Elena Gual

Elena Gual has a marked and recognizable technique inspired by the image of interracial women despite continuing to open new lines of work and even venturing into abstraction. Her work is characterized by the use of the palette knife and his knowledge of Renaissance painters and classical sculpture techniques.

All this, thanks to the three years of training at the art academy in Florence. Later she moved back to London, where she lived from the age of 16 to continue her training at the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins. She has exhibited in Monaco, Paris, Venice and London. Back in Spain, Arena Martínez Projects presents her work for the first time in her country at Estampa 2021 fair, on the occasion of the Art Madrid fair her work can be seen for the second time in Spain.

Elena Gual

Reflexión, 2021

Oil on canvas

40 x 40cm


¿What inspires you to create?

I don’t think I have something special or a new perspective on the subject. In the end, it is mainly the colors, the emotions I feel on a daily basis, even my journeys are a source of inspiration. Throughout my career I have also started recognizing that inspiration is also a solution to a problem. Like Picasso said once, inspiration is found through work, and that is exactly what I do. When something does not quite come out as I expected, I start producing and evolving, until I find a goal that I’m satisfied with.

¿What have you been working on lately?

During the last 4 years I have centered my production on womanhood, trying to reach equality between us through my strokes on the canvas. Lately I’m centering myself a lot more on emotions, I think that is the reason why I am a lot less conceptual and more figurative these days. I am focused primarily on the subject of our bodies and equality.

Elena Gual

Niza, 2021

Óleo en tabla de madera

37 x 35cm

Tell us about your creative process.

When I studied in the Accademy of Florence, before sitting at the easel the process was: sketching, studying the composition and studying the light. It helped me a lot when it came to creating my own artwork. It makes me understand exactly what I want: from composition, to lighting, from start to finish.

Is this your first time at the fair? What do you expect Art Madrid?

Something that I really love about art fairs is having my paintings exposed to the public, having them to be present in the event knowing that many people will see them. I like to think that they will cause a wide range of emotions: some people will stop and stare at them, others will completely ignore them. But most importantly, they will be in the memory of many people.

In your realistic portraits you represent female figures of different ethnicities, ages and cultures. Are they women you meet on your travels, are they part of your life?

Most of the women I have painted have been part of my life in some way or another. I have known them in my journeys, I have co-lived with them many adventures. But I have to say that, now more than ever, I try to inspire myself in the connection I make with these women, in something more concrete, like a story that they choose to tell me, and from there I try to recreate an emotion.

Elena Gual participates in Art Madrid with Arena Martínez Projects, along together with Paspartus, Carlos Cartaxo, Juana González y Francisco Mendes.

In the year 2020 in the heart of Barcelona a wandering gallery was born, the same one that in February 2021 would debut at Art Madrid with an exhibition proposal focused on contemporary portraits; with this subject matter it would manage to create a powerful dialogue between artwork and audience and make the seal Inéditad remain in the history of the event that contained it.

Jean Carlos Puerto. Protección. Oil and copper leaf on wood. 60 x 48. 2021. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Since that first time and until today, the wandering gallery has managed to build projects on otherness, has repositioned in the spotlight the discourses on the LGTBIQ+ collective, has consolidated a group of artists who share its principles of resilience and empathy and the best thing is that it continues to bet from the professionalism and commitment to give voice to the difference.

Claudio Petit-Laurent.. El Joven de la Perla. Oil on wood. 30 x 30 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Inéditad Gallery, thanks to its founder Luis López, its collaborators and the infinite possibilities manifested in the works of the artists it represents, is a gallery that has demonstrated its capacity and courage to stimulate the sensibility of the public through art and seduce a generation that moves between the glass window and the analogical story. Inéditad is a nomadic gallery that has gathered around it a community of artists and has moved the context with exhibition projects that think about LGTBIQ+ art without prejudices.

Pepa Salas Vilar. Las marcas del arcoiris. Oil on canvas. 40 x 50 cm. 2022. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Pride and Prejudice was inaugurated. An exhibition that brings together the works of sixteen artists: Abel Carrillo, Alex Domènech, Carlos Enfedaque, Silvia Flechoso, Jamalajama, Daniel Jaén, Claudio Petit-Laurent, Jean Carlos Puerto, Fernando Romero, Pablo Rodríguez, Pepa Salas Vilar, Jack Smith, Pablo Sola, Bran Sólo, Elia Tomás and Utürüo. Painting, illustration, photography and digital art are the manifestations that bring into dialogue around fifty neatly threaded pieces, in a discursive line that discusses such a latent phenomenon as discrimination. To achieve this, the artists invited to the exhibition question themselves whether: Does discrimination exist within the LGTBIQ+ collective?

Pride and Prejudice Official Poster. Image courtesy of the gallery.

With approaches on and from the body, the proposal invites to celebrate diversity, proposes to question and self-question the prejudices and attitudes of society against the collective. Pride and Prejudice is a space for dialogue about the constructs imposed on us by society. It is also an oasis in which to deconstruct with tolerance and respect the subjectivities that sometimes prevent us from approaching the production of the participating artists, simply because "the beautiful" does not fit in an androgynous body. The subjugation of stereotypes are pressed with determination to find the beauty of diversity in other palpable facets of reality.

Pablo Sola. All men are dogs. Photography. 2014. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Throughout these three years Inéditad has stimulated the vindictive projection towards bad practices, has questioned estates around the LGTBIQ+ body and the most admirable thing, is that these capacities have resurfaced around the dialogue and the visual narrative of the stories that are told from the visual: Artworks that are people, art that is, per se, humanity. Overcome impositions and accept what is different in order to continue fighting against homophobia, biphobia, lesbophobia or transphobia and defend the equal rights that all the acronyms of the collective deserve in our community.

That's Pride and Prejudice: One creature, the happiest in the world. And maybe other projects and other people have said it - or felt it - before, but none so fairly.

Silvia Flechoso. Hola, soy maricón. Oil on canvas. 73 x 54 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

From June 8th until June 22nd you can visit Pride and Prejudice. Carrer de Palau núm. 4. Canal Gallery space. Barcelona.