Interview : Mariola Naranjo
Luca Curci talks with Mariola Naranjo during BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR 2021 at Valid World Hall Gallery.
Based on the humanistic formation, formed in High School of Literature and Arts, Bachelor in Laws, but painting has always been part of my life, in a self-taught way. I began receiving painting classes in 2010 in two studios of two painters (Jess Torres and Leticia Trotta) being this second painter professor of Fine Arts. In 2015 I decided to leave anything related to my job as a Lawyer, leaving my professional office to my partner and co-worker, to dedicate me exclusively to painting, which was already the main thing in my life. I have travelled around Europe and the U.S. visiting the Museums of Contemporary Art as part of my training in Abstract Art.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Mariola Naranjo – In a new collection in which I return to the vivid colors, I return to the blues and reds that have been present since the beginning of my career as a painter. After the GOLD AND COAL series, which I presented at Liquid in Barcelona, I need to come back to pure colors. I need that strength that transmits to me to work the oil in those colors that give so much play, with as much expressiveness as the reds in all their tones, and load myself with their strength again. I leave for now the experimentation with materials such as paper and cardboard, which I have used in GOLD AND CARBON to return to the origins of sand, salt, now introducing plaster and resins.
LC – What is your background?
MN – I’ve been painting for 12 years, I’m self-taught. When painting became the most important and the most time-taking thing in my life, I left my career as a lawyer to devote myself fully to painting in a professional way. I received technical classes with several painters and with a teacher of Fine Arts, for 3 years. I set up my studio/gallery in the center of Madrid and that’s where I paint, exhibit and sell my work. I have exhibited in Spain in Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, and in Germany. I have already closed exhibitions in Venice, London, Innsbruck and Marbella until the end of 2021.
LC – What is the experience that has most influenced your work?
MN – Having visited the museums of contemporary art in Europe and USA, where I met abstract expressionism, especially American expressionism. I was hooked on Rothko, Newman, Pollock… Spain has also got excellent Museums of Contemporary and especially Abstract Art, especially I like the work of the Cuenca group.
LC – Did your style change over the years?
MN – It has been moving forward, but there is no drastic change in style. It has been maturing. – In what way? I still paint in oil, it is a material that goes with my way of being and working. Oil is slow, it requires its timing and does not like haste. If you respect its rules, and its nature, it gives you a lot in return. The abstract is my means of artistic expression. I manage the color, in an intuitive and spontaneous way, looking first and foremost for emotion, and that the color of my work transmits to the one who is put in front of a painting of mine and then, if there is one, I work on the form. Although there are no forms in my works, I look for relief, volume and depth. That’s why I like painting material works and glazes so much.
LC – How is your creative process?
MN – I start from the blank canvas without any sketch, I start with a large spatula base, in two or three colors, that leaves marks, cracks, wrinkles as if it was a first skin and then the rest comes from. I have been incorporating materials into oil, researching how to enhance color, how to change its density to adapt it to what I want to express. Every time I paint in larger format.
LC – What is the most challenging part of creating your artwork?
MN – Starting from scratch, when I am in front of the white canvas I never know that I am going to paint, I let myself be carried away by the color that at that moment attracts me more (the most), using roller, sponges, spatulas, large brushes … Then the picture begins to appear, until a moment when I discover what I’m painting and I already know where to drive it. Then there will be a finer brush work of details and finials.
LC – We were attracted to your latest artistic production, has the work presented been created for the festival or as part of pre-existing works?
MN – It has been created in its entirety after covid confinement. On my way back to the studio I needed to turn my painting around, I needed to feel alive and create something new.I believe that making a collection in yellow and gold tones in contrast to blacks has been a way of expressing the situation we have lived of light and shadows, life and death, hope and despondency, although in my work the light always wins.The pandemic experience made us touching the intrinsic dualistic reality of our weakness and vulnerability as humans (human beings). We have faced moments of darkness, when realizing the damage generated in our society by the pandemic, but at the same time we experienced a raising up energy leading us to an space of own improvement. We have lived with these two energies inside, and that is what I have tried to manifest in my production “GOLD AND COAL” The harmonic integration of bright ocher and black shades in my paintings, is a representation of the dualistic moments lived in our soul. The incorporation of materic elements in my paintings is a way of contacting with the limits of the space in our earthly life.
LC – What do you think about Itsliquid platform?
MN – It is an international meeting place for artists. We share our works, our interviews about how we think and work, it gives us information about fairs and exhibitions and keeps us in contact and informed at an international artistic level.
LC – Do you think that ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
MN – Yes, at this Fairs it allows to expose the artist freely, and you can choose different countries where to publicize your work and see the work of artists from other cultures. It is true that you must organize many things on your own, but it makes up for the experience.
LC – Did you like cooperating with us?
MN – Yes, I’m actually coming back with Liquid to London and Venice in the next months.