Interview: Mar Enríquez
Luca Curci talks with Mar Enríquez during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
My name is Mar Enríquez but most people use to know me as “Mar de color“, which is really the name of the art space I created with my daughters eleven years ago, a space full of dreams where everything is possible and you just must dare to create them. I studied Illustration and Graphic Design for a long time and I collaborated with magazines, advertising agencies and artistic collectives. During these years I coordinated exhibitions I take part in together with my students: Una imagen, una palabra, Mujeres Artistas, Puntos Infinitos, Arte y Color…
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Mar Enríquez – I think everything I have learned and taught has brought me here. If I had to situate a beginning, I would highlight two decisive moments in my work. On one hand, a trip to Finland, where I found a new way of seeing and where I took on a journey towards color, where white acquired an essential role. This gave way to new projects including Paisajes Imaginados, No future, and Ciudad de la guerra, ciudad del futuro. On the other hand, the state of alarm under covid-19 has led me to a more emotional and intuitive work, where I have felt freed and have found a new path towards abstraction. In these large-scale projects, color emerges from blackness, in search of freedom, in Número Uno, Fuego y Agua, Soñando el mar, and Eternity.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
ME – When I paint I forget fear, pain, and loss. Everything around me is calm and I am where I want to be. My habits are very specific. I always create at night. Perhaps because of the silence and a-temporality. When I paint large-scale, I like to extend the canvas on the floor, feel the pigment on my hands, and let my emotions drive me-like when I paint with watercolors.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it like your medium of expression?
ME – Sometimes I start with a concept and reach projects where I want to express something specific. In my project No future, which I displayed at the Genoa Biennale in 2019, I wanted to present a critical project about immigration and give voice to so many people that lose their lives at sea in search of a better future. However, on other occasions, I let the color guide me and I reach unexpected places where my memories and dreams surface. Art has always been my refuge, a place to return to. I cannot conceive of a life without painting. In art, I find the peace and the freedom I need to live.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
ME – For a long time, I was very critical of my work, I felt like I needed to learn technique and perfect it. When I freed myself from perfection, my work grew and I felt very satisfied. Today, I can’t stop creating and in all my work I find new paths and new motivation to keep going.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
ME – My inspiration is my love of nature, and my love of life, and freedom. Nevertheless, one of the most recurrent themes in my work is the sea: sometimes a line leads me to it, sometimes color transforms the page or the blank canvas into a coral reef, a large wave, or a sea in a tempest.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
ME – I am very interested in this festival, and I think events like yours offer a new outlook on the art world, as well as new prospects towards a more promising future for emerging artists, sharing a deep sense of curiosity and ways of seeing the world.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
ME – The city is also a recurring theme in my work. Individual and collectively, the city lives in us, we look at her, listen to her, as she changes, laughs, and cries. Ciudad en guerra is a critical observation of how war and hate transform the city. The city disappears, as do the people that inhabit her. All that’s left is nothingness. My two works have the same unifying thread, the loss of the day-to-day. In one of the pieces, this loss comes through pain and destruction, and in the other, through power and dehumanization.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
ME – I think the organization does a great job of communication showcasing artists from various disciplines. These events are indispensable for the development of art and bringing together different cultures.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
ME – I’ve had a great experience from the time I first contacted by your group. Ever since I sent my first work, I’ve felt trust and support, which has motivated me to send different projects, which you have then observed with a constructive and enriching perspective. In the future, I’d like to have an individual exhibit with you.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
ME – Yes, of course. I think participating in international exhibits is very important for any artist. If these exhibits also have the prestige and the artistic quality of the human team of Itsliquid group, even more so. It’s a way of making ourselves known and showing our work.