Artwork’s Title: Searching for Meaning
Materials Used: Acrylics on Canvas
Studio Based: Viña del Mar, Chile
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
My artistic process has a lot to do with the painting itself, I have the feeling that I have developed a micro climate with it. I observe a lot of the colour and its behavior, and with it, I am generating spaces of different types, it is like a one way path every time I start to paint. At the beginning, I really like not knowing what I am doing, sometimes I make shapes, I follow paths without many plans and then I find certain directions that I decide to continue and follow, as well as others that I cover or let go.
I usually start with a vague idea of something and then the visual pleasures and everything that happens to me with painting, modify any rational idea that I may have had. There is not much to think about, and no matter how much I think, my hand has too much fun with the painting itself and my eyes are too fascinated with that flow.
My creative process is a leap into the void, and I shape it once I am inside.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Rebel, deep, baffling and seductive.
Would you use another three different words to describe the ‘Searching for meaning’ painting?
“Unlimited” “infinite” and “no answers”.
How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?
In general I don’t have great stories behind the paintings, they are rather sensations and concepts that interest me, In this painting I take as reference the existential crisis that I observe in the human being.
But this painting in particular has another painting at its base, it was a very calm painting, in fact it had only 2 colors and they were calm and horizontal landscapes, I thought it was finished but I was uncomfortable looking at it, one day I said “this painting is not ready, I have to change it completely, it does not identify me or I am passionate”, there I decided to do this one.
Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?
I don’t have a particular message. I like people to freely interpret my painting without having too much data on it.
What colour is used the most in this painting?
Wow! There are many colours, but I think more pink, blue and green.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
The best way would be in a large space with a lot of white on its walls, lots of light and silence.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
Helen Frakenthaler, Josef Albers, Francis Bacon, I am inspired by the themes of Alfredo Jaar and its impact on the society, the rupturism of Gordon Matta Clark, Germans like Georg Baselitz, are too many to name but what I can say is that I observe a lot of the artists who work in a particular way the painting, a little dirty, messy, colourful, artists who observe space as a means to create and others that have important social issues to put on the table.
I am very inspired by nature, poetry, abandoned spaces, architecture, colour and in general I observe a lot of expressionist painting.
How do you know when this painting was finished?
When I have nothing more to add.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
My studio is a very old heritage house, it has a movie-like tower, it has very high ceilings and it is lined with wood, I can walk, there is a lot of space and light. The house is very old, if there is an earthquake I have to run away quickly
What does your mum think about your art?
My mom loves my paintings, she is very poetic and sensitive and sometimes she discovers places and landscapes that I also show but that many people cannot see.
Which exhibition did you visit last?
The last exhibition I saw was in Santiago at the Fine Arts Museum, it was the exhibition of several videos in competition in the “Juan Downey International Contest” organized by the Biennial of Media Arts in Chile.
Which are your plans for the near future?
For the next months I will be in my Studio making models for a project that I am going to carry out in a residence (Somos Arts) in Berlin for 2 months. It is an installation in the public space with large plastic paintings, so it will be a great challenge because I do not usually work like this. It is a project that has me very excited because it combines public space, social issues and painting.
*Paula Valenzuela Antúnez was born in 1988 in Santiago, Chile. In 2010, she completed her studies in Visual Arts (Painting) at the University of Finis Terrae in Santiago.
© All images are courtesy of the artist