Interview: Toti Cuesta
Luca Curci talks with Toti Cuesta during RITUALS, first appointment of the ANIMA MUNDI 2022 art fair, at Palazzo Bembo.
“For years, I studied and prepared myself to lead an intellectual path. I studied law and languages. I was completing my training and developing a profession. And so the years went by with an ever greater feeling of emptiness. Art has always been present in my life. Since I was a child, there was a creative part in me that grew more and more. A part that was understood and valued in my environment as a hobby, but I knew it was much more than that. He had no understanding of what was happening. I began an inner search that allowed me to discover who I was and what I had come here to do. It helped me free myself from everything that others had chosen thinking that it was what was best for me, but that had nothing to do with my essence.”
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Toti Cuesta – Art arises from my spiritual need to create, to go beyond the senses. It is an expression of the soul. It is love, energy, and vitality. It is a magical experience. Art unites Heaven and Earth and has the power to change the world through creation. It allows us to represent reality in a different way than we perceive it. Art does not use words. It has a language that goes much further. It goes to the unconscious. Hooper said that if art could be expressed in words, it would not be worth painting. Art allows the painter to act as a channel between two dimensions and bring to the physical world the message he has to convey through his work.
LC – What’s your background?
TC – Art has always been present in my life. Since I was a child, there was a creative part of me that grew more and more. A part that was understood and valued in my environment as a hobby, but I knew it was much more than that. I didn’t understand anything that was going on. I started an inner search that allowed me to discover who I was and what I had come here to do. It helped me to free myself from everything that others had chosen, thinking it was what suited me best, but had nothing to do with my essence. For years, I studied and prepared myself to follow an intellectual path. I studied law and languages. I completed my education and developed a profession. However, art knew the strength with which it had to come for me to attend to it. From there, I also trained as an Art Therapist because of the healing power that I feel art has.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
TC – My way of living and feeling life has made art sacred to me. I have so many experiences that I could not relate to them here for lack of space. But I can mention, for example, the impact Kandinsky’s book “On the Spiritual in Art” had on me many years ago, and the inner search I began after reading it. The immense force with which art comes to me and materializes in a painting is something bigger than me. When I paint, I disappear.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
TC – Inspiration comes by itself. It’s a connection that appears suddenly. An idea, a composition, comes out of nowhere and I know that I have to capture it in a painting. All the elements come together to give shape and life to the work.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
TC – The works presented are a small representation of the different series I have been developing in watercolour: everyday scenes of Madrid, which show how we are when we think no one sees us; close-ups, which represent the human figure with an explosion of colour and life. A surrealist painting, which shows the concept of this exhibition through the representation of a wind instrument, through vibration and sound.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
TC – Sometimes I know that my work is finished and other times it is the painting itself that tells me that no more brush strokes are needed. My feeling is strange because when I look at a painting that is already finished, I have the feeling that I am seeing it for the first time, that I didn’t paint it myself. The painting simply materialises through my hand and the brush and there are parts of the process that are unconscious.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
TC – I totally agree with the concept of ANIMA MUNDI and the idea of hidden energy that unites all beings and all creatures that inhabit the planet just as it unites the body and the soul. The concept of this exhibition totally connects with what I feel and live when I am painting. I believe that painting allows me to represent that hidden connection and to capture it in images, shapes, and colours, which manifest a vibration, a rhythm, which is life. Art gives life to that hidden energy because it manifests on a physical level what is still in potential.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
TC – Yes, of course. Anything that contributes to making artists visible and promoting their work is a very important opportunity and ITSLIQUID GROUP has a great contribution to make in this respect.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
TC – This is the first time that my paintings have travelled to Venice, which is a wonderful city, and it has been a very nice experience. I have always felt the help and cooperation of the ITSLIQUID GROUP staff and that has made the whole process easier.