CARLOS BLANCO ARTERO
"Every time I like painting more, every time I like everything else less."
Carlos Blanco Artero is a plastic artist. He was born in Madrid in 1983 and spent his childhood between Madrid and Zaragoza in Spain. Art was never imposed because since he was a child he did not stop drawing and scribbling; hence, his parents helped him to focus on what he liked. The inspiration of his works is in the human body and in everyday scenes, reflecting his childhood with an appearance similar to the pieces of a puzzle. The constant change of cities and schools may in some way mark the need for change that he currently has, both in his paintings and in his way of living.
The most important moments of his career have been exhibiting individually in New York or having works in places such as Japan, Singapore or New Zealand, places where he has not even been to.
Carlos’ works of art offer a perfectly disorganized order, held together by a past that at the same time encompasses a future, while the present simply welcomes you without hesitation. As if almost each piece is accompanied by an emotion, and each piece represents a bit of you. And in whole, it’s just a compilation of what could have been, has been, and will be. Carlos’ art gives that bit of hope that we so often forget it exists. It’s like suddenly we see before our eyes pieces of life that fit together, forming a new and complete world -made of moments that maybe we will never forget… or maybe we’ve forgotten already. But it doesn’t matter because what matters is that feeling that his art stirred up inside of you. Knowing that from total chaos comes a bit of calmness -sooner or later.
Q. What role does the artist have in society?
A. It depends on who you ask, for many people art is just an investment or a way to decorate walls. Fortunately, for many others, among which I include myself, art is everything, in my case it is a way of life.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. I remember the story of my first painting. I was 6 years old and at school we did an activity of drawing lines while listening to classical music. We then added color, but my drawing was extremely complex. I spent about 2 months (I would finish my homework by the end of class in order to continue painting) until I finished it. I remember that the teacher loved it and framed it.
Since I’ve had reason, I have been interested in art. My parents were able to see this very well when I was little. I remember sitting in front of Picasso's Guernica, at approximately 8 years old, and drawing it, I remember it perfectly.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. Absolutely everything. Spending very little time with my friends, past relationships, even new loves that I have had to sacrifice because I am constantly traveling. But if I was born again, I would do exactly the same.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. The project that I am currently developing revolves around the concept of crowd (multitude), both formally and stylistically as well as conceptually. I'm interested in the multitudinous representation of elements, in most cases characters that usually appear shouting. To increase this overwhelming and somewhat chaotic feeling, the images are located on a white background, which in my point of view disconnects the motif of the environment, focusing all the attention on the concept of representation. My paintings have been transformed in these years from a new figuration, to a more expressive, gestural painting, where the figurative element is still, but more blurred.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. Knowing the work of George Condo in New York was undoubtedly one of the starting points of my current project. Picasso has always been and will be an inevitable influence. The truth is he is on everything, in almost all the paintings I like, he said that "it was almost impossible to get rid of it", referring to its enormous influence.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. I don't want to say anything in particular, or maybe I want to say everything. I usually run away from speeches, I don't usually like them, and I hope that my works speaks for themselves when they have something to say.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. If someone wants to be serious about being a painter, the first thing they need to know is that they will be alone almost all the time. Many people don't know how to handle this, it's complicated. In my case, I love being alone, and I have learned over time to know how to work when you are not doing well, I think this is another fundamental point. I also believe that the best things come out when you're not doing well, both emotionally and physically.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. I think that in art one always has to be in constant evolution, or rather, in constant transformation (sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse). I am tired of seeing the great artists of the current art market, always doing the same, for many years, squeezing the formula of success to the extreme. Part of the fault is the gallery owners and collectors who demand a type of work when it is highly recognizable, but most of the fault lies with the artist who is satisfied with that situation and ends up creating from the repetition and the success formula over and over again.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Success is to have had the luck to dedicate myself to what I had to dedicate to. It's a difficult life, but I don't change it for anything. One of the problems we currently have in all areas is to associate success with money. I don't give a damn about money, and less and less, money doesn't make your work good or bad, even if the art market says the opposite.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. The best advice someone has ever given me was from a street painter in Madrid a few years ago. I was going to live in Paris for a while and talked to him about my concerns about money, how to do things there ... and he said: "You just paint." It seems like a very simple sentence, but when you really understand its meaning, your conception of art, and life even, changes completely.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. We are the next generation