Daniel Correa Mejía
Artwork’s Title: A Sunset Between the Mountains (2019)
Materials Used: Oil and Sand on Canvas
Studio Based: Berlin
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
I find very important to be at the studio. I try to be every day there. There are days that I don’t do anything and I sometimes struggle. Others I just draw and write. The happiest days are when I paint. I am jumping between painting, drawing, writing, reading and thinking about life.
Drawing gives me the freedom to be more experimental. When creating, a sheet of paper does not impose as much as a canvas. So it is easy to be faster and to not fear mistakes. I discover new ways and ideas that I can apply to painting. Writing is parallel to the other mediums. It helps me to express myself and to understand everything that is happening in my work and life. I love to see also a dialogue between visual images and writing.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Honest, warm, explorative; connected to Nature
Would you use another three different words to describe the “A Sunset Between the Mountains” painting?
A fleeting moment that is timeless (since the human is human, we are astonished by a sunset).
How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?
I am working with the same image for some time. I call them Flowers of Time. These figures make me think and feel a lot about us humans and our dependence on the plants and the Sunlight. The way the figure stretches the arms and embraces the light, makes me think of the present of the moment and the thoughts about what is there outside the world. The legs are firmly grabbing the earth, are the symbol of our gravity and our belonging to the planet.
I like this painting because of two reasons. First, the legs are for the first time more detailed and delicate. Second the small mountains. They came spontaneously and I love how the legs are grabbing them. It changes the perception of scale; the body is big and the mountains are very small. So the feeling in our body when we see a spectacular sunset is a protagonist in the painting.
What colour is used the most in this painting?
I give meanings to each colour I use, so when I am painting I feel those meanings converted into images and their combination gives more ways of feeling those interpretations.
So I use red for the body and since the body is very big, it is the protagonist. But there are also other colours that I always use. Red is for me, feminine, blue is masculine, yellow is energy, violet is mystery and green is the oxygen that we receive from plants.
My work is also like a game for me. I don’t want to impose some truth with it, because everyone feels and sees colours differently. But I enjoy very much the world that I discover through those meanings and the explanations it gives me.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
Since my works are full of colours I think they need a calm and big space that gives oxygen to the paintings.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
I think most of my inspiration comes from nature; observing the slow changes we see through all seasons. I admire a lot living and nonliving artist, but I don’t think I have a particular image of an artist I take inspiration from; everything comes very unconsciously.
How do you know when this painting was finished?
When I painted the red that frames the painting. I think it embraces the image and gives more clarity; it is also like an aura for the painting.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
It is very playful. I love that there are so many colours on it. So many little details that communicate between them. I love to play with it and move objects through the room, creating new dialogues. I love that I have the plants there too.
Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?
I am aware that people won’t feel the same as I do when I am painting because I feel all that energy and all those connections. But I hope people feel the fleeting of time and a connection with nature.
What does your mum think about your art?
She is one of my biggest fans, but also critical when she doesn’t like something.
Which exhibition did you visit last?
I loved the exhibition of Miriam Cahn at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. She is a great artist and her work is very wide in terms of thematic, materials used and scale. I liked her work, but after the exhibition much more.
Which are your plans for the near future?
I don’t know. I don’t have a particular plan; just continuing with my work.
© All images are courtesy of the artist