DEATH AND VANITY

Beca Alcorta is a Berlin-based self-taught sculptural artist with a MA in Psychology, infusing her pearlescent, corals-like creations with what she knows about the human psyche and gothic aesthetic influences. In the exclusive interview, we delve into joy of working with randomness, adaptive and maladaptive illusions, never-before-felt hopelessness, and more.

How would you describe your style and what influences have shaped it on your creative  journey?  

My artistic style is a fusion of various sources of inspiration. It incorporates gothic elements,  aesthetically, and revolves around the themes of death and vanity. Some of my work bears  resemblance to ritualistic artifacts, drawing from occult visual realms. Especially my sculptures of  otherworldly flora show allusions to cyberpunk due to their slightly techno-futuristic and unsettling  aspects.  

My creative journey has been profoundly influenced by my very personal process of dealing with  the outlook of ecological collapse, which led me to experience a kind of hopelessness previously  unknown to me. I needed to find ways to symbolise this inner turmoil. Additionally, due to my  academic background, I have always been fascinated by the functions that myth and delusion  have for us as organisms. Coming into contact with Berlin’s experimental art world introduced me  to a new visual language that resonated with the moods and ideas I wished to express.

Let’s walk with your creative process a little bit. What specific aspects brought you the most joy?  

The foundation of my sculptures has an element of randomness to it, as it is composed of  crystallised organic or thrifted materials. I find great joy in working with this randomness and  allowing my intuition to guide the shaping process. Also, letting go of preconceived notions and  adapting my visions to the reality in front of me is an important practice for me. 

Your art seems to delve into the delusion of control and chaos, asking, “What’s your favourite illusion?” How does this theme play out in your art?  

During my studies in psychology and my current specialisation in behavioural therapy, I am often  confronted with the concepts of sanity and insanity. It deeply fascinates me how illusions of  control are a fundamental part of our healthy mental immune system, yet they can also lead to what is perceived as “insanity” if they develop a life of their own — both individually and  societally. In my work, I interrogate the relationship of our illusions to adaptive and emotional  functions, as well as the ambiguity of them being both a trap and a shelter. 

Are there any particular textures in the material that enhance your connection to it as an artist?  

As the crystallised organic material undergoes a visual transformation under layers of resin, it  sometimes takes on a resemblance to archaeological artifacts. As a child, I wanted to become an  archaeologist, which makes me feel particularly connected with these emerging structures.

Now, at SWARM Mag, we are focusing on the theme THE ROOTS OF TASTE. So, the last  question is: how do you remain connected to your roots while embracing the future?  

My goal is to develop my visual world as iterations of my aesthetic core, exploring various  aspects, formats, and techniques in visual excursions, and then returning to other core features of  my style to further pursue the other paths they indicate. Through this approach, I aim to orbit  around my roots, creating a continuity that still allows for change and growth.

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Bio

Beca Alcorta (1994) is a self-taught sculptural artist. Growing up in Germany, she completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Psychology and was involved in climate activism before  moving to Berlin to specialise as a psychotherapist. In the past year, she transitioned from  painting to an artistic practice that combines various mediums, including acrylic, resin, organic  materials, thrifted objects, aluminium, and clay. 

Her work delves into the psychology of ecodoom, exploring trust in supernatural forces as a form  of collective (self-)deception and simultaneously interrogating the transformative power of the  otherworldly. Central to her work is the deeply personal question of what role rituals and a  mythical xenobiology play in sustaining fragments of solace and sanity when we are confronted  with the ephemeral nature of our collapsing worlds.

Credits

Artist / Beca Alcorta @becaalcorta 

Interview / Kateřina Hynková

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