Welcome to the Art of Xavi Panneton, galactic street artist extraordinaire. Brace yourself, and prepare to initiate your soul into some of the most beautifully inspired art out there. Steeped in symbology and ancient extradimensionality, Xavi’s creations span time and space as they remind us of the potent energy inherent in all things. Allow these visions to expand your perception of whats possible and awaken your heart into the truth of our omnipresent nature.
We are sure the wondrous creative nexus you find yourself in is the product of a long, beautiful and challenging journey. When did you first start creating art? Where do the roots of such an incredible blossoming of creative energy lie?
X: I started drawing and ‘making art’ as a toddler , as soon as I could pick up a pencil. My mom was an artist, and there was always lots of art supplies around the house and studio space for me to play in. by 8 yrs old, I was obsessed with drawing and fully identified myself as being an artist. I was really into this show called “Secret City”… which was a fantasy drawing show for kids. My dad had a book of MC Esher’s work, and that was a big influence. I learned early on that you could ‘draw from your imagination’ and make anything you want outside the rules of normal reality…
Your art appears to be uniquely synergized with the energetic matrix of Gaia. Can you tell us more about the sacred patterns that you portray in your art?
X: The subject of patterns is vast… I will just jump in… I have a pretty severe case of synesthesia, meaning I see music and hear colors and shapes. So as a teenager, when I began to see the patterned light streams of music I was experiencing at raves, my art then reflected this. This came naturally and was not induced by taking any drugs. The deeper I went into the realms of Light and patterns, the more I came to appreciate the mastery in the works of the Creators. I like to follow in the deep lineage of beauty they have set before us. It is my intention to create patterns, colors and sensations that both stimulate joy and relax the mind…
Your work weaves tapestries of light –interconnecting sacred geometrics with galactic portals. Many of the works appear to be inspired by otherworlds and extra-terrestrial landscapes. Do you believe realms like this exist? Do you feel a personal connection to the life-force present there and its inhabitants?
X: Yes, other dimensions and worlds of life exist, and we are intimately connected to them. I have been to many other worlds, and dimensions of exalted beauty, as well as demon infested hell realms throughout my life. Funny story: When I was 19 and getting my wisdom teeth pulled, I was knocked out. When I awoke I was grabbing my Dad and crying, telling him “there’s other worlds beyond ours, its all real, that’s where i’m from!”… It took me a few minutes to come down from this…
In my lucid dreaming life I have had detailed communications with Human ET’s, ageless androgynous spirit guides, as well as Buddhist Masters and councils of ancient Rabbi’s. I have spent days on end in other worlds getting to know individuals living in parallel realities similar to ours. Names, books, histories… guided tours of other worlds, all in lucid dreaming.
As far as my personal connection to realms of light or higher dimensions goes, it is and always has been very strong my whole life. It weighs as heavily in my experience of reality as the world we live in, and when I was younger, I found it baffling that everyone else didn’t also have a complete memory of being in Heaven. So my art will always aim to remind people of the Light and Love that we come from, and that many people have forgotten.
Many of the stencils and glyphs that you create seem to be encoded with a form of language - holding layers of information expressed through geometries. Do these symbols carry any preset meaning for you? Are there any symbols that hold a particularly special resonance?
X: The primary ‘meaning’ of the symbols for me is that they are vast sums of experience condensed into a single package that can be downloaded instantly into your mind and heart. The total contents of the package will then be instantaneously cognized at every level of your being. The symbols are literally a visual mark of the experience contained within it. For example, you get a package that contains the entire history of a particular culture. The ‘symbol’ is the -spiritual identities- of every person who lived in that culture combined, as well as all their knowledge and experiences. All this is condensed into one shape that burns with meaning and a strange familiarity.
Sometimes I like to make a symbol that looks like a frog or whatever and say “thats the frog symbol”! “Sun Spirit” symbol is another one… thats just for fun…
One of your trademarks seems to be epically large murals. How does the size of your canvas affect the initial approach and then subsequent outcome? What is the largest piece that you have ever created?
X: I’ve enjoyed working large since I was a kid. As soon as I discovered graffiti art at age 12, I automatically started painting big murals. I love the bigness of art on walls because it becomes a full body experience. I have always been very athletic and kinesthetic so I like to experience art in a full bodied way. Big movements, big experience, big impact. Large scale visual experiences take people out of normal reality and into other worlds. The biggest pieces I have done are the Stargate Portal room, at Temple nightclub in SF, the Temple of Visions Mural in LA, and the Solar Spirits mural I am working on right now in SF…
With big murals, its nice to have a plan going in, so I use the ‘grid’ approach usually. Sometimes a projector, and sometimes no plan or sketch, just fun.
Coming from such an organic style of painting, how do you feel about the emergence of the digital palate gaining great momentum in the visionary sphere?
X: I have always welcomed the influence of digital art. As a teenager, my style was hugely influenced by the digital graphic design of Rave flyers. Due to my active physical nature, I clearly had no interest in sitting at a computer, but I did want my art to look like it was made by a computer. I wanted the perfection and slickness, and complexity, but I had no desire to use computers. I hated them. I didn’t touch a computer until I was 25. Now I love computers.
Hanging out with visionary digital painter Andrew Jones showed me that I could employ techniques and processes used in digital painting to achieve greater effects in my painting. Nowadays I think like a digital artist when I am working in paint. My process of using stencils with spray paint is similar to the pattern brush tool in Corel Painter X. Stencils allow me to ‘keep-up’ with digital artists. Digital painting has shown us that there are no limits to what can be created visually. Digital painters enjoy a freedom of expression and a speed of manifestation that is beyond belief. We laugh about it.
You have done collaborative painting with many different artists in numerous settings. Who are your favorites to collaborate with?
X: I love collaborating with my friends and anyone who is down to create. I have enjoyed working with artists like Carey Thompson, Ram Miguel, Raul Casillas, Autumn Skye, Anson Phong, Aaron Rix, Andrew Jones, Luke Brown, Amanda Sage, just to name a few… My dream would be a giant mural with lots of visionary artists all working on a planned piece.
What artists are really pushing your creativity to grow? What artists are getting your creative juices flowing?
X: My good friend and great artist Aaron Rix helps get my creative juices flowing. He always supports me and my work, and encourages me to keep pushing the limits. We support each other in being productive and consistent. Seeing all the amazing work of countless artists all over the world really keeps me going and pumped to create new levels. When I go to festivals Like BOOM, LIB, Symbiosis, and Burning Man, I am just blown away.
Festival Culture and electronic music (specifically bass infused music) have given a much needed platform for many artists to come into their own creative flow. How do you see music and visionary art weaving a new culture together?
X: I see the combining of art and music in our festival context as a natural evolutionary process. As artists and musicians we are always dreaming of ways to merge music and art into one single experience thats bigger and better than anything that came before it. Digital technology employed by artists and designers, and synched with musicians is bringing great jot to the world, and getting better all the time.
Live painting has really added another layer of depth to the culture. Being in that space of big music and dance supports artists in taking the pressure off and having fun.
What is the main underlying theme you perceive running through the heart of the blossoming festival and visionary culture?
X: I think the main underlying theme of festival culture across the board is “FACE MELTING”!!!! We all want to taste and touch God! Give it to us full power, show us what you’ve got!! Music or Art, we want it full-flex!!! We want to get opened up, and lifted up. We want to see just how awesome life can be and how mind blowing and heart opening our creations can be. Festivals are fearless and courageous and adventurous. The amount of work that goes into those things is crushing and exhausting, and at the end when everyone comes to celebrate, its a spiritual experience of everyones combined creative energy.
The art that you create evokes such powerful dreamlike realities and carries a very deep mystically charged quality to them. What is the greatest dream you are attempting to portray through your art and creative journey?
X: The greatest dream I would hope to convey would be no dream at all, but the reality that we come from a level of Love and Light that would melt and dissolve any fear or doubt about anything. The underlying truth of Love that is the root of all life, and the place we are rapidly moving home to.
What manifestation do you most want to see take root in this world during these paradigm shifting times?
X: I would love to see relationships transform into a higher level of being. It would be amazing if people were more considerate of others experience. This type of wisdom often comes after a deep loss or grieving has taken place in one’s life. We come to appreciate the preciousness of another individual and want to treat them in a way that makes them feel loved and supported. Yes, its our relationships with ourselves each other that come before everything else.
X: Thank you. Yes, I have thought of a few different workshops I would love to create. I love teaching art and helping others get more into it. I want to show people art is fun and easy. I’ve learned a lot of tricks and i’m happy to share
Many emergent artists struggle in finding a sustainable means to achieve a sense of abundance to anchor their craft in a wholesome lifestyle. Do you have any advice for emergent artists that are rich in raw talent, but lack in direction in how to honor the material flow?
X. Besides following your own heart, working hard and being consistent, I encourage artists to be confident and bold in putting themselves out there. Love what you are making and don’t be afraid to show others your love. The more you let your light shine through your work, the more others will respond positively. Make your work fu#$ing sick and badass in your own way. Your work should have real power and spirit. People want to feel the forces of creation when they see art, whether they know it or not. Let them have it! Let your work be powerful like a volcano or crashing waves, and gentle as a flower blossoming… find balance, and your work will hum with the harmony of life itself.
Diversifying helps too. I think of myself partly as a “commercial artist”. Meaning I can make art that has a commercial application, and be of use to someone. Its easier to make money this way. I used to paint signs for businesses, airbrush t-shirts for people, paint designs on your car, murals in your shop. Anything where you are adding something to someone else’s trip, instead of trying to get people to buy something from you.
Any last thoughts, messages, or inspirations you wish to gift to your fellow brothers and sisters at this time?
X: I wish to gift a big thank you to all the Spirits of the Earth who are guiding and teaching us how to be real humans. Big love and hugs to all! Do a cleanse, and get some cardio! p.s. wear deodorant when you party hippy! xoxo
Interview By Josh Davis of Solpurpose and Xavi Panneton