“There is without a doubt a powerful and almost sacred magnetism in the human form, something that allows me to push my own limits”
How did you start painting? Do you remember the moment you decided this would become your life?
I started at a very young age thanks to my uncle who always encouraged me to draw the world around me. Since then, it has been a vital part of my life and I have been lucky enough to have parents that also pushed me to pursue my art studies under one condition: to always work hard!
The idea behind your series “Red Studio” is to combine abstraction and classical portraiture on the same canvas. What does this tell of your conception of painting with models? How has this work changed your view on the different painting techniques?
Since I started painting my first big formats, I’ve been exploring this duality between abstraction and figuration, timidly at first, but it now plays a very important role in the experimentation process in each of my projects. I really enjoy bringing the two languages together, blurring and breaking the boundaries between them.
Painting with models from life is the beginning of everything for me. There is without a doubt a powerful and almost sacred magnetism in the human form, something that allows me to push my own limits. It’s a constant, a solid basis to work upon and expand my range both in the technique and in the composition, from the elegant, classical poses of the models in the Red Studio series to the agonising bodies and crawling silhouettes of the sinners in the Volse a Retro project.
Your ongoing project on the Divine Comedy brings us in the apocalyptic imagery of Dante’s creation. What are the guidelines you have adopted to give form to the scenes of this literary masterpiece? How would you describe the feelings that come out of this work?
I’ve started this project by focusing on the first part of this literary monument, which is the Inferno (Hell). There is such a great history of artists illustrating the scenes of Dante’s trip to Hell that it was intimidating for sure but I tried to take a different, personal approach to the theme. Evidently, I was inspired by the horrific stories about the many tortures described by the author. Through this imagery combined with very expressive brushstrokes, I want to explore a more visceral and powerful visual language. I would like to completely immerse the viewer in a more psychological – and after all profoundly human – Hell, a raw representation of pain in these uncanny desolated and washed-out landscapes.
What is the final objective of your series “ClásicosDesollados” (Skinned Classics)? What has made you discover going through, and reinterpreting, some of the greatest masterpieces?
The #ClásicosDesollados was a series of ‘divertimentos’ to pay homage to the Great Masters but my main goal was to try and bring out their inherent modernity. I love experimenting continuously with new techniques and processes and this series was also the result of my experiments with coats and coats of paint on the canvas that were then literally skinned from it. The ‘skins’ form intricate and dramatic drapés that can also be seen as a visual representation of the digging through the layers of art history, a kind of contemporary archaeology that every artist ought to do to find their own plastic language.
What is the single artistic concept that most intrigues you?
The atmosphere and how to capture air, the mysterious void that transcends what can objectively be seen.
A painting you are particularly attached to? Why?
Adriana and 5am, both from my formative years. They are a reminder of my evolution, a certain turning point and that’s why they are so special to me.
A tip you feel giving to artists who are struggling to make their work stand out?
Always return to nature. In fact, find whatever space brings you peace and where you might have time to think alone and disconnect from your busy life.
An artist you want to suggest the readers? Why?
Sorolla, of course! One of the most complete artists in my opinion. He combines control, experimentation, alteration, interpretation, expressivity in the line…
Next and upcoming projects?
Si Volse a Retro is my most ambitious project to date with more than 50 paintings and a collaboration with Polish sculptor Grzegorz Gwiazda that I’m really proud of. It has been designed as a travelling exhibition to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death. I’ve started showing some pieces on my Instagram account but I’m very excited to see what the full show will look like!
Thank you for your time! Want to add anything?
Thank you for this opportunity! I would also like to mention another project which I’m very proud of, the Barcelona Academy of Art. It was founded in 2013 and on top of being the director, I also teach in the Painting program. Each year, we welcome more than 200 students from all over the world that are passionate about learning the traditional academic techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture and digital art. We are building a global and diverse artistic community around contemporary figurative art, away from trends and the established circuits.