Essentials is a creative multi-media team experimenting in photography, film, graphic design, illustration, collage, fashion imagery, projection, digital art, and music. Part of the extensive media exploration is due to the fluidity of the members’ participating in one another’s respective areas of expertise. The group originated with members Daecos Omoxi (event manager, musician, and DJ), Fabian Villa (photographer and videographer), Sixto-Juan Zavala (graphic designer, illustrator, VJ), and Steven Casanova (photographer and videographer) staging events with DJs or musicians, live projected visuals, and event photography. The team members fluctuate based upon the project. Essentials has recently been focusing on fashion imagery. More frequent collaborators have become highly involved members, including Kim Cardenas (musician and DJ), Fabian Alejandro Diaz (hair, makeup, and jewelry design), Jonathan Dru Acosta (stylist and model), Misa Yamamoto (graphic designer), and Nina Hawkins (photographer and videographer). New collaborators are continually brought into the fold. It is important to note how the projects have blurred the fields and become exercises in collaboration. Fluidity, diversity, experimentation, and collaboration are the threads that always run through Essentials’ projects, no matter the medium.
"This dynamic team takes pride in collaborating with outside talent regularly and yields some of the most successful fashion forward projects, gaining them prestigious accolades, acknowledgments by national publications and a consistent new stream of fans and admirers all over the world." - Burgundy Woods, Host of Stylelush TV
"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
“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
"We're here for a show at Gravelmouth Gallery by the Essentials art collective, who exhibit black and white collages of dominatrix and couture imagery that match Kenzo's post-fashion, post-apocalyptic, post-everything vibe." -Dan Gentile of Thump Vice