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  • Writer's pictureCARAVAN Arts

Patrick Altes: Creativity in a Time of Crisis

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

© Patrick Altes, 2020

How has this pandemic affected you and your creative output? How are you adapting to the new realities?

The pandemic has had a huge impact on my ideas and the direction my art is going to take. It has confirmed the need to see the world as a hugely complex ecosystem with intricate interactions between all its components, as well as to re-position our place and role in it (are we similar to this all invasive and deadly virus to the world we inhabit?).

Paradoxically, my day to day life as a visual artist has not been hugely affected by the lockdown as working in the studio is not always very dissimilar to being in quarantine.

What insights have you gained from this “lockdown/self-isolation”? Also, is there a special role you feel artists can play in response to the pandemic?

The lockdown situation has removed the freedom to go and see people and connect with them at will. I have learned to actively seek out people and use technology to talk to them. This has made me more aware of how important my friends are. It has also made me more aware of how well I am getting on with my wife and how much we love each other, which is a wonderful feeling in these trying times.

How do you think this will affect artists, the art world and how people interact with art? How do you feel this crisis might reshape our societies in general?

The impact of this pandemic on the art world is going to be huge. Nobody knows how to react to it. Museums are closed, gallery shows cancelled, art professionals on all sides are putting out feelers and trying new ideas to anticipate and find the remedy that will allow the art world to keep on functioning, and the connection between the different parts to function efficiently. 3D exhibitions, virtual shows, residencies are interesting ideas, but I believe we are still to find more radical solutions to a crisis that may become recurrent.

© Patrick Altes, A Story of People, 2020, Collage on Monoprint with mount (from the ‘Stories’ series)


Patrick Altes was born in Algeria shortly before it became independent and, as a child, his family was part of the exodus toward France. Also of Spanish heritage, he has lived for long periods in different countries, and is currently based in England. Patrick’s work has been exhibited at leading international art fairs/festivals. He has exhibited through both solo and group exhibitions throughout the UK, and in France, Algeria, Finland and the USA. As an artist, Patrick hopes to contribute toward bridge-building between people and open a much-needed space for reconciliation and cooperation between cultures and civilizations. His recent solo ground-breaking exhibition was titled Tolerance.


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