Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
I choose “Strange from there” [“Extraño desde allá”], a work that I do not think represents me the most, at least so far in my production, but it is the kind of work that I would like to represent me. It's the kind of work that I look and I do not understand how the image appeared; it simply did and there was no need to change it. It is economical, simple and contradictory; that gives it some strength. I think its greatest virtue is its irrationality; I didn’t plan it, it just appeared and then I painted it. This balance between the irrational or intuitive and the rational that leads to find justifications in the creation of a work is something that worries me a lot, since you can easily ruin a piece if you think it too much, especially in painting. This is a small piece (20 x 25 cm), a scale I use quite often, and is painted in oils on wood. Its resolution is fairly realistic; I think this helps to reinforce this contradiction in the image to which I refer. It came down with a genuine trigger, its subject is obvious and at the same time I look at it and it has something inexplicable. It was made with the feeling of the memory of a beloved person who is no longer with us, and on the other hand it's like I imagine myself trying to stand in this remote and unknown place from which that person reminds us that we are still here. It has something eschatological, of life beyond death, that reminds me of classic images of art, though with a contemporary feeling. It has the intimate atmosphere which appears quite often in my work. I link it to a more recent work, "The Prized One" [“El preciado”], a work that also emerged in a similar way and has something symbolic and irrational, though its content is quite clear.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
It wouldn’t be a kind of suggestion that I would give to anyone, but I find it interesting how other people see my work, it doesn’t matter if they are artists or not. To use the look of others as a mirror is perhaps only a form of narcissism, but it also takes you from the monotony that can sometimes have the own reading. In general I believe in different visions of art.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
In a clearly figurative tradition, with much affection for abstraction. My biggest referent was Pablo Suárez, that was the first artist I had a relationship with, and also others that I met through him, like Pombo, Harte, Gordín and Schwarz. I feel I got some kind of influence from them all, but it is not explicit in my work. As a painter, I am interested in the classics, maybe the Nordic ones a little more. Coming a little closer in time, apart from the already mentioned Argentine artists, the drawings by R. Crumb, the installations by Gober and P. Mccarthy, the pictures by Doyle and Lorca -Dicorcia, just to name a few that come to my mind at this moment.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
Pombo’s exhibition in 1996 in Ruth Benzacar Gallery, I remember it very well, possibly because it was the first exhibition in which I saw a contemporary artist. At that time my knowledge on the matter was virtually nil, and this exhibition was revealing to me; I began to realize that art could be a lot more than I thought. In that same time, Suárez, also in Ruth Benzacar Gallery. That was a exhibition with which I learned a lot, especially because I saw the process of creation from the inside; there were the “zapping”, the Christ, the “Pretty Boy” González, the centipede climbing a column, the end of the century, among others. It was like one of those albums where all the songs are hits. Gordín in Telefónica Foundation, I remember the great tenderness of those works, wrapped in a halo of dark, my favorite: the square with its medieval gallows and the memorial to the fallen in war. More recently, the exhibition by Gómez Canle in Braga Menéndez Gallery, while enjoying a little painting on a bronze plate, about a geometry-like head over an almost monochrome landscape; it was alone on the wall of the last room; I complained discretely, because a few months after we had a exhibition with him!