Interview: María Montiel
Luca Curci talks with María Montiel during BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY 2021, 2nd Edition, at Valid World Hall Gallery.
Maria Montiel ( b.1981 ) is an award-winning painter and textile artist based in Spain whose works have been exhibited both nationally and in the United States. Through her art, she seeks to interpret the difficulties of preserving memories as an immigrant. Montiel’s surreal ecosystems of color and movement tell stories of lives left behind, “dancing into a new world”. She most often creates using watercolors and gouache on canvas.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Maria Montiel – For me art is a way to express, communicate, and transform ideas into new languages. It is a channel to innovate and translate versions of our reality for future generations.
LC – What are you currently working on?
MM – I am working on the 2nd phase of my series of “Disappearing Memories”. For this new series I have been working with mixed media ( watercolour & gouache ) on big scale watercolour canvas from Phoenix Arts, I have been very lucky to have their support as sponsors for this art fair and also the guidance working on this new material. For this second phase I am looking to introduce a more immersive perspective for my paintings, giving the viewer an opportunity to feel my pieces.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MM – Right now the most challenging part is balancing the time between my family and my work. I have two toddlers and still everything is very new to me, I always want to paint and I am a free soul, before having kids whenever I wanted to paint I just did it, now it’s different. But this is also something that makes you see everything through a new perspective and I believe this has allowed me to connect on a deeper level with my emotions, which are the ones that rule my creative process.
LC – What is your creative process like?
MM – My work and inspiration are very personal, I connect with the piece I am creating from the idea. You can read me through my art, there is a lot of me and how I am feeling in every one of my pieces, this allows me to find inspiration just by closing my eyes. Sometimes I start sketching and others I improvise. if I want the rush of creating almost blindsided I improvise and if I want to relax I rely on a sketch before painting. Both ways are very productive to me.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MM – I believe it is fantastic, hard as anything good in life but very rewarding. We have lots of ways to improve, to experiment and also we have a lot to communicate. The world we are living in needs to be remembered and through art we can express our take on contemporary issues as well as introspective visions of our personal journeys which are also influenced by the world around us.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
MM – I think it is very fresh to have all these different artists, from different backgrounds and artistic concepts together talking about a very valid subject which is how our identities are mixed and how we can transform our creative journeys into ideas for the future.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
MM – With this piece “ Melancholia “ I took a journey through the duel from which I and many immigrants have emerged and in which I am capable of transcending through my art.I try to capture my memories in an intimate way and give them a constructive way out to reach others that feel the same. I can relate a lot to the mixing identities concept since my life has become a mix of my life here in Barcelona and my life back in Venezuela. For the second phase of my series I want to explore how I can create new landscapes through an immersive experience with my art.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
MM – It is a great way to present emerging artists with very interesting projects and ideals, giving them the opportunity to not only show their work but also go further and make them feel included and valid.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
MM – Yes, it is a great way to be in contact with other artists and also to show your work within a very selected group of artists in a curated space with all the advantages of working with big art galleries.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MM – Yes! I will definitely do it again, hopefully soon.