Camberwell College of Arts graduate Xavier Solé Mora has been announced as the recipient of the 2017-18 Aspen Digital Art Award, creating a new work inspired by Francisco Goya’s Los Disparates (The Follies) for Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (Aspen)’s renowned art collection.
Using Goya’s depiction of the absurd in the etching Disparate de tontos (Folly of Fools), the artist explores the appeal of the ludicrous and misperceptions of risk. The new commission will be developed during this year and will launch on the Aspen website in September 2018.
For the past four years, Aspen and the Contemporary Art Society have been working together to uncover the most exciting young talent in the field of digital art. The Digital Art Award represents Aspen’s commitment to cutting edge creative practice and reflects the Contemporary Art Society’s mission to identify and support emerging artists and showcase their work.
Guest selection panel member Ioanna Zouli, Producer of Digital Programmes at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, said: “I was delighted to participate in the selection process and to encounter works of such stunning quality, as well as to celebrate Xavi Solé Mora’s achievement in winning the award. His approach touches upon the digital aesthetics with sensitivity, inviting the audience to slow down and pause for a moment in order to enjoy the feeling and insecurity of the void. The connection to Goya’s work was particularly interesting for me as it creates an invisible thread across time in relation to the ways the obscure and the ludicrous are represented in different media.”
Xavier Solé Mora said, “Winning the Aspen Digital Art Award is a great opportunity. As an emerging artist, it allows me to work with enough time and resources to explore new conceptual directions. The piece that I am working on is a video called Fools Feast, and it is one of the most exciting challenges I have ever faced. Thanks to this award, I can expand my research and keep on developing my artistic practice beyond my usual interests. At this stage of my career, this commission is an important step forward. Not only for the possibility of developing my theoretical and practical experimentation, but also for giving me the chance to work with the Contemporary Art Society. Sharing my process with them will help me learn new ways of talking about my work as well as receiving feedback from them. I am enjoying working on this commission, and I want to thank Aspen for this opportunity.”
The Aspen Digital Art Award offers a bursary to a recent postgraduate to develop a new digital artwork at a pivotal point in their career. In acknowledgement of Aspen’s global reach, the award was opened up for the first time to graduates from two international Universities; NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York and Zurich University of the Arts in Zurich as well as two London-based universities, Slade School of Fine Art and Camberwell College of Arts.
The shortlisted artists for 2017-18 included: Georgia Lucas-Going, Chang Lui, Nicole He, Hazel Brill and Lisa Jamhoury, each of whom proposed original works of art of an exceptionally high standard.