Interview: Sandra Salvat
Luca Curci talks with Sandra Salvat during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES, the second appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Born in Barcelona and currently living in Berlin, Sandra Salvat was encouraged at an early age to live out and develop her creative talent and love of painting. Today, in addition to classic techniques, she also uses materials from everyday life for her art and media work to discover new challenges in contemporary art. The artist works on diverse surfaces ranging from canvas, walls, paravents, textiles, wood, or paper and uses natural pigments. After her art history studies at the University of Barcelona (UB), she went to the “Waltham Forest College” in London before she starts painting murals and frescoes in villas and pavilions for private and institutional clients. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars in Barcelona and Berlin are equipped with objects and interior designs from her studio in the German capital. Sandra understands art as a tool of expression. In permanent search, she reflects the constant changes of humanity and natural transformations. Sandra Salvat ‘s work reinvents existing architectural spaces, where she incorporates people and forms from nature, like living sculptures, and poetically redefines the space to produce new places that make the viewer reflect. She combines a marked proclivity for bright colors, solid forms, and refined composition. Throughout her career, Salvat seeks to consolidate a unique pictorial artistic vocabulary, constructing fantastic and feigned environments that reference and unite painting, architecture, and sculpture with specific cultural influences. The artist works on diverse materials ranging from canvas, walls, paravents, fabrics, wood, or paper and uses natural pigments dissolved in oil or acrylic.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Sandra Salvat – Art for me is a creative manifestation of human activities based on the real or imagined vision of the world, expressing beauty, ideas, and emotions, through different resources.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
SS – My love for painting and the visual arts starts in early childhood. My mother is an artist and since I was little I have seen her painting either on canvas or on the doors of the cupboards at home, so I started painting too. At that age, I liked impressionist painters and I used to go to the countryside with my easel to paint. I also won a few painting competitions. After studying Art History in my hometown Barcelona I went to London to study mural painting techniques. Subsequently, my first projects as an artist were doing frescos and artwork for private clients and trendy frescos in Barcelona and in my new home in Berlin.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
SS – I find my inspiration by observing and strolling through nature and the metropolis. Life itself inspires me, as does every place I go and the people I interact with. I also get some inspiration from artists such as Henri Rousseau, De Chirico, Matisse, Picasso, and Pipilotti Rist among others. I also collect architectural documentation that appeals to me aesthetically.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
SS – For me, the most challenging part of creating my work is deciding on the main idea until I think it’s really a good one. Then the rest of the artwork becomes more technical.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
SS – One theme that interests me in my work is architecture. I like to create new spaces telling painted fairytales through objects from nature, my everyday life, and characters. It fascinates me to redefine a place in my own way, to tell a new story and bring it to life.
SS – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
LC – I feel blessed to get the opportunity to show my painting in this unique place and get more positive impacts and new insights from artists from all over the world.
LC – Can you explain something about the artwork you have in our exhibition?
SS – “The architect sitting in the ruin” mixed media on canvas, 80 X 60 cm. This artwork is set in the ruins of the large hospital complex for tuberculosis patients that stood between 1898 and 1930 in the Beelitz-Heilstätten district of Brandenburg (Germany). The presence of the Swiss architect Christoph Stutzer, who stands as a sculpture, redefines the space, which unfortunately now belongs to him. Following the building’s restoration in 2014, it is now a clinic for neurological diseases affecting movement. Stutzer suffers from PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) a rare degenerative brain disorder that causes severe movement problems. That’s why the wheelchair opens up borders for him. The dog establishes the connection with the audience and embodies the disappearance of all identities over time.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
SS – ITSLIQUID is a platform formed by artists who are united by the theme of the exhibition and that grows over time, giving new artists the opportunity to make themselves known.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
SS – I am quite satisfied with the services ITSLIQUID provides to the artists as well as the arrangements, the set-up of the exhibition, and the fast interaction on social media. I would like to suggest more outreach to potential buyers, collectors, and other interested parties. For example, I think that artworks on the theme of “Fragmented identities” could fit in a public institution, in a doctor’s office, or in a hospital among others.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
SS – I was delighted to cooperate with ITSLIQUID, to have met other artists, and in particular to have had the opportunity to exhibit in Venice, the city of art par excellence. Grazie a tutti gli organizzatori!