Interview: Manuel Hernández Berbel
Luca Curci talks with Manuel Hernández Berbel during CONSCIOUSNESS and VISIONS, second and third appointment of ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal.
From Technical training, Electronic technical engineering and Physical Sciences. I have worked in different companies until due to a disability I am retired. Self-taught now I dedicate 100% to painting. Born in Granada, I studied and worked in Madrid, where I currently live, and in Almería where I also have residence. I am 56 years old. I consider post-abstract expressionism with contemporary art influences. I try to squeeze the possibilities of contrasts that painting offers me with the geometry that I learned in my professional career. From that fusion, I believe that is a unique and different style.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Manuel Hernández Berbel – I was born in a small town in Andalusia and I was always interested in painting since my mother painted in an amateur way. My great idols were, of course, Miró, Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock, Kline, de Kooning, and all the American expressionists. I studied and worked in Madrid, I was an informant at the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid (Museum of Contemporary Art) and I also studied the oil technique with a painter from Rioja in Madrid. When I retired from work due to illness, I dedicated myself entirely to painting, in addition to traveling and listening to music, an activity that I am passionate about, in addition to cinema
LC – Which subject are you working on?
MHB – My objectives are varied, but I especially focus on the layout of space and the interaction of man on Earth, and the interaction between human beings, due to my professional training as a physicist
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MHB – Yes, I started painting with basic colors, especially green, and basic format and materials, pencils, wax, and ink, and I continued with acrylic, a medium I especially prefer. My painting was very simple and geometric at the beginning but I was complicating my figures and colors until the disappearance of the lines and almost completely the black color. I finally discovered by chance a very interesting material that I am working on, which is Portland spruce wood fiber, which gives a more human and familiar texture
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
MHB – My favorite theme is the space, and the human relationships too. I consider myself as a small grain of sand inside the Universe
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
MHB– I choose the colors and the initial structure and tonality at the beginning. But in the progress, I usually change some things as I consider to improve the final work. The subjects for me are essential, I think continuously on my target, even if I don’t achieve it
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
MHB – I think the target is right. How to make humanity aware of the importance of human beings as people and not as usable and disposable objects, especially in wars like the current one in Ukraine
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
MHB – I believe that my work presents the imperfection of the human hand, how you can make mistakes so many times and correct them to finally obtain some work in which the touch of the imperfect person that we are is perceived
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID Group can represent an opportunity for artists?
MHB – Yes, I met this group by chance and I believe that it can join individual efforts that otherwise would not be known by the general people
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MHB – Yes, I feel very happy with this opportunity and I hope to continue sending my works and know other artists and galleries interested