Essentials is a multi-media collective producing holistic applied arts experiences. These multi-faceted events incorporate disciplines such as photography, fashion, graphic design, video, projection, animation, music, and installation. Although a single image may include many Essentials members, there is always a unified vision of experimentation, fluidity, and diversity.
Essentials creates a platform for underrepresented artists to express themselves and find support within their field. In the search for emerging talent, innovative voices, and unseen narratives, collaboration with other creatives is celebrated. Essentials is composed of and embraces artists of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community.
“Biochromatic,” Essentials’ blessing to Luminaria 2017, was an immersive journey into the futuristic yet organic vision of the multifaceted multimedia art collective. In light as delicate as human skin, apparitions, growths and warped forms of the subconscious confronted, as though in impossible motion, the viewer, to disarming effect. -James Courtney, San Antonio Current
"In their room-sized installation titled Biochromatic, featured at the Instituto Cultural de México on Friday, a collaborative group of artists from San Antonio and Austin represents the essence of Luminaria. “Our goal was to highlight the edges of what we think about as illumination and light,” said Adrian Orozco, one artist of the five-member group called Essentials. Their work takes bioluminescence as a subject, achieved through photographic digital collages printed in varying textures and illuminated by fluorescent and black lights. Human eyesight can perceive only a limited light spectrum, and the Essentials hope to inspire attendees “to imagine other ways of seeing,” Orozco said." -Rivard Report
“Gravelmouth now welcomes Essentials in for round 2, as the collective completely takes over the gallery with an installation that features the strengths of each individual artist in a multi layer, multi media energy that only the Essentials collective can capture." - Shek Vega, owner and curator of Gravelmouth
"Essentials Studio - Though now based in Austin, the experimental multimedia art and design collective Essentials was born in San Antonio. In fact, Vega bemoans the collective’s departure, noting that “this city just wasn’t ready for them, so we lost some real innovative talent.” The talented team experiments with abandon in the realms of photography, film, graphic design, illustration, collage, fashion imagery, projection, digital art and music. The arresting Essentials installation at YLA 21 includes highly-stylized fashion photography (including the show’s key image, Dru), jewelry, an experimental typographic collage and a video piece set to music by San Antonio-based electronic duo Calico Club. Taken together, the Essentials’ installation serves as a commentary on fashion and club culture, on the warping of the collective imagination at the hands of consumer culture and on the power of collaboration and invention to create new spaces for expression." -James Courtney of San Antonio Current
The exhibit has a range of perspectives. A large space is devoted to the Essentials Collective. An abstracted alphabet is painted on a wall, while large digital collages, video and sculptural vignettes are also displayed. In this series of works gender and identity are purposefully complicated and obscured. The thread is a vibe of hide and reveal—a game of cat and mouse where costuming is required. I like the use of bedazzled jewelry on the faces. These handmade and elaborate items overwhelm and mask the wearer. They end up reading like a bizarrely fancy muzzle, or an elaborate horse bridle or a really odd burka. In the photo-based works, the photographers, costumers and models all seem to know each other well and to have created an elaborate place of trust and expression." -Rachel Koper of Aether Magazine