Interview: Clara De Bobes
Luca Curci talks with Clara De Bobes during ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL 2019 – VISIONS at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi.
“I paint from always. From my first childhood memories. The reason is very simple: painting makes me happy. Is that enough? In a first approximation, we could say yes. Painting brings joy to the days and improves my life. But painting is also a form of expression and that requires an interlocutor. I would like my creations to reach people and in some way provoke an emotion. The force of emotion with which I create my characters. Because in my works intervene curiosity, but also passion and compassion. I like to think that in the creation process I get to know intimately the person portrayed, whether it is a real person or an invention. Children of the spirit, my imaginary family. And I want some of that secret knowledge to reach the viewer. What is behind the skin of reality? A world that underlies the aesthetics of the visible: the lives, flares in time, of people who like us will have to go their way and disappear forever. Better and worse lives, of tortuous route or of luminous discourse, but always individual and solitary; many conditioned already from the origin and others blessed by luck… but always lonely and unique. And of course, the mystery. The hidden smile, the stern look, the helplessness. What are you thinking? What determined its existence? Feel, suffer? The lives of others are also ours”.
Clara De Bobes studied drawing and painting at the School Superior d’Art i Disseny in Palma de Mallorca, at the School d’Arts Guasch and Coranty in Barcelona, at the Museum of Artistic Reproductions of Bilbao and at the Workshop of Richard Pérez Franco from Bilbao. Among others, she receives art and painting lessons from painters and esteemed professors and friends Tinus Castanyer, Maria Luisa Magraner, Pedro Quetglas “Xam”, Ramòn Navarro, Hector Orruño, Beatriz Aparicio. Numerous solo and group exhibitions in Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Bilbao, Biarritz, París, Ourense, New York, Tokyo. Clara de Bobes draws its material from a file in continuous development of personal photographs and images torn from magazines and newspapers. Her paintings are not a literal interpretation of the photographic sources. The size, presentation and color make them a picture of what we see, what underlies the aesthetics of the visible, with an emotion and passion under the skin of everyday reality, drags us into the realm of dreams. Bobes stripped her of her public image portrayed and gives it another identity, not less obvious stop intense and faithfully represent the subject, showing her soul from the canvas, we look through.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Clara De Bobes – Art is a type of universal language that we all understand without the need for translation, a form of expression proper to the human species and that elevates us to a higher level. That language tells us about emotions, feelings and passions common to the whole species, whatever our cultural level and our culture of origin. Our grandfather Neanderthal already practiced it, but our Cromagnons brothers raised it to the top, making us understand that art makes us “human” and that we are so close to them that the passing of the millennia does not alter the message and emotion which produces the contemplation of a work of art. Art, compassion, sense of humor… all that makes us human; but… perhaps art is what can best define us as a species.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has most influenced your work?
CDB – I am a painter, biologist and teacher. In that order. I do not remember a stage in my life before the use of pencils and colors as a means of expression. Maybe the physical (and olfactory!) experience of sleeping in my uncle’s studio when I was going to visit him (he was a painter) had something to do with the illusion of becoming a painter one day. The contemplation of the great works of art made me feel emotion and envy in equal parts. And I wanted, too, to enjoy the pleasure of creating.
LC – Which is the role that the artist plays in the society? And the contemporary art? What could you say?
CDB – I would like to say that the artist is an interpreter of the society in which he lives. But the interpreters print their personal seal, their particular vision of reality and the collective imaginary. And artists also make us partakers of another reality that only exists inside and that is impossible to express otherwise: what the eyes of your spirit see. As for contemporary art, something elementary and palmarium: luckily, today’s art has freed itself from corsets and stereotypes and we can enjoy it freely, without normative barriers or anachronistic rules. Total freedom of techniques, contents and messages. Art speaks within us, the envelope is irrelevant.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
CDB – Well… people and their experiences are my inspiration. Ethics, aesthetics… life! That flame that will go out very soon and that however will have been the only thing that has been given to us. We could not be born, not exist, but we are here. Who has chosen us? What have we done? What could we have done? What, we will never do and would have wanted to do? The circumstances… the arbitrariness of our landing in this world, the deficiencies of our mood… it is an unequal struggle.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
CDB – I would say small dissatisfactions when the result differs from the previous idea that I had formed. Tolerating these dissatisfactions and finding an alternative solution is the hardest part. The necessary tolerance exercise.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?
CDB – The concept of this festival inspired me from the start! ANIMA MUNDI: I made two exhibitions myself whose titles were ANIMA and ANIMA2! And, by chance or not, I fully agree with the Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock and Margulis, which among other things states that “We are not life forms inhabiting a planet: the planet itself is life, and this can be proven scientifically”. In addition, my training as a biologist allows me to defend the principles of modern Ecology and fully subscribe to the concept of ANIMA MUNDI.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
CDB – I do not favor dark and deep messages addressed to the public. On the other hand, the realization of my works is for me an intimate and solitary act in which I establish an intense relationship with the portrayed character, whether this is a real or imaginary character. However, if there is something to highlight in my painting, it is the effort to show what we normally cannot see, in a figurative sense, the “soul” of the subject.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
CDB – As a communication platform for contemporary art and given the diffusion that their events have, it seems to me an extraordinary medium for any artist and for all the fans or professionals of the art world in general. If we also consider their initiatives and objectives, the importance is enormous.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
CDB – The organization seemed impeccable, kind and human. The exhibition space (Ca’ Zanardi in my case) wonderful. And the fact that ANIMA MUNDI coincides in time with the Venice Biennale 2019, adds a plus of interest to any artist.
LC – Do you think that ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
CDB – Of course yes! ITSLIQUID offers artists the great opportunity to show the world their works and expand their horizons.