Ximena Ferrer-Pizarro: Touching And Walking

Ximena Ferrer-Pizarro

Artwork’s Title: Touching and walking

Materials Used: Acrylic on Canvas

Studio Based: Berlin

Ximena Ferrer-Pizarro, Touching and walking,145 x 100 cm, Acryl on canvas, 2020

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

The process begins in the streets, in my life, in the books that I read and in the stories that I hear between both worlds (Peru and Germany), sometimes exaggerating fearlessly, sometimes not. I usually have many ideas in my head; I do not like sketches that much. Start drawing some lines directly on the canvas, decide on a colour palette (which changes in the process) I first just stain everything with painting, then go to the part that I like the most and finally, deep into details (ok. maybe not that deep, haha). When a painting is halfway through and I don’t know how to continue, I look at it and start to draw it quickly until I know what to do. I really like to see my paintings with a black and white camera filter, which helps me to know where I want to put more light, darkness or contrast. I like to work with coincidences and my clumsiness a lot, but at the same time, I love to control. Therefore, it is a tug of war between my paintings and me all the time.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in three words)?

Vivid, clumsy, tragicomedy.

Would you use another three different words to describe the “Touching and walking” painting?

Experimental, spontaneous, fetishist.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

The idea for Hands and Feet came from a meditation class where the teacher told us how important these parts of our body were and how little attention we paid to them. I took it very seriously, so I decided to dedicate a painting to them.

I was told many times that I couldn’t draw realist that well, so lost in this thought I gave myself to abstraction. Time passed and although, I love abstraction, I needed to see “real” elements my way. As I did not dare to paint a completely “realistic” body, I decided to start with hands and feet, in the end I even added some nails and I was very happy. I mixed realistic elements with my usual abstract language and loved the result. I felt like I was walking on my painting and touching it the whole time, this seemed funny to me.

What colour is used the most in this painting?

There is a lot of orange, right?

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

Everywhere where everyone can see it!

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Hilma af Klint, Belkis Ayón, Theresa Chromati, Juan Gris, Kristina Schuldt.

How do you know when this painting was finished?

The “finish a painting” process … Well, I like to talk to my paintings, I ask them what they want or if something is right for them. I am a bit obsessed with composition as it is the first thing (only theoretical thing until now) I learned about painting while studying at the university in Peru, before moving to Berlin. That is why I always see if there is enough contrast, if the elements differ or have different sizes, once I find this balance the painting is finished. That’s what happened to me with this painting, at one point I realized that I already had enough of everything and stopped.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

I work in the studio provided by the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee. It is a medium size white square room, a lot of (not natural) light and a window where I am always saying everyone “hi”. It is full of old student paint traces everywhere. I share it with two amazing female artists, Shira Orion and Johanna Krahé, who happen to be my best friends too.

Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?

Just as in my meditation class, think about how much weight your feet carry day by day and still you don’t pay attention to them … or how many things your hands allow you to do and we never massage or thank them. I feel like there are always hidden messages in art. As an artist, you had an idea, but the moment you decide to show it to the world the idea begins to have different owners… so I am very open to listening to personal interpretations. Sometimes I look at my paintings after a while and find new meanings, new stories. The message of a painting changes with time and with the habit of looking at it.

What does your mum think about your art?

My mom does nothing but surprise me every day. Every time she looks at my paintings, talks to me about the colours, the motives and asks a lot of questions. She tells me that she identifies herself with my colours and sees our roots in my paintings. She is an incredible woman who is very proud of her ancestors and the north Peruvian culture where she is from. She trusts me a lot. She is my biggest fan and I am hers.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

Keren Cytter and John Roebas at Schiefe Zaehne.

Which are your plans for the near future?

Keep painting, start my diplom final thesis, and in February, two group exhibitions in Berlin, one at Sandra Buergel Gallery and the other at Wiensowski und Harbor. There is also a collective project in Kotti Shop coming soon and a group exhibition in Marseille, France in cooperation with the L’Ecole Supérieure d’Art et Design Marseille-Méditerrané (ESADMM) in April. We will see what corona allows us!

Additional Images

Ximena Ferrer-Pizarro, Studio shot by Shira Orion
Ximena Ferrer-Pizarro, It’s my party I can do what I want to, 145 x 100 cm, Acryl on canvas, 2020
Ximena Ferrer-Pizarro, Green bandanna, 145 x 100 cm, Acryl on canvas, 2020


All images are courtesy of the artist

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