INTERVIEW Tiempo Magazine (Dec. 2014)
TM: Where do you usually create?
GM-C: I draw everywhere; I draw everything and for no given reason, since I never know if I will be using what I draw in my artwork. Flowers, faces, landscape, trees, clouds, animals, plants. Whatever I find in front of me. Learning to see through my eyes.
I pick up leaves from the floor in autumn, sticks and straws and pieces of wood that I find in the country, in streets or gardens.
I create my artworks in the solitude of my studio where I also design the models for my sculptures.
My starting point is always one of my previous drawings.
TM: Do you have a preference for a time in the day?
GM-C: Mornings and, if possible, always using natural light.
TM: Intuition or rationality? Do you rely on imagination or do you follow a, let’s say scientific process?
GM-C: Painting is a language. The process of creation implies transcending a language that is older than humanity: the Chauvet caves are 35,000 years old.
I am methodical in my way of working.
First there is reality. From drawings to line and then colour.
Line is structure.
Colour is matter which exists through light, another sort of matter.
Knowledge of drawing: a line must have life within. Otherwise it is dead. And this knowledge gives a painter his freedom to create: the creation of a universe of richness and the flight from the observation of specialists.
Colour is pure sensitivity.
TM: What role do mistakes and discard play in your creative process?
GM-C: Mistake and discard: internal or external?
Internal: it is part of creation.
External: it is very hard when the work of an artist is not recognized –or even rejected- on time. In any case, I consider the creative process of an artist as the healing process of his or her own existence. I mean, the artist enjoys creating; by doing so you enter a new dimension of your own existence, reflected in each artwork. There is little more I can say.
TM: Do you have an amulet or charm?
In Castile (Spain), the region where I was born, where I can remember the vertical and transparent light of my early years. And now, in the desolate, poetic and unfathomable deserts of New Mexico State (USA), where I have established my latest studio.
TM: What is the most important tool, organ or emotion in all this process?
GM-C: Our existence.
In Shanghai Q. suggests we collaborate: his music and my painting.
Q. has a diploma in Composition from the Paris Conservatoire. His training is classical.
Painting, colours, lines, the eye, and only the eye.
Time in music has a tempo which does not belong to painting. Its the ear, only the ear.
Does painting not produce sound; or is music colour-free?
Each painting will have its composition. As they enter into the exhibition space, each spectator will be offered some earphones. They will thus be able to listen to music as they stand before each painting.
Creation. Only Creation.
I propose presenting the exhibition in New York and in Shanghai.
J. Offers me two exhibitions, in C., Oklahoma, in April and in Y., Santa Fe, in May.
Two cities, two US states.
I will exhibit paintings depicting the NM desert and flowers and collages, sculptures, painted ceramics and drawings.
I have lost my references.
I live in the diaspora.
Shanghai and New York and Santa Fe.
Before Paris and London.
I was born in Spain.
So Rilke the poet was right when he said “my childhood is my home"
In Spanish, the word VERDAD (truth), written back to front reads DAD VER (present or offer, see)
So, VERDAD is to "DAD a VER” or bring forth for others to see.
In sum: a revelation, allowing others to see the truth.
Rothko said that painting is a miracle.
Painted truth, which I present to others.
I have sent two collages to C., who lives far away, in another continent. Two collages titled “Desert Landscapes”.
Over a layer of thick and clear yellow paint I have placed a piece of fabric painted pink. On the pink surface, navy blue scratches in one collage; and in the other, the blue becomes ochre. And over the pink, things that I have found in the desert: straw and twigs painted and then glued on.
Pink is a colour present in the French tradition of painting.
Pink did not exist in Spanish painting until Velázquez; pink is the colour of the floor in Las Meninas and the reason why the characters float in the air confined in the painting.
Murillo learnt from Velázquez and introduced pink in his paintings, after his trip to Madrid and after the both Sevilian artists conversed. He learnt to trap the air and from then onwards his painting became space.
C.’s two collages will appear to be beautiful but their apparent beauty -a result of the apparent sweetness of pink- is laden with tragedy.
I speak to V. who invites me to exhibit this summer in the city of Venice.
My New Mexico flowers and deserts, in Venice.
Painted in Santa Fe, city of the desert.
Exhibiting in Venice, city of water.
My studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the desert. Immense desolate spaces. Poetical. Nuance-free colours.
Reds among reds; glittering rocks; grey gypsum among multiple greys; white chalk in the white desert; lunar white desert among spotless whites. Such beauty blinds you.
And the desert flowers, so delicate, find it hard to survive.
And the light in Santa Fe. The opaque Sun in the desert at midday, transparent at dusk.
The Sun is gold. The one Coronado searched for in the mythical seven lost cities.
There is no humidity in the air. The starry nights are an abyss.
And the striking blue in the morning, at midday, a violent and profoundly intense ultramarine.
So I’m leaving to spend some time in Shanghai and New York.
The desert is a myriad of solitudes which lead us to delirium.
A conversation with x who is thousands of kilometres away, in another Continent. To create Universal artworks?
Works which can disturb us emotionally; transport us to other feelings, enrich us, regardless the place, country, period of time or culture.
But local artworks are around us. Not to refer to them as normal or mediocre.
In my collection of Chinese art there are eight prints from the Ming Dinasty. Some landscapes of Guangdong, amazing, have the same structure as P Klee’s work.
Their capacity to teach us to observe is endless.
Painting is a frozen language. Timeles.
Its structure has a complex development. Unlimited.
Painting as a universal work of art is born transcending language.
Color is trinitary: blue, red and yellow.
Hokusai: there is the old black and the fresh black, the shiny black and the pale black, the black in the light, and the black in the shade. For an old black, red is needed. For fresh black, blue. For pale black, white. For shiny black, an addition of glue. For black in the light, you need to mar it with gray. Hokusai's structure is black-coloured, Turner's is red.
I paint with gold and blue, absolute sensuality.
Scorted by P., who's just graduated in photography director at the cinema school of Madrid, I am visiting the great Tintoreto exposition at the Prado Museum. While contemplating the painting "Elena's kidnapping", P. has gone completely marvelled. It depicts the kidnapping scene and the fight from the inside of Elena's boat, in the shade, under a candlelight. It's a scene taken from a motion picture with a four century gap.
The line and its representation..
Yellow concentrates, green disipates, red is anchored to the ground, blue, I prefer it wet.
Las pinturas de las cuevas de Altamira tienen entre 12.000-14.000 años, las pinturas de Lascaux entre 16.000-17.000 años, las pinturas de la cueva de Chauvet entre 32.000-35.000 años, las pinturas abstractas signos en arcilla roja de la cueva de Blombos tienen 70.000 años. La pintura es el lenguaje más antiguo del ser humano. Y el más hermoso.
In the loneliness of the desert, you can breathe freedom and, as with Guevara's limping devil, the private spaces of sensitiveness which are hidden to others, open before me.
Yes, my work flies.
My latest painting is new and eternal. I drink from the fresh waters emanating from the sources.
And, of course, rejection is the price.
"When I'm dark, I write poetry; when I'm light, I write prose"
Summer 2015. August and September in La Habana: heat and sweet air. I decide to draw portraits of women and men: "Habaneras" and "Habaneros". Women who work at home and men and women who pass in front of our garden.
Anonymous people. Racial traits. A carbon line on a large piece of paper. Quick portraits done in a few minutes. The lines create tensions among themselves and in relationship with the space.
The portraits: first of all, the beauty of the line; secondly, the tension between the lines and the space they occupy. Thirdly, the act of recognition of the person portrayed and finally, the portrait needs to capture the flourishing soul, which is mystery.
And the line with the halo of inner-life.
After La Habana we decide to move to Paris in autumn 2015 where C. offers me the possibility of holding exhibition.
In these months Paris changes its colors. The English poet Shelley could only write in the melancholy of autumn. The greens and blues become transparent and scarlet red floats in the cadmium yellows. Just like the sunlight, which pierces through objects like thousands of needles in the Paris autumn.
The represented objects - flowers, landscapes, faces, gardens, the sea - are not important.
Only an excuse to paint, and excuse to produce painting.
Cherry blossoms, almond blossoms, apricot blossoms, fruit blossoms,
Flowers for this exhibition project which I am now presenting to the Denver Botanic Gardens
Flowers on the tree branches before the fruit is born.
Flowers and fruits that are born every year in Spring like a miracle of life,
Flowers laden with eternal beauty, absolute beauty.
Flowers which remind us of the fragility of our existence.
Painted flowers; painting as a revelation; creation enriching us through a different perspective.
“BIRDS AND FISHES AND FLOWERS IN THEIR BRANCHES, IN SPRING "
Spring 2016 in Paris.
In the "Jardin des Plantes” I draw the blossoms on the branches in hundreds of trees.
And I draw the birds. To my surprise, and after many years away from Paris, I find a gathering of velvet black crows.
And a multitude of fishes like the ones I had drawn in another garden, the Yuyuan in Shanghai.
All of them: fishes, birds and flowers, I have brought to muy paintings at the start of this year.
They are the main subject of this exhibition.
Birds, fishes and flowers overlapping in impossible perspective. Without shadows. Only one light. One sole space. Primary colours. Strong colours. Flat colors.