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.
Paradise 1 is a sculpture made in epoxy mastic, painted white with car paint, of a relatively small scale. The small format is something I keep in all of my work.
I sometimes think my productions methods are a bit archaic: in those moments I work almost until I forget why I work, very slowly, with little skill. Some other times I work carefully and earnestly. The size of details, for instance, forces me to have lots of patience.
The only time I read the I Ching, it moved me: small things are the realm of perseverance. I find that idea very useful: the intensity in industriousness. I could fill more gaps if I wanted to, or if I had the time.
I like talking about a certain past, and using an old-fashioned sound in the language.
It is a minimal scene that tells a story. That’s another point I find interesting in my work: story-telling. Finding a point, a plot point (not necessarily the historically-conventional one) inside the narration, a minimal situation which implies a longer story to be constructed, revealing nor the beginning nor the end of the tale. There never is much going on, or it seems nothing is happening. Isolating a moment, if that were possible.
I started thinking of this work from a material standpoint on the one hand, looking at lots of medieval relief art: little boxes, tabernacles, chalices, rosaries and illumination books.
I also looked at lots of Japanese illustrations, and a book I have on Korean folk art, with lots of nature in it: animals, and also insects. Of these influences, I mostly wanted to take the spatial composition, that weird spatiality they have (actually, it’s weird only if compared to classic Western art and to what is considered a realistic or faithful representation of reality, the window-frame of photography or cinema). I still find it weird, nonetheless, no matter how many explanations of medieval aesthetics I read.
In this work, I try to reach a kind of perceptive oscillation in the interpretation of the background and the figure. Putting what’s important at the same level of what is not. Mixed with the background, the figure and everything becomes figure, rather than becoming background. A petrified landscape, of the time of paradises, working by hand, hair by hair, and that kind of thing. I think once again of the word “archaic”, of shared memories. That’s why I add images of fairy tales and similar stories which are common to all of us: the Bible, short-stories, fables, mythologies from the cultures that engendered us and legends, because we all find something familiar in them.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
A single look is enough.
A single look encompasses the whole work.
But it is an intimate look.
For my work, I ask for the spectator to approach physically, to be close, to give time, to focus a bit, even if only for the work’s size.
I do not ask for erudition, for analyses, for nothing: I just want a bit of their time.
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?
My influences: all medieval art, now more than ever.
Also classic tales, especially the Brothers Grimm’s versions, fables and myths from any culture, especially ours.
I’m deeply attracted to “unbridled” artistic movements: Baroque, Romanticism, Pre-Raphaelites.
Kiki Smith’s drawings and sculptures, Louise Bourgeois’ life/work, Annette Messager’s installations, David Lynch’s and Terry Gilliam’s films, Anaïs Nin’s journals , Clarice Lispector’s novels, the album “songs for drella”, all of Silvina Ocampo’s work….
I consider myself part of an artistic tradition that values craftiness and beauty for beauty’s sake, that seeks to build a work of… preciosities? I’m glad the 20th century is over and I thank the 20th century artists, who allowed for craftiness to be valued once again and for beauty to stop having a bad name, as if it were something reactionary.