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This week it’s Cork Vs. Everybody, a.k.a. Facundo Alegre, a visual artist from Buenos Aires now living in Cork. What started out as practice for a life drawing course has now become an Instagram project in itself.
What is Instagram for you?
I think Instagram is a surprisingly easy-to-use and effective way to put your work out there and connect with others. It’s not just about finding an audience but also about interacting within a community of like-minded people. Through it I’ve discovered tons of artists who are also interested in the male figure and homoerotic art; I’ve met models, fashion photographers, illustrators… It really helps broaden your spectrum and pushes your creativity a step further.
Why/when did you decide to start sharing your work on there?
I’ve only started the account a couple of months ago, even though most of the drawings for it had been sitting in my sketchbook for quite a while longer. I work mainly as a photographer, and most of the sketches are studies based on the portraits I’ve taken of gay guys in Cork for a photo project, which means I looked at them as an offshoot — kind of like personal practice. One day, as I was checking out my sketchbook, which at that point was full of drawings, I got a sense that these sketches were a thing in themselves, united by a theme, and that they stood a world apart from my pictures: in a sense, they were more sincere than them because they hadn’t been made with an audience in mind. They were carefree. They seemed to share in this rebellious, devil-may-care character that the city of Cork is so proud of. That’s basically how Cork Vs Everybody was born. Since then the project has grown to incorporate collaborations with models and fashion photographers, an unexpected turn which pushes me out of my comfort zone as far as illustration goes; and brings in something of the outside world into this project that started out as a very personal thing.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very simple and line-oriented, which mostly has to do with the fact that Cork Vs Everybody started off as quick sketches. When I was drawing, I didn’t even think of using colour or contouring; I didn’t worry about that at all. I was just doing whatever came to me naturally. The lines can be precise in one sketch and broken and loose in the other; the level of detail may even change; and that’s the great thing about a sketchbook: that you can allow yourself to experiment even in those very minimal terms of black versus white.
What materials/equipment do you mainly work with?
For this project I kept to using either brush pens or plain thin markers, in the odd occasion I also take to watercolours. One time I even dipped a little brush in water and used it to disperse the ink and create shadows.
Who has been or currently is an influence on you?
Well, I’ve always liked Toulouse-Lautrec a lot, though I don’t think you would really see that in my work. But it was my admiration for him that made me want to get out there and try out drawing for myself. I’d have to say the actual influence came from Cocteau; I was really attracted to his line-based homoerotic art (it was so much different to Tom of Finland, which was the only exponent of queer art that I knew of at the time). I was completely in awe to find the drawings still managed to be compelling in spite of the lack of details, or even precisely because of it, since a lot is left to the imagination, and his lines are very sensual. David Hockney also has some line work that I like, though it’s not as explicit as Cocteau’s.
What are your must-follow accounts on Instagram?
I have a couple of gems I’ve found just checking out hashtags. @lesgarconsbleus is definitely my favourite, he uses a ballpoint pen to create some pretty amazing male nudes. Following close are @sacha.strange_, a French illustrator that also made Cork her home, and @beachbum437. For some technically perfect and beautiful life model photographs you should check out @troyschooneman.