictory environment. Unlike more traditional portraits, Papillo's depict people who may not recognize themselves in his art, an openness to interpretations of ideals.

"I want people to investigate my art and decide for themselves," he says. 

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Charles Papillo


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