Paola Pineda C. on media
Interview - Betún Magazine
Paola, when and how did you get started in art? Have you always had this vocation?
Actually I was a girl who drew much, the drawing was always an ally. There was a season, in my teens, in which I made at least one a daily drawing. Some of which later served to illustrate the cover of some of my therapist’s books.
Perhaps I wasn’t clear about the great curiosity that y felt later: an absolute passion to draw the different human faces. And that today has clearly become an absolutely vital need that has only grown and ambitioned to continue in the discovery of my own way of seeing painting and its expression.
Does the painting choose you or is it you who approaches it?
Both ways: it is like a pact, a game, a continuous dance between it and me, a totally precise tacit communication.
The painting is demanding and jealous. Although I’m not painting, it occupies 80% of my thinking, because it always asks for more. Sometimes I rumble in the ear with an almost romantic subtlety others, screams hurriedly, lashes canvases and brushes.
How difficult is it to become an artist in Mexico? What is your vision of Mexico today, especially in the artistic field?
The appreciation of art has much to do with education and the cultural level of people (although there are fortunate exceptions). But, in general, people call “art” completely absurd things without quality and without office, that even insult the intelligence and sensitivity of people.
I feel grateful and very fortunate, because I like my work (product of many years of study, preparation and self-demand) and happy customers are the ones that open doors for the artist. I will not lie to you: there have been sometimes that I’ve doubted if I should continue to pursue this dream (because in fact the art market in Mexico is sometimes like all markets in Mexico: we love everything else besides Mexican stuff), something happens (some powerful message of the Life) that makes me recover the certainty that this is my way.
Art has its processes and its times, and one cannot anticipate them. It is this one who is marking you the way holding hands.
What techniques do you work on, which do you like best, which do you find most difficult, or which of them do you need?
I like all of them, each one has its charm. Work the same with Prismacolor or watercolor, that with tempera, oil or acrylic. Sometimes I mix what I find but that has to do with that freedom to feel the painting in a mysterious process that is perceived in the stomach.
Of the four most complicated, undoubtedly, is the temper, is like those complex couples, funny but complicated, intelligent but dry. Something like that. Today I am in the middle of a romance with acrylic, this opportunity in which I am constantly discovering how fascinating to paint, literally, “upside down” the paintings (that is, for its reverse, back), made me fall in love, because it is a constant challenge to overcome its complexity and take advantage of its spectacular accidents.
How would you describe your creative process?
Every time I start a new job, I realize that I know nothing. I feel an emptiness in the stomach as if it were a leap that encompasses understanding and misunderstanding of everything I know. Perhaps it could best to be described as directly proportional to what actors feel, such as “stage fright”. Hahaha.
And when I pass that stage, I realize that I have all the knowledge: you penetrate the air and transform the piece into something you own: something that, however and paradoxically, is completely out of you.
You walk on that tightrope of the incomprehensible and completely taken over by the viscera. The painting feels and guides you in the momentum.
What are your influences? Who do you admire?
I am passionate about classic portraitists, especially Rembrandt and my three favorite contemporaries: Jenny Saville, Alice Neel and Lucien Freud.
Does your work have a connection to music, literature or other artistic facets?
I love music, it is an intense accomplice that the only thing that knows is to inspire, it is that element that makes things happen, and can be from the most tragic of operas to the magnificence of Armand Amand or Philip Glass in his compositions.
Music is that touch that makes the whole scene make sense without having it. It is that beauty that opens the doors of the parallel universes, if they exist.
What do you read when you read?
My favorite author is Clarice Lispector. Of the others I could say that I read what awakens my interest and curiosity, I am very caught up in those readings that manage to get into the ways of the human mind, the one that describes the complexity of our feeling and way of perceiving the world. And this you can find it in novels, essays, poems, almost in any literary genre. And also many movies, I cannot fail to mention, Birdman that truly is a jewel that manages to capture that inner capital that exists in its personages.
In most of your pieces you choose to illustrate faces, and the red color is a constant in your work, what is the reason?
I live by risking the stroke and the color. They are the way that I find to be able to say in a work the different languages of the human face. I’m looking for a kind of crazy, very crazy harmony. That’s the constant walk on the tightrope I’m talking about.
The face is and will be a constant, it connects me, the eyes impel me to want to discover its secrets and how people are solved inside, and there is no better instrument for my work like color. It is to solve the impossible. Because if I am sincere, what I see is a dream, but with the eyes open (everything that sees is distorted).
My drawings are the constant intention of stripping the soul, and also of seeking me in my voids, causing me long and prolonged sighs, as I always say: “I suddenly saw myself and saw the world”.
What do you think of social networks and art?
They are one more bridge of all that exist, so the people can know you. Used in your favor, I think they are a great window, and today, however paradoxical it may sound, is the most tangible of the intangible. I twit, I have facebook, instagram, and then I exist!
Do you feel any social responsibility when you paint?
When I get a chance to do something pro-bono and it’s an interesting project of course
I support the cause.
However, I believe that we have a social responsibility in daily life, every day and all the time in how you act. Perhaps with my painting I could cheer a few, but with a smile, a detail, a hand given is a real opportunity to contribute to make it a better world. You have to be socially responsible as people, and in every moment, not only through your work, but your behavior.
The world, in my opinion, is crossing marshy land, changes and carries its great disease: stress. We’ve become so alien to the other that we’re now in complete disagreement. The fundamental principles have been erased, beginning with elementary education. We are quickly demanding thing but slow in sharing them.
But being an eternal believer of the human being as I am, I understand that there is that magic that makes us aware of the most powerful weapon without a doubt: love. The one that transforms what it touches. I wish with all my soul to be impregnated on our beloved planet.
Do you have any projects you dreamed of?
To continue growing as an artist, to paint more every day and, above all, to cross borders, but nothing will make me happier than to feel proud of every piece I make, because I dwell in each one of them. At that moment “I am”. Each work is blood, a hurt heart, fragmented nerves … and tears, I feel, I suffer, I am happy and I am moved. .
You are happy?
Yes, very happy! Happiness lies in the balance of many areas of your life, and there are four priorities: family, work, friends and health.
Life is supernatural, mythical, fantastic and gigantic, trusting in their texts is the very secret of happiness. Because life “IS” and this very intimate nature of things is what makes it exciting. One is allowed to happen. The world has no visible order. Our life is a complete improvisation, and in that syllogism we are not exempt from frustrating and sad moments, but those transits are just that: transits. Because it’s time is as long as they last in our thinking.
Do you have a project in front of which you want to talk to us?
At this moment I am doing a series called “Al Espejo”, inspired by the following text: