JUAN GAMINO VIVAS
"I SPEND HOURS IN MY WORKSHOP, IMAGINING AND CREATING ART, LETTING THE ARTIST WE ALL HAVE INSIDE EMERGE."
Juan Gamino Vivas (born in 1957) is from Badajoz, Spain. He studied and graduated from the National Institute of Physical Education in Madrid. He was a Physical Education teacher for over 38 years. For Juan Gamino Vivas, art and sports are very interrelated. He was initially trained at the school of arts and crafts in the modality of oil painting, but soon realized that he needed the freedom to create and continued working and training by himself in the basement of his house where he has his workshop. During the last 20 years as a teacher, he combined both his passions. He came home from his classes training as an athlete to his basement workshop and worked for hours on the artistic subject experimenting by himself, and no close friends knew of that facet of him. Currently retired, he dedicates himself exclusively to art in a very large workshop where he has a forge and a multitude of materials and tools.
Juan Gamino experiences freedom when creating by using all kinds of techniques such as classic forging, welding, assembly, carving, chisel, collage .... mixing all kinds of materials such as iron, stone, and wood to make his sculptures. The basis of his work is experimentation, which he carries out with classic materials, but also with materials found such as tree trunks, old doors, and windows, river stones, industrial waste material. Absolutely everything goes to find the work sought. Creating pieces with very worked and polished finishes or on the contrary, creating pieces with very coarse and polychrome finishes that take us back to the ancient world or to African masks etc. In his sculptures, the human footprint on the materials, the scars of their elaboration, the oxidation of the metal, the patina that plays with the light and the shadow incite us to want to touch them.
Who better to demonstrate that in art there are no rules or boundaries than Juan Gamino. His art teaches us that creativity combined with passion inevitably gives amazing results. His works of art have the ability to transport us to undefined places where we can unleash our own inspiration, creativity and emotions. Juan transports us to a world where there are no laws, there are no rules, there are no parameters or requirements - what there is, is a pleasant place where his imagination gives us entrance to figures, colors, and textures that define a search, a dream, a thought. And we simply enjoy that.
Q. What role does the artist have in society?
A. In my case, it consists of taking inert objects such as stones, irons or wood and creating works with them so that others can enjoy them.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. An impressionist-type painting that I still have.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. My friends between the ages of 7 and 16.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. From the age of 40, I wanted to stop training and compete in athletics and I started painting. I couldn't stop running, I still follow but I fell in love with art and since then it is the most important thing for me.
Q. How do you visualize the textures of your work?
A. The phases come out of sudden impulses with an initial idea that in my case usually ends up overcoming that primitive idea. The textures in my case are very important, sometimes I break the sculpture and I recompose it to create cracks, cuts, gaps etc.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. My freedom to do what I like, thinking that others will like it. I never do anything to order or thinking about selling. I consider myself free when creating.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. Practically I have not had to sacrifice anything because it is my passion and my illusion of life, the only thing that has suffered is my eyesight, very tired for so many years welding and using very meticulous machinery.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. The pioneers of iron sculpture such as Julio Gonzalez, Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chuillida, and Martin Chirino.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. The artistic life, in my opinion, is absolutely lonely. In my case, I do nothing to avoid it because I enjoy that creative loneliness.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. I like sports (running), family and traveling.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. My philosophy is to create works that other people like with similar sensibility to mine.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Success means being at ease with yourself, feeling good with creative freedom and knowing that what you do others like.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. Constancy, willpower, and effort, be aware that important things are not easy and you have to fight to achieve the objectives.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. I do not remember. I think that the best advice you have to give someone is with the experience and that would be my formula (Trial - Error = Learning).
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Be brave, humble and true to themselves.