Spanish artist Guillermo Mora is coming to a London gallery near you. I recently interviewed the man and he proved to me why he’s worth your time.
What is it that you enjoy the most about working with layers and layers of acrylic paint? And also what you enjoy the least about it?
Layers in life, layers in painting. Painting is not far from the way everything is constructed. We are made of layers as well. I like to conceive painting as a body, as something not eternal but alive, clumsy, tired, and capable of losing its entire shape or parts of it. Flaubert used to say: “as soon as we come to this world, pieces of us begin to fall”. I feel this exact way on painting. It would be amazing to see all the paintings of the world separated from their canvases and falling on the ground.
On the other hand, it’s weird for me to say something that I dislike about painting, but I could say its autonomy. Even though you think you can control all its processes, it always cheats you. There’s always something unexpected. Life is unexpected and painting is too.
What’s your creative process like?
“Add, subtract, multiply and divide” is my statement (and the presentation of my website). I think these words not only belong to mathematics but also to our everyday acts, thoughts and behaviors. Painting is a complex body in the world in which all these actions can take place too.
How did you feel when you won the Audemars Piguet award?
First of all, surprised. I was competing with very well known international artists and I never expected I could be the one that got it. Then I said to myself: “Guillermo, from now on you have to work much harder.” When you win an international award, it puts you immediately in a new position. I realized how less important the economical aspect of my work is. It’s true that money helps, but the most important thing was that a lot of people started to pay attention to my stuff. From the moment you win a prize, you have to demonstrate why you won it.
You have an upcoming group exhibition entitled Saturation II – Add Subtract Divide. And you’ve also described defined your work by including multiplying. In what way do you feel that your work accomplishes these operations?
Adding has always been linked to the idea of painting but we have to think that when we add something we subtract possibilities to it too. Then if I want to add, I have to divide the material into pieces, and this action is also a way of multiplying. These four actions are not as different as we think and can be easily included in my everyday process. They help me to uphold the idea of a constant changing painting.
If not Spain, where else would you like to permanently set up a studio and why?
United Kingdom for its contradictions and irreverences. Things happen when controversy is constantly present.