domingo, 1 de diciembre de 2013

Stardust. Interview with Clara Lorca

   If you go through Gran Via of Granada and you possess some curiosity, you will discover that at 33 something is being cooked underground. If you go into that doorway you will find the Punto Rojo Art Gallery. With this cold that threatens us the visit almost becomes mandatory and you will enjoy the works of some of the latest contemporary artists. You will behold the Granadian bustle from a rather than comfortable position. Today we talk with Clara Lorca, an artist who has exhibited at the gallery and has agreed to collaborate with Amalgamartes. Angela Hinojosa, thank you very much for making this interview possible:

Clara Lorca with two of her works

Who is Clara Lorca?

    I am not a great artist yet. I graduated three years ago. Then the master and everything has been rather a little self taught. The degree does not teach you to solve your own problems. I think an artist's career lasts a lifetime, and I think I'm starting.

Your CV is impressive. We could say that you have not stopped since you started your Degree of Fine Arts. You traveled throughout Spain and abroad for seminars, scholarships and exhibitions such as the III International Congress of Synesthesia. I guess you'd consider essential leaving hometown to become known. Wouldn’t you?

  The Congress of synesthesia was in 2009. I was trying the subject of music, represented through memories where music appeared to me through colors, rhythms, masses, densities and I became interested in this psychological phenomenon, this interaction among senses. I began researching and met Maria Jose de Cordoba who is responsible for conducting congresses of synesthesia. People study synaesthesia to many levels, artistic, scientific, is an incredible capacity. Getting around is essential, difficult, because the displacement isphysically and emotionally, to discover how is the market elsewhere, the language. Leaving Granada you can see a change in the art world, so imagine abroad. Some are very conceptual, other very traditional and you have to find your place. The artists have to make ourselves known.

What is Stardust?

It is a series arising from a development of my evolution. I have reached this point trying to find answers to the meaning of life. I know it's impossible, but I always wonder that question. I always touch existential themes and in these paintings I relate the microscopic to the macroscopic, I see many connections between both and I think that everything has to be about something. I do not know if God exists, but it must be a reason. I will not find out but I want that chance in my works, that chemistry, that physical, interacting in my work. I search to generate a cosmos in my own work. Like a creator god and the picture is a paradise that I have created.

Focusing on the support of your works, how a work is done on methacrylate?

   During the degree I was taught to paint on canvas, wood, oil, acrylic, but I wasn't taught other support. This goes beyond academics. I wanted the own material to help me get my work. I started working with ethyl, methacrylate, because of the transparency they have. So nobody taught me this technique. Back to being self-taught, including the issue of picture framing, so in my own work there is also a personal investigation. No specific technique, I know how I have done it, but it would be difficult to explain. I paint on one face of the methacrylate, beginning with details and ending with wider layers. When you flip the painting everything seems embedded in the methacrylate giving that crystalline appearance. The technique constantly change, experiment, discover the possibilities of the material.

Interstellar Cloud I, Mixed on methacrylate, 25 x 35 cm.
"Granada Hoy" calls your work as "chromatic expressionism". What about this definition?

    Journalists sometimes make a peculiar interpretation. Although on this occasion I do agree. I am identified with the expressionist movement, my work is pure expression, is what I feel. Yes, I work with both. All pictures are based on the color and the contrast of those forms. No drawing, no chiaroscuro. I respect the opinion of every journalist.

 What is the role of random, game, on conceiving your artworks?

    Some people believe that by chance can not be done a good picture. I disagree. Apart from the hand, the concept is very important, the reason. Not everything is technique and drawing, thanks to chance, I discovered things would not have done with a brush. Randomness allows that some chemicals are mixed together leading to forms that exist in nature by the same chemistry. There are impossible results only having hand. In a certain way I control that randomness, otherwise it would be a sea of​​nonsense. Chance gives that touch of magic.

Kandinsky used to make distinction between Improvisations and Compositions . The first consisted of "an abstraction of the spirit" quick and momentary. The second, "abstractions of the spirit" slow, thoughtful, unhurried. What side would you join to?

    I think it's improvisation. There is always a composing intention, calculated and apprehended. But I always work from a pure improvisation. The very act of painting is an improvisation, not quite knowing what I do, my body expresses itself, so would be rather improvisations.

Hundred thousand light years, mixed on methacrylate,  125x185 cm.

In your series Stardust there is a very interesting component, the inclusion of phosphorescent elements which allow us to discover a different event when you turn the light off and contemplate the works in the dark. You have gone beyond plein air, you pick two moments in the same image. What is the origin of this element?

    It is a discovery, a surprise. I myself do not know sometimes the materials I work with, so it's also a surprise for me. Everything is new, an illusion, I give another perspective to the viewer. As children we have the stars glued to the ceiling, something magical, without energy, without recharging, simply shine. Investigating, I discovered how to use it and how to incorporate it. In the works there are phosphorescent paint and phosphorescent pigment, each works differently. On turning the lights off you get surprised. The works I do are in the first place for me and so I look for things that excite me and thereby I incorporated this element.

Stardust, Mixed on Methacrylate (normal sight, darkvision)

 The Cosmos, galaxies and nebulae, black holes. It is impossible to think of some of your artworks as interstellar photos from any telescope suspended in space. Hyperrealism or abstraction??

   Both. It is curious, I broke away from realism many years ago, although I think that I remain realizing landscape. Almost everything is landscape. Abstraction is difficult. Here I was so abstract that it ends up as hyperrealism. I consider myself abstract, but when you approach to it you nearly perceive the microscopic world. What's more realistic than chemistry? I lead what nature creates.

Gombrich was worried about the tension between abstract art and decoration. He used to exemplify it by "This would be a perfect design for my curtain." But  you do not create designs, you create High Art . If you hear a similar comment about your work, what would you think?

    It's a complicated question. Me and my mates always run away from decorativism, design, saying "my work is not decorative." We criticize these works, are commercial. I've always tried detach myself, but the line is very thin. When I paint  I try to forget what people might think. In some sectors Pollock was misunderstood and today it has become a brand. You can see T-shirts where his works have become designs. With this exhibition I'm happy because I've done what I like.

The exhibition is about to end, could I ask what happen to the works that are not sold?

    Pictures that are not sold return to the garage of your house, to the studio you have rented. Some will be re-exposed, some not. My studio is open, if anyone wants to visit it if you are interested, but of course it is face-to-face.

Finally I would like to know how you see the art scene in your hometown, Granada.

   In terms of contemporary art is a bit poor. We need more galleries like this, that do not focus on commercial art, the easy way out. We need more activities and museums, but there is something. The problem is that the galleries are betting on the safe value, consecrated people and should bet a little more for emerging artists who are the future, as many of my colleagues, and we have it very tough because of the economy and so on. Good city galleries are already booked. And not for young artists.

Clara Lorca with some works
Interview made on 29th of November, 2013

To know more about Clara Lorca:
To know more about Galería Punto Rojo:

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