Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic

Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic’s signature works take two forms: There are the swirls of color, a meeting of vibrant pigment in loose, flowing abstractions, and there are his calligraphic works—all exacting, hard edges, completed with precision. This duality is one of many in Mestrovic’s artistic approach, a series of stark contrasts that can create effects radically greater than the sum of their constituent parts. Working from two continents (North America and Asia) both traditionally and commercially, Mestrovic has a unique ability to give his works on paper, murals, furniture, brands, fashion, and other work his very particular aesthetic life, movement, and place in time.

BORN: Buenos Aires.

BASED: Between New York and Tokyo.

AGE: 30-ish.

I MAKE: I communicate in a visual way, whether it’s through paint, ink, installation, sculpture, fashion, or fabric. I make things that convey an emotion, and hopefully to make people feel something.

WHAT I NEED TO CREATE ART: Honesty. I need to understand something, or to have a sincere curiosity about it, to devote the necessary time and energy in order to express something about it.

I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW: That I feel very fortunate to do what I do, and that it hasn’t been easy. It’s still not easy. I always say that art is for the inherently wealthy or the eternally destitute. There’s very little middle ground; either you have the ability to do it or you’re willing to starve for it—although I’m actually somewhere in-between.

WHEN I STARTED CALLING MYSELF AN ARTIST: Other people did. I can’t really separate “me” and “artist.” It’s what I’ve always done. As a kid, I was really into Disney, and I would copy Mickey Mouse cartoons, sketch these characters. I would sell my little paintings for 25 cents. My parents saw that and were like, “You’re into it, so go ahead and do it.”

HOW I WORK THROUGH A BLOCK: Understanding what I want to express. Art is visual problem-solving. And there’s trust in the process, trust in the intent. If it’s a material not doing what you want it to do, then it’s about this Japanese approach called monozukuri—going along with nature, rather than working against it.

I’LL ALWAYS ADMIRE: People who excel at their craft and maintain a sense of humility, who seek to make this world better than it was.