May 25, 2010

Fast Painting in Russafa: 3rd Prize

Our neighbourhood in Valencia, Russafa, was host to a celebration of the arts on the weekend called Russafart. It included open studios (unfortunately mine was too spare to participate this year), tours of galleries, performances, concerts, and a painting contest. I managed to win third prize in the contest.

This is only the second year Russafart has run. I met the gallery owner who started it and can say it was no small feat to pull off, but very much worthwhile. It's exciting to live in a neighbourhood that is not only culturally diverse and down to earth, but creative.  

Check out the photos and videos below.

There was love for us street painters like I'd never experienced before. Here a family looks on at me. For most of the five hours I was out there, I had a crowd around me, and so did the other painters.

A TV station interviews me!

A nice shot of Russafa as you approach the market

Oriana studies a studio.

Lost in a sea of people as I wait to accept my award.

That's my piece on the wall.

Another interview.


Finally, a small article in Globedia.

May 9, 2010

Fast Painting in Sant Mateu: Acquisition Prize

I won a prize yesterday, Saturday, for this piece at a fast painting contest in the town of Sant Mateu, about 100 km from Valencia. I finished the painting in four hours, from 9:30 am to 1:30, and it was the first time I painted as ambitiously by including some figures in such a quick contest.

Acrylic and collage on wood panel, 100 x 81 cm.

May 6, 2010

Figments from Hank Willis Thomas

A good interview with Hank Willis Thomas in the March issue of Juxtapoz.
  • Many people don't get contemporary art because they're walking into a thousand-year conversation at the last second. You hear the last word of a book and you aren't going to really get it.
  • One of the things hardest about San that there's so much talent and creativity going on people are so intensely afraid of selling out that they either don't have the motivation to push their work to the next level or they're too stubborn. They'd rather their 500 friends know that they're the shit then have the world be affected by their work and be considered a sellout or have their authenticity diluted. Because it's diluted by the mainstream... Shepard is selling out. But when you sell out it's at what cost? Because now he has much greater power in his voice than he ever would if he had just stayed in his college kid, hipster, cool community. He could affect them, but they already know. So how do you impact people who are totally different? You sell out. 

May 4, 2010

Painting for Albacete

This is a larger "pintura seca" (dry painting) I did for the Ninth Biennial of Plastic Arts, City of Albacete in the middle of Castilla-La Mancha. Pintura seca refers to the fact you can paint at home and deliver the painting when it's done, dry, rather than paint outdoors in a set amount of time and give it over still wet. And because you have the time the painting style generally needs to be more figurative or conceptual, larger, and with a bigger cash payoff in the end if your work is selected for a prize.

This painting measures 2m x 1.55m and in order to transport it in the car I had to take it apart and reassemble it on site, which was a bit of an adventure doing on a sidewalk in busy downtown Albacete. The title of the piece is "Jamás se anuncian nada transcentendal," which translates roughly as Nothing transcendental is ever announced. I wanted to get across the notion of Spain being inaccessible to immigrants, and particularly Muslims a short ways off across the Straights of Gibraltar, despite Spain's rich Moorish inheritance of culture and past.

Fast Painting Contest Hoya-Gonzalo


It wasn't the best day for painting with intermittent showers, wind, and later a crowd filling up the square of the painting and dancing to raggaeton. Also, Hoya-Gonzalo is a small, remote town in the middle of stern Castilla-La Mancha, so there wasn't a lot to paint there that is picturesque. But then that's all part of the game of fast painting.

Here's the finished piece, a bit dreamier and toothpastier than I wanted but more or less finished.