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At home with Ricardo Rodriguez

At home with

Ricardo Rodriguez
When did you first consider becoming an artist?

I have always been interested in creating. As a child, I was always drawing, but I never thought I could make a living out of it. It wasn’t until I finished my degree and started painting and selling my work in Madrid that I realized that creating and selling art made me happy. That’s when I decided to return to Valencia and open my studio.

¿Cómo definirías tu estilo artístico?

People often call it hyperrealism, although I prefer to stay away from that adjective. Firstly, because I don’t have enough technique for it, and secondly, because it was never my intention. It is indeed a realistic style, but I want it to be clear that it is a painting, and that the line and the expression are noticeable.

I think the most difficult thing is to have your own style so that people can distinguish your work, whether it’s a helmet, a more classical work or something else. And I try to do that by working in black and white.

 

What message or emotion do you try to convey through your work?

Initially, I didn’t intend to paint anything other than things I liked. I saw myself more as a painter than an artist, perhaps because in Spain, it’s not common to call oneself an artist. Without realizing it, I was self-conscious. Lately, I’ve been trying to convey emotions or meanings beyond aesthetics.

Currently, I’m working on a new series for my solo show in New York in October. It will explore the artist’s relationship with the art world and the feelings he has, or at least my own feelings.

Who is a key reference for you in the art world?

I couldn’t name a specific artist. Nowadays we get so much information that you discover new ones every week. I could say that the figure and work of Caravaggio has always attracted me the most.

Which of your works are you most proud of and why?
I have three or four works that I know I will never get tired of seeing. Technically, I think Laocoon and His Children, which we showed at Art Miami last year, is the best I’ve done. On a significant level, “Lovelust”, “Nothing sacred is free” and “Rebellious”. The last two will be part of the exhibition in NY.
How would you describe the art scene in Valencia? Do you think a new school of Valencian artists is emerging?
In Valencia there are big names that are now triumphing at an international level, such as Felipe Pantone, PichiAvo or Cote Escribá, to name but a few that I admire. New galleries are opening and others are being renovated with international artists, and that’s good for the city. I think everything was a bit more limited before. It’s also true that sometimes I have the feeling that you’re more appreciated outside.
You recently moved into a space where a home and studio coexist, how do the two parts integrate? Did you think about this when designing the project?

The idea of having my studio here was that when a client comes or you have an exhibition, you don’t feel like you’re in a house. When people think of an artist’s studio, they imagine it to be chaotic and full of things, but what they find is more like a gallery. It’s a very open space, with lots of light and very clean. The upstairs is more like a home.

The truth is that it is a dream to have found this space, and even more so in the area where it is. It was an abandoned industrial warehouse in an almost century-old building. As soon as we walked in we saw it clearly and we were lucky to be able to do exactly the project we had in mind.

What is your favourite piece from the Teulat collection?
From the first moment I saw the Sierra Aparador, a piece I have in the office area, I loved it. I think it is perfect for this space.
What plans do you have for the future of your artistic career?
I don’t tend to think about the very long-term future. I always feel lucky to be able to dedicate myself to this from day one and make a living out of it. Little by little, I get more exposure, meet more people, and new projects come up. That’s what it’s all about.
It’s true that in the future, I’d like to have fun and try new things, not just painting.
Entrevista: Ricardo Rodriguez
Fotografía: Cualiti
Texto: Cambres Design

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