My name is Matias Piantanida, aka Kobolder. I’m an argentinian/italian borned in Bahía Blanca, Argentina in 1980. My relationship with drawing dates back to when I was 3 years old. Somehow, drawing was always behind everything I did. In 2005, I began to study at the School of Visual Arts of Bahia Blanca (ESAV), and also I was selected as an exhibitor at the National Art Biennial of the City Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC, Bahia Blanca, Argentina) with my work “LA BARRA DEL CÓDIGO”. This year I continued taking classes and actively participating in art events in my city: Pasourbano Artist’s Fair, Bahia Blanca, Argentina (from May 13 to 15, 2005), Photography exhibitions: “Time Out” Cycle (100 photographs – August 11, 2005), Aire ’05 Event (110 photographs – December 17, 2005), etc.
Normally my choice to draw is to use ink, pencil most of the time black and white. But lately, I started to make some creations with color, digital art, and prints, like the cover of the Album “Good Morning to my Shadow, from Mothers of Guru”, or “The Tiny Triangle where your Heart scapes”. In the second place but really enjoy it, I make photography work mixing my drawings with Photos and digital art like the lately “Bettwäsche Couture”.
I could look back at the things I have done and see that undoubtedly women have always been a great source of inspiration, for example, since I can remember Madonna has always been someone who has generated fascination and admiration in me. But so have and are artists like Tim Burton, Mark Ryden, Jaime Hayon, Sandra Biondi, among many others. My drawing interests also come from Drag Queens, Egypt, Nature, Women, Fashion, Design, Travel, Cloudy Days, Clothes, Shoes, Boots, Black and White, Belle Epoque, Titanic, and more.
Drawing is a whole process, it is in permanent change, going through moments, ideas, etc. I could say that today my creative process, the act of drawing, begins, in most cases, with me sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper and drawing blindly as if in a moment of trance were. Sometimes I see myself drawing like in the movies: when a medium rolls his eyes back and throws lines on the paper as if those lines came from some spirit that is channeled through the pencil. Many times I explain that what I do is simply a matter of opening a small door in my forehead where all these characters -that have been trapped in my head for years- come out and push each other out and turning onto the paper, without order, without meaning, just for the searching for freedom.
Many times some people see my drawings and ask me: Why do they have big eyes? What is the reason for these drawings? What does this all mean? Why only in black and white and not in color? And I could say, that is exactly what I like about my drawings, the fact that you stare for a while, that the person who looks at them tries to give it their own meaning, that the person who admires the drawing realizes that they spent a while in front of the picture losing himself in the characters and imagining what is happening, and become part of it, because the observer completes the drawing by giving it his own meaning, that works for me, because I did something that makes the person who observes the drawing ask himself things, enjoy himself at the same time and escape from reality for a moment.
That is why my characters jump to the paper asking like an empty glass that the observer fills them with different personalities. Somehow I create beautiful packaging so that we can pour beautiful content into them. But for sure, this packaging is unique, beautiful, and only can be done by Kobolder.
Hey Kobolder! You say your relationship with drawing dates back to when you were 3 years old. What are your earliest memories of doing art?
Kobolder: My earliest memories related to arts are drawing robots and princesses. My first influence, I have to say, was Mazinger Z, and the Grimm brother’s stories with the Princesses and characters. We used to have a big book of their stories, which was amazing.
What motivates you as an artist? Is it curiosity, the search for beauty or meaning? And is there a message you are trying to give with your art?
Kobolder: Art in itself motivates me to do art because when I look at art I feel I wanna be part of that, I want to do that too! Of course, every time I draw something my goal is to do it better and better all the time. My intention is to make people and even myself get lost in my drawing for a moment, to disconnect from reality for a while, to dream or be part of the drawing.
Could you walk us through your process? How much planning do you do before you jump into a drawing? If you do, what are you trying to solve at each stage of it?
Kobolder: It depends. Every drawing is a different process. Sometimes I plan before, and sometimes I just
sit, take a pencil, and start to sketch. First I start with a pencil. Almost always there´s a character who
comes up first alone in the paper, and sometimes I draw it with details and from it, I start to fill the paper with more characters. Sometimes the dress of the character grabs all my attention and maybe I stay for minutes and minutes with just the dress. Also, I might stop for a day and then go back to it. So maybe one drawing can take just one day, just a couple of hours or even 2 months like the big ones. But dare says that first I, define the space, the shapes, followed by the strong lines of the characters, and finally focus on details.
You say you use ink, pencil most of the time black and white. But lately, you’ve started to make some creations with color, digital art, and prints. Tell us more about that transition.
Kobolder: I love black and white. It´s simple, clear, and as you can see it is my favorite way
to express myself on paper. But I´m curious about color, so lately, yes, I started to walk through color, and I think it works, but definitely, I always go back to black and white. Nothing compares to sitting down in front of a sheet of paper and starting to draw with a pencil. I continue to experiment with digital tools, which is a path that has just begun and that I will not leave. But I always go back to sheet and paper, I'm nostalgic.
Your art is very unique. What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Kobolder: The beginning of the course is the hardest. Every time there´s a fight in my mind: at the beginning always there´s a part of me saying “mmm that´s not good, looks terrible, just drop it”, and I struggle to continue drawing saying it will be good, and luckily I´ve to say, at some point of the process, when the drawing starts to have more defined shapes, the process changes to a smooth and quiet way up to the final result, and the energy changes completely.
How has your work developed since you began and how would you see it evolving in the future?
Kobolder: I was very active in arts and drawing almost 15 years ago showing my art, and participating in art events, museums, etc. Then I stopped for a few years, I was not ok, I was totally blocked. 4 years ago I moved from Argentina to Germany. Since I started living in Düsseldorf, my creative mind has flourished. I can´t stop drawing. I am not sure if is the city, my long trips with the bike here, the time I spend by myself, but I hope this won´t stop, and I am looking forward to sharing my art from here with the whole world so that many many people feel happy with my drawings.
Share some interesting facts about your art with us.
Kobolder: My art is really really unique, my art is flexible, my art is proof that no matter what my inner voice sometimes says: “you are not good enough” I become strong and proud with amazing drawings. My art wants to tell you: ” you can do it too !” But I insist, the best is my art is flexible.
What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on, and why?
Kobolder: Lately I´m combining photography and drawings. I am so excited about this, which is totally new for me and I love it. I love to dance, I love to do things with my body, so the fact that I started to add this to my drawings makes me really happy.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Kobolder: Wow, I think the first time in art school (it was the first week, of the first year), in front of all the class my art professor said, that everybody has to go to the MAC Museum in my city (Bahía Blanca) to see my drawing called”La Barra del Código” Also, the reaction every time someone sees -in person- my work, is totally different from when they see it on Instagram or Facebook.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
What’s next for you?
Kobolder: My big goal is to be capable to travel the world carrying my drawings, to feel the reaction of the people who are in front of my work, and it would be a dream to live between Germany and Argentina. These last months were so interesting because thanks to social media I could speak with amazing artists from many places of the world, like SouthKorea, Japan, Germany and Argentina of course, Russia, Belgium, the USA and many more.