FERNANDO DAZA INTERVIEW, "BETWEEN THE MYSTICAL AND THE CONCRETE". NEXT TO THE GALLERY SORAYA CARTATEGUI

”My work deals with a double conceptual origin, the mystical and the concrete, and this dichotomy evolves between the spiritual search for a transcendental experience and the desire to emphasize the material presence as a concrete reality and not as an illusion”.

Fernando Daza (Seville, 1979), presents his latest creations in Art madrid, two diptychs and two individual works in square format, as well as some works made with medium format comic strips.

The Sevillian artist has participated in numerous individual and collective exhibitions in Madrid, Girona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Sardinia and Belgrade, and his work is present in public and private collections around the world, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje and the National Art Gallery of Kosovo.

Fernando Daza

Círculo rojo, 2019

Paper cut by hand and glued on fabric

100 x 100cm

Fernando Daza

Círculo multicromático, 2019

Paper cut by hand and glued on fabric

100 x 100cm

Soraya Cartategui Gallery presents your work in Art for the second year in a row, what do you expect from this edition of the Fair, how do you think your work fits in Art Madrid?

In this occasion, the fair also celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of its foundation, I hope that all the expectations of diffusion and sale of the best contemporary art will be fulfilled. This fair has always been an excellent showcase for the work of the most outstanding artists on the current national and international art scene. Of course, the scenario offered by the city of Madrid and the fabulous glass hall of the CentroCentro Cibeles building is unbeatable for hosting one of the most relevant artistic events of the year in Spain.

From the beginning, I believe that this fair has managed to preserve its open, dynamic and avant-garde character. I also believe that it is a very lively fair, with a large attendance of public and especially of collectors, with very colorful and large format works. I think that because of these characteristics my work adapts quite well to the philosophy of the fair. In fact, in the last edition, my work debuted in this fair with Soraya's gallery and was very well received. I was very satisfied with my participation and I am sure I will be for this edition.

What artworks by Fernando Daza we will see in this edition of Art Madrid?

As a novelty, in this edition, I will present two diptychs and two individual works of square format. One of the diptychs is very powerful because of the oranges in the paper I have used, it is about two opposite curved forms on raw linen cloth. The other is a double composition of inverse black and white forms on a background, also inverse, in black and white. And the ones with a square support are two geometric compositions, one in the form of a cross and the other square on a background of indigo blue paper. You can also see in the stand some works made with torn comic paper in medium format, also square.

Fernando Daza

Monocromo beige 2, 2018

Paper cut with cutter and glued on wood

50 x 38cm

The delicacy with which you work the paper and the careful editing you prepare for your works is admirable, can you tell us in general terms what your method of working is, what the creative process is like before arriving at the final piece?

In my work, I use paper torn by hand into strips, which I later accumulate in an orderly manner and paste on the canvas, following a compositional scheme that I previously draw in pencil on the support. It is a work made in canvas on a frame, a two-dimensional support traditionally used for painting, although its character is clearly three-dimensional due to the disposition of the strips of paper; these are folded in half lengthwise and glued on the canvas on one of its sides, leaving the other side raised, slightly separated from the surface of the canvas. This method of adhering the paper to the canvas provides a raised and uneven plane. By means of a zenithal light projection, natural or artificial, we obtain a soft contrast between lights and shadows, which results in a rich and vibrant surface of visual textures. This is the most relevant formal feature of my plastic work and the distinctive feature that best characterizes it.

The origin of this creative technique came after a long period of research after I finished my degree in Fine Arts at the University of Seville. My last year of my degree I studied with an Erasmus grant at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Athens. There I started making some works with collages. The scholarship allowed us to spend the night in schools attached to the Faculty in many of the Aegean islands. We spent some time creating in these annexed schools, and since it was impossible to transport materials such as canvases, frames and paintings, I only carried a folder with papers, watercolors, inks and glue. It was here, in Greece, that my interest in collage and creation with paper began. When I returned to Spain, I wanted to continue my research in this field because I thought it was a technique that could be new compared to traditional painting techniques.

I became aware at that time of the possibilities that used paper could offer me as the main material for the creation of artworks in substitution of painting.

Fernando Daza

At that time, after finishing my studies in Fine Arts, my two older brothers, lawyers, inherited an agency that was owned by my father. One day I went to help them throw away a pile of boxes full of papers and old documents and I realized at that moment that I could use those papers for my creations. I took the boxes home and began a period of research over several years from which I obtained very fruitful results. I found several ways to accumulate the paper and create three-dimensional compositions. As time went by, I bought coloured drawing and engraving papers.

In general, your works are monochrome or bichrome, does this simplification of color have any special meaning?

My work has a double conceptual origin, the mystical and the concrete, and this dichotomy evolves between the spiritual search for a transcendental experience and the desire to emphasize the material presence as a concrete reality and not as an illusion. My compositions basically suggest approaches of suprematist origin; the search for pure sensibility through the predominance of nothingness and the representation of a universe without objects; orthogonal abstract structures, fundamental geometrical forms such as the square and the circle or simply monochrome backgrounds lacking figures. In this way, I intend to show states of maximum order with the minimum means and minimum complexity of elements and to pay more attention to the whole work than to the relationships between the singular parts.

Due to its apparent simplicity, I believe that my work hides an enigmatic presence that seems to resist interpretation and transmits spatiality and idealism to the viewer. The finishes and the material play a fundamental role in the search for balance and beauty, always in accordance with the moderation and placidity transmitted by the canvas of the support; of cotton or linen, raw and without primer. In the works where I use two colours, the chromatic contrast provides a mixed language result where the calm and subtlety of the light colours are broken by the vigour, power and firmness of the black, yellow, red and dark grey. This idea of contrariness and complementarity between opposites or inverses in the diptych works is very interesting to me because I think it harmonizes the composition.

Fernando Daza

Estructura negra sobre fondo blanco, 2018

Díptico. Papel cortado a mano y pegado sobre tela

100 x 130cm

As an artist, what do you feel committed to?

Mainly I feel committed to the idea of making an artistic work not only coherent with my needs and creative interests, but also with the moment I have to live. In my particular case, and I think I could say that the same thing happens to all my professional colleagues, there is an impulse and a permanent need to create, which are also basic and primary, that goes back, according to my conscience, to my earliest childhood, to the very origin of the use of reason. Parallel to this need, the resistance to devote myself to other professional tasks that had nothing to do with artistic practice was born and strengthened. For this reason I have focused on following this path, despite the many difficulties encountered against me. But it's such a gratification to be able to dedicate yourself to what you believe in and love that it's worth it just for that. In this sense, I could say that the first commitment is to myself.


The gallery Soraya Cartategui, based in Madrid and New York, participates once again, within the general program of Art Madrid, with a selection of works from the most recent work of the artists from Seville: Isabelita Valdecasas and Fernando Daza and the Thai artist Chamnan Chongpaiboon

 

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.