Three Degrees of Inspiration: Sid Dueñas, Stephen Serrato & Dante Carlos


Editor’s Note: This is part 43 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series (previously called “Design Links”). Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the forty-second part in the series, featuring Jenny Volvovski, Isaac Tobin & Edie Fake

Edie Fake is inspired by …

Sid M. Dueñas

In addition to being an all-around great person and fantastic artist, Sid inspires me to look for new ways of seeing subtlety and exploring creation through process. His approach to art, form, and language is graceful and unusual, radiant and ever-evolving.


From Corners, 2016, paper, spray paint, ink-jet print, wood

I love how Sid’s work bleeds poetry into place. His paper sculptures, like From Corners remind me of miniatures for theatrical sets, abstracted stages for amorphous productions. The work is a combination of humble construction techniques executed with crisp precision. Sid’s unexpected forms and color combine into elegant, gravity-defying, psychological spaces.

Similarly, I’m a huge fan of his drawing arrangements like Liver Drawing and SSS AND SSS (backwards) that integrate improvisation into their creation and composition. Checkerboard grids interrupt themselves with collage and playful gestural markings, and bold organic silhouettes float in an unsettled balance that is part flesh, part jazz.

Sid Duenas is inspired by …

Stephen Serrato

Stephen’s work has a very special way of authentically blending cultural sources (music that he is inspired by, for example) with a traditional and rigorous design background. This approach brings him into contact with projects ranging from Sun Ra, to the lesser known Frankie Reyes/Gifted and Blessed, to established cultural institutions. He is not one to seek out corporate clients, and stands out for the influence music has on his work.

S_Serrato_Moving_Forward_with _Ra

This piece is intricate compositionally and dense in terms of information. It presents a story about his introduction to Sun Ra. It’s a great way to learn about someone’s initial discovery, and later immersion and interpretations of a topic.

S_Serrato_Technoindigenous Studies

The image of the mask on this print is treated with the same sensitivity and consideration as typography. Evidence of a nuanced understanding of balance and asymmetry.

Stephen Serrato is inspired by…

Dante Carlos

I believe good design is generous. It gives more than the viewer expects. Dante Carlos is one of those designers. Giving us his all and in effortless fashion.

In the catalog design of Abraham Cruzvillegas, “The Autoconstruccíon Suites,” Dante embraces one of the key methods of the artist, Autoconstruccíon. The self-build model of construction that the artists himself extends into “improvisational combinations of sculpture, drawing, video, songwriting, and research.” Dante applies this methodology to the contents and the form of the book. Reference images stack like totems. Centered titling constructions, alternating widths of type blocks, the stacking of in-line images and notes—all of which echo the spirit of the artist and his work.

This project is like a peak into the memory palace of Dante’s wonderful mind. It consists of knot theory, semiotics, science fiction, egyptology, athletics and in-and-out burgers. From his site: “ART AND LEISURE is a publication and an exhibition at the London Centre for Book Arts (LCBA). Organized around a calendar which only marked every weekend in 2013, the book was also a catalogue of research notes and details of projects from the last few years.”

Tune in next time to see who inspires Dante!