TURNING DARK & DESTRUCTIVE REALITIES OF LIFE INTO CONSTRUCTIVE ACTION: INTERVIEW WITH ANA PALLARES

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1. YOU ARE A SELF-TAUGHT ARTIST. WHAT INITIALLY MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME AN ARTIST ?  

I had always been drawing comic book characters and I went through a period where I was actively drawing graffiti but it was not until the last year of high school when I chose to do Art History, that I discovered a variety of artists. We had visited the Dali Museum and I was very impressed. Around the same time, I started exploring Rock ’n’ Roll lyrics in a deeper way. A combination of these things made me understand the endless possibilities of Art and how many things could be transmitted through it. I decided to seriously dedicate my time to try it!

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2. WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU WORK WITH? DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF CREATING A NEW PIECE. 

I use acrylic paint to do the background and then Posca markers for all the details. When it comes to the works that speak about something personal, they always arise from a quote that explains an emotion or a thought. From there on, I try to find an image that represents it well. When I have the composition in mind, I make a sketch directly with a marker. Afterwards, I apply the paint and I play with the markers by combining colours, shapes and patterns. When I do a portrait, it is the same process but from a photograph of the character that I have to portray.

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3. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO REFLECT ON THINGS LIKE PAIN, DEATH AND OTHER INTANGIBLE REALITIES ? 

I link it up a bit with the first question: In my last year of high school I discovered artists like Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain and Charles Baudelaire and all of them expressed their anxieties through their different disciplines. In those days I was very depressed and had a lot of existential angst which unfortunately, I do still have, but it is great that I have the ability to express these feelings through my drawings or my paintings. I had definitely found my voice!

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4. YOU MAINLY DO PORTRAITURE. WHO ARE YOUR SUBJECTS AND HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THEM ?  

I often do a lot of self-portraits because I mostly speak about who I am, what I feel and what I think. I have also been creating portraits of people or characters with whom I had a strange affinity. A year and a half ago, I began a series of large-scale portraits because I got obsessed with Cara Delevingne and I thought that the only way to reach her was making a beautiful portrait of her. And I did it. Behind these large pieces there is always a story with the character, even though it has only occurred on my mind.

For example, I decided to do a portrait of Amy Winehouse (the biggest I have ever done and my favorite one) because I went to see the documentary about her life and I was very touched.

And I’ve also recently done one of Tracey Emin. I knew about her existence but I wasn’t very consistent of what kind of work she did. And then one day I found her walking along Brick Lane, I recognized her and I thought that it was a signal of good luck. From that point on I started reading, watching videos about her life and work and I freaked out!

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5. WHAT ART DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH ? 

With a kind of art that has a lot of intensity in the content or in the form. I like artists who work with their emotions so that when you see one of their works, you can imagine them putting their five senses, soul, heart and mind into it. I admire artists that produce something so strong that once you have discovered their work you cannot get them out of your head. I had this sensation when I came across the artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

" I like artists who work with their emotions so that when you see one of their works, you can imagine them putting their five senses, soul, heart and mind into it. "

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6. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST ? 

Personally, I think that the most difficult thing is to enter the art world and understand that people working in this  sector do not always take you seriously. I spent the months of November and December of last year visiting four or five London galleries per day and presenting my work to them. It was very frustrating because half of the gallerists didn’t give me the opportunity even show my work and the other half told me to send them an email with all my information. Problem was, my emails were not even opened. Luckily, I did have the chance to receive a couple of interesting opportunities. Thereby the solution to deal with this reality is to be very pushy, trying to be patient and not missing a single opportunity.

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7. WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF YOUR ARTISTIC CAREER ? 

I am a person with many fears; fear of life, fear of love, fear of sex, fear of death, fear of disease, fear of violence…

So I would like to be recognized as an artist whose bravery lies purely in openly expressing that emotion through art. "

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8. WHAT ARE YOU REALLY EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW ? 

In June had exhibited nine paintings simultaneously in London: three works during a show in the Lacey Contemporary, three other pieces (that can still be seen) at Walton Fine Arts and finally three more, including the portrait of Tracey Emin, at Illustrated 2016 art fair.

This month, I will move to this city to try my luck on the art scene. I am very tired of the Catalan coast - the sun doesn’t shine in London but in my small town the only thing that shines is the sun!!!

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