In Conversation With Keciano

Keciano is a South Auckland based visual artist who creates colourful large-scale pieces influenced by self-discovery and life's seasons. His works are bright and fluid, often organic in shape and layered with his own interpretations of the world around him.

We visited Keciano’s studio and had the chance to speak to him about his work, his favourite cartoons, the significance of the title of his exhibition ‘Ephemera’, and how he keeps himself creatively nourished and grounded.

Kia ora Keciano, tell us about yourself and what you do.

Malo! My name is Keciano and I am a South Auckland based artist. I’ve been drawing ever since I could remember and recently picked up the brush a few years ago. From painting, it opened up my eyes to more mediums, further developing my understanding of art as a whole. I’ve since transitioned from paper to canvas, from wrist to elbow, close to shoulder.

What initially drew you to the medium of painting?

To feel my creations at a larger scale has always piqued my interest. In the scale of an illustrator wrapped into the slight lines of an A4 pad I could only move so much. I chose to move from wrist to elbow, close to shoulder. Not just in movement but in depth of the matter, how can I bring more life to the canvas? I could only express so much through pen on paper so I moved to paint on canvas which felt the more raw. From wrist to elbow, close to shoulder.

What relationship do you have with your practice?

That of my offspring. The more pieces I birth consistently the more life I feel breathed into each piece I create.

What practices do you engage in to keep yourself creatively nourished and grounded?

Watch Dragon Ball Z everyday. But also I have started journaling on my notes about each piece I’ve been working on. It has been really helpful and grounding, both acknowledging my strengths and weaknesses has helped me improve piece to piece.

Something we love about your work is your use of bright colours and your ability to create large scale pieces – two things that a lot of artists shy away from. Has this always felt natural to you?

Yes. I’ve always been a big fan of bold and bright colours, the many forms from late night Cartoon Network and Kissanime 720p animation has raised me to be the artist I am today.

We loved your exhibition Ephemera. What does ephemera mean to you and how did this title tie into the works you created?

Fuarrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Ephemera for me was a reflection of my transition from teen to young adult in Auckland (while being a creative). Also what I felt like my life as a Samoan in South Auckland felt like; the here and there drinkups, the art shows every few weeks, the family gatherings ever so often. These little trinkets of social gatherings I’d experienced felt shallow at times, like a reflection of a puddle on a rainy day. It inspired me to paint pieces that felt temporary to the touch. Majority of the pieces aren’t filled and honestly only took a few hours to paint. But the joy of life filled those temporary moments, moments to remember; puddles that were deeper than they seemed.

I’ll probably revisit ephemera down the line as I feel like it has much more potential but for now this is all I got.

What have you been enjoying lately?

A few months ago I started programming my own mesocycle and I’ve been at it every working day, progressive overloading every working week, it’s been mean. From that I’ve learnt to note down and find ways to improve my overall health, dialling in all aspects of my life, from how I rest to what I consume, it’s helped approach my day to day much more efficiently. Rest especially has been a big factor, I’ve found making with a clear and open mind has been better than a fatigued one, also I’m able to push out the work more consistently. I’ve been progressing and adapting to this more methodical lifestyle but of course there’s errors and shortcomings here and there. But those failures are what have helped me grow. If any part of my work feels too good, then I know I’m not doing enough.


Find Keciano on Instagram: @keciano6

More and more at a gallery near you.

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