“My interest in the physical representations of the past turned into an obsession.”
Interview by Richard Starbuck
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? Where did you study?
I am an artist and curator based in London. In 2017 I created Subsidiary Projects, an alternative to the conventional gallery space, located in a domicile in the heart of London, with the intention of providing a space for artists and curators to test new ideas in front of an audience.
Before that, I studied Fine Art in City and Guilds of London Art School; coming from a small village in the rural north of Madrid, the city of London and the artistic circles I was moving around expanded my vision of the art world and what I wanted to do.
Your recent paintings depict Greek/Roman statues, could you tell us about these and how it relates to your sculptures/installations?
As mentioned before, the impact of classical culture and our contemporary understanding of it is one of the biggest influences in my work.
Through time I have understood that my process goes back and forth; if the previous phase was the complete distortion of the source, I have now gone back to the primal source adopting a literal interpretation of it. I am using paint as my main medium partly because of my familiarity with it. Not being in university anymore and consequently having less time to focus solely on my practice has changed the process drastically, I am no longer visiting the museums on a weekly basis and this has forced my sources to be mainly photographic - I guess the two-dimensional aspect has imposed itself this time!
Your sculptures remind me of limbless lumps of flesh displayed as if in a museum, could you talk about these works and the meaning behind them?
My installation Chronic Arrangement of the Perishables was inspired on my final dissertation, which explored cultural heritage in the wider sense as well as the role of museums in our contemporary western society.
Studying at City & Guilds had a huge impact on the development of the work; because of its carving and conservation department the place is filled with casts of classical statues, you can find them in the corridos, in the garden… they are inescapable! My interest in the physical representations of the past turned into an obsession. I started frequenting London’s archaeological institutions such as the British Museum and the V&A (the cast court has now become one of my favourite places, physically and conceptually speaking).
My visits to those museums were always accompanied by countless sketches of everything I saw, later in the studio, I would continue to work from those sketches, I guess after working with them so much they became distorted, which is why they get their lumpy quality. The final result, despite being a two-dimensional work, was extremely sculptural and I decided to bring back to life those sculptures that I had collected and altered incessantly.
The result was by far one of the most ambitious projects I have done to date and I still look back at the research I undertook for reference.
Have you ever shown both your paintings and sculptures side by side?
This is something I have been thinking about for a long time, I am working towards this step. However, because both my paintings and sculptures are an exploration of the same theme through a different approach, I fear the dialogue between the two would turn into a fight. I think the solution for this would be a full-on immersive installation avoiding at all costs a traditional mode of display.
What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?
I have been using Instagram as a tool to discover artists. I recently came across the work of Jordan Kasey and I cannot stop finding inspiration in everything she does. Sculpture wise, I have always been obsessed with Michael Heizer’s work.
Tell us a bit about how you spend your day / studio routine? What is your studio like?
My house has become Subsidiary Projects, a meeting room and also my studio. After setting up so many exhibitions there I have started seeing the space as truly adaptable. This allows me to save time in my commute as well as being able to work whenever I want. One of the best things I have done is to build a shed in my garden, this way I can work one piece at a time and not compromise on space.
Regarding the actual process, I have gone back to drawing a lot, this is now taking most of my studio time, I am really enjoying going back to the very basics, a line on a paper. If I draw beforehand, my approach to the blank canvas is more confident.
Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?
I am currently working on a new series of works which will see the light very soon. I am very excited to put them out there. Simultaneously I am planning the next set of exhibitions for Subsidiary Projects. Juggling between a full-time job, my own practice and Subsidiary Projects can sometimes be tricky but I am feeling really confident and excited about what is to come.
All images courtesy of the artist
Publish date: 02/04/2019