1 ::: Why are you an artist Pablo?
wish of being an artist was always there,
but it took a slow and mindful effort
to convince myself. I was able to detach
from environmental boundaries once I fully
understood that expression was a primary
need in my life. However, there are no
key reasons for an artist (and that is
the good thing about it). Mystery is the
will of art; if you could ever find the
cause, you would be no longer interested.
expression as a counterpart of life, at
the same time belonging and exceeding
it. I could say no better. This simply
seems to be a must.
::: Could you tell me some more about
fine arts I choose the plastic side. My
purpose is to produce plastic images opened
to various meanings but belonging to a
certain sense frame. This sense is not
verbalized though. I do not want to rely
on iconic and conventional imagery such
as those from pop art or from old paintings
based on fixed subjects - mythological
sources, Bible and so on-. Nor pollute
the image with conceptual alien elements
either, as it often happens in contemporary
art with poor philosophical interferences.
And here is where you can place the term
plastic, being both visual and polyvalent.
Like instrumental music, it can be perfectly
self-sufficient and meaningful without
any verbal support. In this regard, it
is a pretty hard deal to produce clean
images and not ideograms; for we are all
part of a tradition that mostly makes
images based on subject illustration,
and therefore, more interesting outside
than inside the canvas.
On the contrary, what I aim is to create
presence. Present images highly condensed.
And invert the passage: instead of painting
things here which communicates us values
from there, I seek to bring here -at hands-
what is far there (perhaps an archetype).
That means painting immanent things. Thus,
what my works require is eye education,
rather than reference erudition. This
is not meaning mere eye's physiological
reaction, as it takes place in optical-art
(it would be then video instead
of imago, meaningless visions instead
of meaningful images).
In this context, my art is about producing
plastic images, a narrow and uncertain
framework, probably too ambitious and
uneasy to succeed.
+3 ::: Many of
your works come very close to abstraction.
Do you find it important to keep something
figurative in them?
conceive paintings as artefacts. World
and reality are over-informative, thus
we create representational counterparts
such as paintings. Accordingly, I try
to create the conditions for a better
reading and perception. From abstracts
I borrow their understanding of paintings
as surfaces where shapes and colours are
based on their relations and tensions.
However, I definitely disagree with their
radical isolation of these key factors.
Doing so, they do not paint things nor
facts but doctrines and ideologies. This
way, the immediate effect of pictorial
sensation is, in my opinion, diminished.
I believe a painting is better working
(meaning, touching, exciting) when including
references or echoes from the first sense
data. Familiar references such a human
beings, animals or daily objects will
provoke on us enhanced responses. They
are primary forms, art Gestalts.
I also believe that the value of colours
is not only based on their resonance but
also on the object they rest. A red colour
will need a body if it wants to be more
than a meaningless pantone. As a result,
corporeity has become a major concern
in my works: to create the illusion of
tangible things -through tonal volume
or surface textures- in order to boost
pictorial sensations. Summing up, challenge
for me is placing paintings between the
clear reading from abstraction and the
corporeity from figuration. Within that
tension I create "figurals".
::: What artists have influenced you and
has been my main influence for many of
the reasons above. Some of his works are
painfully beautiful. However, what I like
from his paintings is the language, not
the heartbreaking temper. Some living
Belgian painters on Bacon's wake and the
are also among my favourites. But at present
I am more interested in old painting (in
the pictorial but not the iconic side).
Problems in art seem to be like in philosophy,
always the same ones, not to be solved
but reformulated. In this way I lately
look into pictorials sets like the Annunciations
etc.- and the dynamical quality of their
compositions. Finally, I am devoted to
the Spanish painter Velázquez*,
for his accomplished and modern proposals.
::: What do you do for fun (besides art)?
I also enjoy watching
movies and teasing my daughter in law.
::: What inspires you to paint and how
do you keep motivated when things get
tough in the studio?
I use pictures and memory. Models are
mainly on the computer screen, coming
from my own digital pictures and other's.
Sometimes I get inspired by the effects
of graphics software or use them to test
colours or shapes. Then I transcribe them
to canvas. But the choice is always mine.
Many times I am desperate and pretty confused
in front of canvas, probably due to the
uncertain framework explained before.
Nevertheless, it is astonishing to see
that through desperation we suspend our
voluntary memory and start working on
sensation recalls (the fertile, the Proust*
memory). At that precious time, I am allowed
to fish freely in the subconscious.
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
First, I honestly and purely disapproved
of it, later I realised the role, but
still persisting in denying through fine
bullshitting. Now I am concerned about
it although want to keep impermeable to
art trends and other traps. Anyway, I
acknowledge that good art works have always
been placed between personal research
and universal communication.
::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A friend of mine calls me "Ten Years
After". This seems to be my delay
in life, so let's reckon that in ten years
I'll be where I should be today.
Besides, I do not want to forecast myself.
If I finally fail to do so, it depends
largely on the crazy waving of the artist's
narcissistic mood. I see myself in heaven,
I see myself in hell. Angel or demon,
aiming for the lot. So I try not to fantasize
nor calculate too much about it. Projection
and pre-occupation seem to paralyse the
peaceful spirit that creation requires.
::: Do you treat painting like a job,
walking into the studio each day at a
particular time? Also, do you have to
do other jobs to earn enough money to
of my time I am around my works but do
not work on schedule. I simply cannot
create on a regular basis; it exhausts
me. And yes, I try various things for
the earnings: language courses, translation,
graphic design, gambling on stock market
often do more spending than earning. I
suppose Providence and not accounting
is the best artist's companion.
::: What are your latest works about and
where are you going with them?
of moving towards abstraction, I tend
to come to figuration. My latest works
represent busts, more precisely talking
heads. It is my aim now to paint, rather
than expressive heads, heads expressing.
I will present them in a contemporary
art contest in Brussels.
::: What advice would you give to an artist
just starting out?
My advice is "keep your mind busy".
Dating, getting married, having children,
order to suffocate the foolish idea. But
if it does not work, I would recall the
fool this quotation from Jaques Brel:
Le talent c'est l'envie de faire quelque
chose (talent is the want to do something).
This is it, so simple and so complex;
difficulty lays on the power of your