Artists under Lockdown: Rodrigo Pinto
A designer living in Santiago de Chile.
The Design Edit (TDE): How are you keeping busy in self-isolation?
Rodrigo Pinto (RP): Actually all of this self-isolation has not been difficult for me. I’ve always been a solitary person. Of course I have my family and friends but I live in my workshop with my dog. So, in some respects my life has not been too different. My way of keeping busy is to spend some time in my workshop with all the materials that I haven’t used up – working on new projects. In fact I’m making some new chairs; fixing up some maquettes that are broken; drawing (I always do that); listening to music (paying more attention to some albums that I have never properly listened to before); reading a book called Las Cartas del Diablo a su Sobrino [The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis]. Also, I’ve been walking a lot and playing with my dog.
TDE: Everyone’s pace of life has slowed down considerably; what is the impact of this new rhythm on your work life and home life?
RP: Maybe the most considerable impact for me is there is not work to do. Some weeks ago I finished the biggest production I’ve ever made for the gallery and it has been a coincidence that after all of that, the virus started. The gallery was organising an exhibition of some of these pieces at the gallery, but this won’t be possible for a few months. So for now, I’m keeping calm and focusing on some new projects and thinking how I can possibly improve my work. My family time has been brusquely interrupted by the shutdown. I spend a lot of time with them, especially with my grandma who is really important to me. Fortunately she is with my uncles and sister – that’s a relief. I call her everyday. The situation here in Chile is not so favourable but I trust we’ll be stronger when all of this finishes. Sadly our government is not doing the right things.
TDE: Do you have a favourite self-isolation recipe to share with us?
RP: I think the best recipe is to take this as an opportunity. Start to think about the possibility that this marks the end of an era. Start to ask yourself: what if I didn’t have a smartphone or a computer, how would I use my time? This is exactly the moment when you realise that all the creative capabilities inside you could save your life. Maybe I think this way because I’ve been dreaming about the end of the world since I was a child. Everything about my work has a relationship with the end of something to create another thing completely new. I think it is very clear that I love chaos. I’m not crazy, it is just I’m always wondering what the shape of things might be in a possible end.
TDE: What is saving your sanity under lockdown?
RP: I love this question, which relates to my last answer. I think it is not too difficult because I’m always making something. Now that I’m working on these pieces which I have been wanting to build for a long time, I don’t need to do anything special to keep my sanity.
TDE: Which online exhibition, gallery viewing room, or other internet offerings have caught your eye?
RP: My attention had been caught by this competition that the designer Eny Lee Parker (designer) has launched, inviting people to design a ‘clay room’, an ideal room. She is giving people the chance to be children again, reminding us that we should never lose that childlike energy. It is sad to see that some friends are finding this situation very difficult, because they do not know what to do with their time.