Meet Archer Defterios, LA-based contemporary artist - +Beryll Worn By Good People

Meet Archer Defterios, LA-based contemporary artist

Born in 2000, Archer Defterios is an American artist and designer. Defterios’ work is a result of a cyclic process, in which he applies dense texture and materials such as fire to his canvases. 

+Beryll: Archer – can you tell us about your artistic journey and how you became interested in the world of contemporary art?

I started painting when I was 20 years old, but I’ve been interested in the arts for most of my life. Although I’m focused on art right now, my background is in design. Being able to balance between painting and running my design studio has played a big role in the way I work across both fields.

+Beryll: Your artwork is characterized by textural blue compositions and vivid palettes. What draws you to these colors and how do they contribute to the overall message or theme of your work?

I’m interested in capturing pieces of nature through my work, and I’m particularly drawn to the sky. The sky is vast and limitless, and one theme that comes up in my work relates to how we should reach for that.

+Beryll: The way that you incorporate fire into your work in your artwork is quite unique. Could you explain the inspiration behind this choice and how it enhances the meaning or visual impact of your pieces?

Bringing fire into my work as an additional material is really about creating new surfaces on the canvas. My paintings have a lot of layers of paint on them, usually hundreds. Creating is a really cyclic process for me. Burning the paint off of the canvas subtracts a lot of the work that I do and brings new dimensions onto the surface of the work.


+Beryll: Your philosophy embraces industrialization, forward-thinking, and innovation. How do these concepts translate into your art, and what message or narrative are you trying to convey through your work? 

My work is about finding the balance between innovation and nature. There’s always been a budding relationship between the two, even though both are crucial for us to continue living. My paintings have vibrant palettes but I approach forming my compositions in a very industrial manner, bringing in 1D, 2D, and some 3D elements.

+Beryll: Your sky-like abstractions are often described as limitless. Could you expand on the idea of limitless art and how you encourage viewers to imagine beyond the physical borders of your canvases?

Working monochromatically allows viewers to imagine what the work may look like if it wasn’t constrained by each side of the canvas. When I work on canvas, I imagine a magnified section of a much larger composition.

+Beryll: How do you approach the balance between artistic expression and audience interpretation in your work? Do you have a specific intention or emotion you hope your viewers will experience, or do you leave it open to individual interpretation?

This has been something that I’ve been really interested in since I started painting, probably because my background is in design. One of my goals as an artist is to build a world around my art. Right now I’m trying to tell a story through not only the paintings, but also through how each body of work is presented. When I start a new series of paintings, I think about how I’d like my photos to look, what music I want in the studio, the way I dress, and even the fonts I use. I’m trying to get to a point where all of these pieces can come together and offer someone an insight into my world.

+Beryll: How does living in Los Angeles influence your artistic practice? Are there specific aspects of the city’s art scene or cultural atmosphere that have shaped your creative process or inspired your work?

Living in Los Angeles plays a big role in how I work. There's so much happening here all the time, and it's a total contrast to the relaxed atmosphere of my hometown. LA's energy fuels me, and I think that mix of urban excitement and the calmness of the beach towns is why I love it here. 

+Beryll: Can you share any upcoming projects or exhibitions you are working on? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

+Beryll and I recently collaborated to shoot their cashmere pieces in front of my work. I’m also working on a new body of paintings called Under Marble.

Check out more from Archer Defterios on Instagram.