Los años no vienen solos. (Mixed Media. 93cm x 82cm)
Alucinógeno, (Mixed Media, 120cm x 85cm)
|magnético. (Mixed Media. 84cm x 96cm)|
|Giran los soles. (Mixed Media, 100cm x 44cm)|
The artist at work in her studio
I’m excited to share this feature with you. Estela Cuadro is an artist and illustrator from Argentina. Her works are otherworldly, rich in colour and imagination. Cuadro’s works are visually opulent and reminiscent of early Surrealism. I asked the artist some questions-
– Hello! Tell me about yourself…
– I really love your works especially the use of colour, and the fluidity and vibrancy. Where do you get your inspiration from?
– What artists have inspired you most?
– I’m always fascinated by the artistic process. When you begin a new work do you have a specific idea of the finished work? Or does it develop organically?
– What’s your favourite medium to work in?
– What do you hope your viewers will get from your works?
– What are your future plans?
And here’s her reply:
When I start my day in my studio, I want to listen to some music. It is generally not always the same. I like to use some incense.
When I begin a new artwork I used to use an special cardboard that allows the pigments and water too react in a special way; giving textures, shapes, deformations and then letting my imagination act freely.
The music always transpose me and my sensory part which takes me to an inside world – introspective. It nourishes my imagination, it motivates me.
It constantly leads me to paint many of my paintings and I feel pleasure in that. I feel like I never want to stop doing this. It´s part of my life.
I used lots of techniques, like pencil, small coal and oil. Especially when I was young. Nowadays I like to use more than one technique at the same time, and make different results.
I use India ink with salt, and I let them act freely on the support. I use other things to generate texture, and I use oil painting, pencils and pens to realize details.
If I had to pick a style for my art, it would be quite difficult. Perhaps I associate my work with surreal art. My characters and their environment have nothing to do with reality.
The distorted reality is part of my inspiration, my contacts and my experiences. My artwork is based on the unconscious – all associated with my dreams, relationships & with life itself.
I don´t try to tell stories in my artworks. My work isn’t the realization of an illustration for a story, book or magazine ( with a text behind the artwork). There are always ideas or suggestions (of a story) but it’s not a literal sort of story. I take fun in other people’s freedom in interpretation. I feel that it is important is to feel total freedom without restriction and without much precise meaning. I like to leave the interpretation of each piece to each person, you can get carried away like I do in every piece of art. I think each work has something special, they are part of my “games”, my pleasures.
Each work is part of a sensory and emotional expression, for sure. I often think that the power of paint lets me express myself of many things that are somewhere in my head.
For example, relevant situations, dreams, experiences and thoughts that I keep ( in my mind), I need to express them in some way, and doing it on a canvas is a perfect idea for me!
When I talk about a “game” in relation to my work as an artist, I mean that’s the way that I have fun with the characters, animals and plants when my playfulness arise. You’re letting it flow! So you have to let go of the restrictions and really play with everything that is created, generating a new and unique artwork.
My inspiration comes from music, books, a good wine, plants, dancing while I´m painting and my small garden.
The narrative of an artwork is not something important for me. I want to do art without thinking, without restrictions, like art is for me. I think that the style is generated, created as one grows as an artist. Plus experience and techniques, the papers, the canvas help form and then you feel comfortable (in that space).
I listen to many styles of music, I need that every day (to have a musical change). This change produces in me an energy and mobility different in my body.
I like pianists music, jazz, rock, hip hop or ambiance. My musical panorama is very broad. I try to constantly meet new artists and new bands that are emerging. I like to investigate the soundtracks of movies and series.
Besides music, I love my studio, it is full of colors, pins, my favorite library and plants. I think the place (to create) is an important point when you are creating. I consider my atelier to be full of colors and visual incentives that help open your mind. I have a lot of travel objects, artist books and books from friends. Music for me is like my battery to start each day, but I love where I work. And another important point is that it has an incredible luminosity, overlooking a terrace where I have a small cottage and plants that I care much (for).
I would say that the (core) passion about art, is to feel free, to have your mind open to all the things new that can appear. Every crisis is a new starting point and always the beginning of something new and not something that ends.
My top list of people who constantly inspire me and the reasons behind it.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: Because of his expressiveness, his loose strokes & his liberty.
Egon Schiele: His obsession for expression, postures & sexuality. His work tries to capture the sensuality of women and men.
Paul Klee: I love the choice for his color palettes, his compositions & his details.
Amy Cutler: Because I like her imagination, how she tells a story and her incredible levels of details. She creates strong characteristics via clothes, human expressions, hairstyles, animals and landscapes.
Pablo Picasso: I admire his versatility. It’s amazing how much work he was able to create during his life. I consider him as a genius. I love watching his videos and seeing how his imagination puts his art is in constant transformation – like seen in this VIDEO
Frida Kahlo: Because I admire her strong personality, her passion, her ideology and her deep love for Diego Rivera. All her art works were about her life and her physical & mental pain. She was a fighter, yet a very sensitive one who created a lot of wonderful art full of color.
If you want to see more of Estela’s artworks you can see them here: