JESÚS INGLÉS CANALEJO
"AN ARTIST HAS THE DUTY AND OBLIGATION AS A CARRIER OF CULTURE, TO TRANSMIT A GOOD TO SOCIETY AND THE PLANET OF WHICH WE ARE PART."
Jesús Inglés is an Artist and teacher of drawing and painting. Born on October 22, 1988, in Cartagena (Murcia, Spain). He acknowledges that his childhood was not that of a child who always had a happy day. His problem was really the school system, he always felt out of place, he did not connect with the other children. Since he was very young, he felt that he was surrounded by copies of people, almost all of them looked the same, they followed the same roles that “the popular” marked. He always looked different from the rest and that somehow made him feel good, but in turn it weighed him.
His best memories for those who think he essentially had a good childhood and those who perhaps marked his future, were those weekends where he enjoyed with his parents on the family farm, a country house where agriculture was worked. The cattle ranch, where he was free and he enjoyed feeding the cows, taking care of bunnies, playing with his dogs, accompanying his father in the farm work and exploring the nature that surrounded him, looking for insects, lizards, snakes, hares, rabbits , ducks and foxes, feeling the breeze and the smell of the field. Not forgetting those winters in front of the fireplace fire that his mother always kept alive, feeling the warmth of the home and his family.
"Art makes us reflect, makes us feel, connects us emotionally and intellectually, art as a synthesis of Human ingenuity, the oldest universal language, art as a means to reestablish that ancestral link between the Human Being and the biosphere."
Jesús Inglés Canalejo is able to transmit through his art, this immense feeling of duty, responsibility and most of all, love towards nature. The expression on both humans and animals conveys this natural, yet mystical connection between the two. Something that has somehow become rare, although since the beginning of time this connection existed. When all is said and done, one is left thinking, who protected who? Through his art, Canalejo is able to bring us back to this primitive, raw, and very genuine state of emotions that leaves us wanting to participate in this alluring dance between human and nature.
Q. What role does the artist have in society?
A. I have always thought that the artist as the bearer of the culture that he is, has the duty and obligation to provide society with a message that helps to improve the world in which he lives, either by telling the current times in a positive or negative way, to capture the visual stories through which the planet and society run in imperishable images.
In short, understanding that art is culture and expression and culture in synthesis is the most effective tool to transform the world into a better place.
Q. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A. As a child I wanted to be a ranger, I needed to protect animals and nature and I didn't find a better option at that time.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. At about 8 years old, in the house that my father built me in the rain, I have a work engraved deep inside me of a bunny from my farm that I took and harvested until he fell asleep. I then placed him very carefully on a small table and I drew in a notebook that scene that I remember with immense warmth and tenderness. Luckily, I found that drawing and I have it saved as a treasure.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. I never really had that call because I was an artist, but I was aware of the talent I had and I knew I should never put it aside.
When I was 17, I started working in a sheet metal and paint workshop, but I never saw myself a lifetime in that or another job. At 21, I was unemployed by the economic crisis and then I rethought my professional future, and began exploiting my artistic qualities to the present.
Q. Tell us about some of the highlights of your artistic career, that is, exhibitions or events?
A. I recognize that my career due to my age and the time I have been really immersed in art, is not very extensive; however, it’s had a fast and powerful projection. Exhibiting at 29 years old, together with the best figurative/realistic artists in the world on the 20th anniversary of the ArteLibre Gallery was and is a great honor. Selected in the ModPortrait 2018 and having at the same time two works of different events exhibited at the MEAM is truly a luxury for me. Exhibition "Something more than realism" by the ArteLibre Gallery in a small selection of the best of realism worldwide, and selected in the 5th international figurative painting contest (NTDtv 2019) in New York. Collective exhibitions by different museums throughout Italy representing Spain. Elected director in Spain of Contea Caravaggio Museum (Italy) Collective exhibition in Germany, selected in the International Contest of Beautiful Bizarre Art Magazine Exhibition in the Modern Eden Gallery (San Francisco, USA) with the best contemporary artists. Interviews on television and other media and other future and important exhibitions abroad that are yet to come.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. I always felt the need to translate reality into two dimensions, trying to reach the most absolute realism, which was a great fight full of frustrations inside my study, since I had to learn the technique of hyperrealism for myself.
The style that I reflect in my works came from what I consider my true teacher, Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, a naturalist, ecologist and disseminator who in the 70s and 80s marked a before and after in the minds of all Spaniards and the whole world.
He helped me discover my true path, that of protecting and raising awareness in society through my work, with the important message that the only way is to unite and reconnect Man and Earth, in order to envision a possible future on our planet.
Q. How do you visualize the phases and textures of your work?
A. First, I visualize a concept, an idea that comes to me through a message that I need to convey. Then, I sketch very slightly the main idea of the work. Later, I get ready to look for the ideal models for that story that I want to reflect and finally I translate it on the canvas. Always omitting the last elements and ideas of the work to get carried away by the inspiration that the whole pictorial and creative process entails and add them ultimately.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. My art tries to express a transcendental message in the present times. A historical era at the planetary level that we have lived, the world is approaching the sixth mass extinction in the history of the Earth, enhanced by the selfishness of our species. That makes me feel the tremendous obligation to express in the best way I know, through my brushes that humanity, as a dominant species has a role in the biosphere and the ecosystem in which we live, the sacred obligation to protect the planet from which we form part.
Q. What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
A. Perhaps feeling so responsible for being aware of the tremendous environmental problems has made me go through moments of pain, the damage we are causing to nature, the planet and the generations to come will greatly affect me. That feature of complicity with the World has caused me tremendous sadness, which in turn makes it a weapon to do what I do today and get where I am getting. After all, I have transformed my weakness into a weapon to fight through my work for the Planet.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. I have had to sacrifice a secure future, a salary that having a common job creates that sense of stability; however, I have now managed autonomously to maintain that much-needed stability to this day.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. As I said my greatest influence comes from the naturalist and environmental disseminator, Félix Rodríguez de La Fuente.
On the other hand, when I was learning the technique of Hyperrealism, I tried to observe artists like Edgar Mendoza and the precision, determination, and perseverance at all levels of my friend and artist Jesús Lozano Saorín.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. I really love loneliness, the stillness of my study, taking advantage of the quietest moments of the night to be able to forget about the madness of the city. There is plenty of time that by obligation one must leave the study shelter to attend other things and other events, which to some extent I enjoy them with good companions and always counting on the closeness of family and good friends.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. I especially like traveling to places far from the city, getting lost with my girl and our animals in the most remote places of nature possible, to be able to recharge the energies and breathe the fresh air of nature for which I always fight with my work.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. My philosophy is that art must contribute a good in society as I have said before, from cave paintings it has been transmitted from generation to generation to respect animals and therefore nature, from which our life and our species depends. Therefore, I intend to follow that philosophy so beautiful and so necessary in our day.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. For me in particular, my only chance of success at a very personal level is to have contributed in large part to an ecological awareness, through my artistic career to the whole society ... That would be my only dream as an artist, my true success.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. I remember that before finding my purpose as a person and artist, I had a great emptiness inside me that weighed from a young age, feeling like a piece of useless meat that only consumed energy and oxygen. I always wondered, what we were doing here, which is the meaning of life, I could not understand it ... that created in me a great sadness and more seeing the terrible things that the Human Being could commit to his fellow human beings and the environment that supports us.
Therefore, the most important thing I have learned is to find my existential role in the time that I have lived. The real reason why I am an artist, is to send a message to Humanity from my work.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. That I paint what really fills me, that I don't get carried away by the advice of others, that I feel done with the work I do. Even if I have to navigate against the tide, precisely being different and going against the wind is what makes us different and we will succeed with what we do.
This advice comes from a compendium of people like: Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, Iker Jimenez (presenter of the Fourth Millennium), my mother, my partner, my classmates and friends like Jesús Lozano Saorín, Jesús Lorente.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. That they are authentic, that they do not let themselves be influenced by the bad advice of others, but that in turn they learn with them, that they demand a lot of themselves to get to achieve their goals, that they do not do art by art, that they carry a message to the world to improve the society in which they live.
Q. How would you like to be identified and remembered?
A. I would like to be identified and remembered as an activist artist who dedicated his work to reconnecting the Human Being with nature, for the sake of the planet and the generations to come.