Apples floating amongst the clouds. Puzzle pieces reflecting the sky. Escalators extending to nowhere. César Pelizer is a digital artist, animator and illustrator known for crafting bold and surreal worlds. Reminiscent of mind-bending paintings by René Magritte, his images blur the lines between dreams and reality. These imaginative landscapes mixes 3D and 2D elements, resulting in digital artworks that are full of energy. Pelizer, who is represented by The Strip Gallery, speaks to Aesthetica about his practice.
A: How and when did you start creating your art? What’s your story?
CP: I don’t remember when I started drawing – it’s something I always gravitated towards. I was quite shy as a child, so drawing was always a good way to spend my afternoons after school. I was lucky to have a lot of free time when I was in my teens, and I was attracted to new technologies. Learning different software was more like a hobby than anything, but it gave me the means to start creating digital works from a very young age. I used to make illustrations for local newspapers at age 15, and everything snowballed after that. Nowadays I try to balance my time between commercial and personal works; quite often I get commercial commissions because of my personal work. This makes me want to spend more and more time working on personal stuff and try to find that sweet balance – hopefully blurring the lines between the two.
A: What do you want to communicate through your works?
CP: I like my works to have ambiguous meanings. Most of my pieces have a personal meaning behind them, but they are also open for interpretations depending on the viewer’s angle and opinions. Broadly speaking, my work treads the line between dreamy and predictable scenarios.
A: What inspires you?
CP: My inspiration usually comes from things I’ve seen – or things I think I’ve seen. Often, I later realise that these images have come from a dream or a blend of memory and fantasy. I like people-watching and observing quirks in personalities, both in-person and through film or photography.
A: Is there a character in your works that represents you?
CP: Not quite. My idea with this genderless/faceless character is to represent everybody and no one at the same time. You can either relate to it or know someone that will.
A: With your characters and their stories, it feels like we are entering a new world. What is the common thread that binds your works?
CP: To blur the line between dream and reality. My characters and stories are constantly fluctuating between the two worlds.
A: How do you create your digital artwork?
CP: I do a lot of thinking and planning before I sit down at my desk. My ideas usually come to me in the most random and unexpected moments – they come and go without any pattern. Sometimes, when I forget to make note of a particular idea, I might forget about it and suddenly have the same idea or thought months later. Somehow, I’m always trying to get that “deja vú” feeling in my animation and illustration – something I’ve seen, done or thought about before. The digital part of my process is actually the easiest and more mundane part; it’s more about execution and exploration than the technique itself.
A: What do you think about NFT art?
CP: I think NFTs open up so many opportunities for creatives to support their own work and buy themselves the most valuable asset in the world: time. Time to create and explore new ways of creating; they can take a breath from commercial projects.
A: What has been the most satisfying moment of your artistic career?
CP: The greatest satisfaction was when I finished my first animated short film Looking For Something. It opened up many doors for my commercial work, allowing me to spend more time working on my personal style and projects.
A: What are your upcoming projects and dreams for the future?
CP: I’m planning an arts residency in Japan next year, where I will spend three months in the Japanese countryside. I’ll be drawing through my experiences and capturing the scenery, which will later lead to an exhibition.
Find out more here.
Image Credits: 1. Cesar Pelizer, Holding Together
2. Cesar Pelizer, Orange Bubble
3. Cesar Pelizer, Back
4. Cesar Pelizer, Stairs to Self Discovery C
5. Cesar Pelizer, Disassembled
6. Cesar Pelizer, In My Head
7. Cesar Pelizer, Missing Piece
8. Cesar Pelizer, Small Pint