Eluterio Lopez’s Artistic Odyssey into City Scapes and Fashion
Eluterio Lopez is a visual artist and clothing designer based in San Francisco. Known for incorporating numerous eyes into their paintings and clothing designs, Eluterio’s work reflects the city’s energy and diverse population. Mountains of eyes are staring at you in Eluterio Lopez’s studio – one on top of another they cascade down dresses and jackets. By the last population count the city of San Francisco, there are approximately 815,201 pairs of eyes and I believe that Eluterio sees and includes every one. They are working hard to make a well deserved place for themselves in the San Francisco art scene. City Scapes of San Francisco dominate in primary colors.
Constant movement is described in frantic brush strokes. If Basquiat and Alexander McQueen were to have an art baby to carry on their visual traditions Eluterio is up for the job. My interview of Eluterio is pretty timely as you can see their beautiful clothing designs on Saturday at the Prince vs. Bowie show at Record Bar SF. During the event, you can learn more about this fascinating artist and keep an eye out for more of their upcoming events!
What was your first job in the Bay Area?
My first job in the Bay Area was actually my first EVER job as well. It was at a restaurant called Buckhorn Grill in Walnut Creek. I was 18 years old and had just moved from my hometown Lodi, California. I gave myself 3 months to find a job and had $1000 from graduation money to live off. It was definitely hard trying to find a job without work experience but luckily when the money was about to run out, the GM of that restaurant said he’d take a chance on me and gave me the position.
Did you go to art school?
No, I was never really one for school. It was really hard for me to pass the general courses you had to take to start enjoying a major like art. In high school I took my first art class. It was a moment I was waiting for because I knew it was going to be a moment for the teacher to tell me if I was doing something worth pursuing. No one really talked about being an artist in Lodi. It was the first time I really felt seen for my art.
After high school I never really continued creating because it was more about surviving. Once I made it to San Francisco in 2017, I started taking a Fashion Illustration course by Paul Gallo at SF City College. That really changed my view on what I could potentially do with my art. It was the first time I blended my love for style and illustration in a way that seemed like it could be a career.
How did you pick up your skills?
I remember the exact moment someone showed me how to draw and use my imagination. My cousin was sitting outside one day drawing under a tree in their yard. Being her little cousin I could only imagine how badly I was annoying her. She handed me a pen and paper and said “here draw something.” This ability to create and show something that was in my mind came pouring out of me.
I was bullied a lot growing up and I would draw pictures to distract the other kids from teasing me. If I could draw fast enough and good enough, I could get their attention off of me. I would say that my abilities all came from a sad, lonely place growing up. Its all I had as a young queer boy and I spent a lot of time back then trying to spend as much time as I could with it.
What designers or artists inspire you?
Growing up in a small town, we didn’t really study or talk about artist and designers. I had to find out these inspirations on my own. Even that seemed like I was far out of the loop. I didn’t spend much time researching or getting inspired because I was always working. Growing up I fell in love with Lucille Ball. Everything about her screamed style, glamour and strength. She’s the reason I started drawing women and the glamorous pieces they were wearing.
I just started designing clothing and blending my paintings with fashion about 2 years ago when I gave up alcohol. That’s when I started having a curiosity about other designers and artists. I’ve always felt like an outcast and misunderstood. Once I stopped drinking I wanted to find out more about myself and if others felt the same. I wanted to relate and find my people. Im so deeply inspired by Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen when it comes to fashion. I became inspired by the 60’s, Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick once I got into highschool. As my style grows I’ve also found a love for Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Take us through a typical day for you. What is your work/life/art balance like?
Since I gave up drinking I live a very work filled life. I enjoy the days were I can create freely, and with out interruptions. This typically means me waking up and instantly making coffee to start my process. Im a person of rituals so I tend to live the a version of the same day. The piece I decide to work on for the day usually comes from curiosity and the intention of seeing it in the world. Some days are focused on collecting tools and materials to make these visions reality. I take long walks through San Francisco because this city inspires me. Living here has always been a dream.
As a child I fell in love with Janis Joplin and her story. I related to her and her small town up bringing, being bullied for who she was and her story of finding herself on Haight Street in Sf. I remember telling myself that this is were I needed to go to feel like I belonged. Im very lucky to call Haight Street my home now. So a big part of my day is to absorb as much as I can to take back with me to my studio and create.
What shows and events are coming up for you?
I’ll be showing my new work at The Record Bar Sf on July 22nd with 8 other talented designers. After that I hope to keep creating and to start working with other local creatives. I believe that it’s very important right now to see art in the world. I want to create as much beauty as I can right now in a world that seems to scare me more now that I’m more aware.
I’m not sure what happens next but this is all I know. I’m able to create now that I’m not drinking and I’m extremely lucky for that. I started this journey 2 years ago and the goal is to find out as much as I can about myself. This is always something I always felt inside me. The years that I drank I rarely created anything but now I feel like I’m ready to dedicate my life to my art and not alcohol.
Where can we find you?
You can visit my website EluterioLopez.com for more information about my art and pieces that are available for purchase.
On instagram, follow @Eluteriooh.
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