LINO LAGO INTERVIEW, AN IRONIC AND CRITICAL ARTIST WITH A COMPLETE TECHNICAL DOMAIN

“Everything that reduces art to a subjective, subconscious and spiritual discourse is a total adulation that discredits the art world”

Lino Lago looking forward inspiration in daily life to create a painting with a great conceptual load. In his most recent series entitled Fake Abstract, which he will exhibit at Art Madrid with the Moret Art Gallery, he plays with the characteristic elements of abstract painting: line and colour, where under a painting of flat colours they are guessed, through lines, famous classic portraits.

 

His work has been exhibited in renowned national and international spaces such as the Flint Institute of Michigan and the outstanding George Adams Gallery in New York and has participated in important fairs such as Arco, Art Miami or Art Fair “SH Contemporary 09″ from Shanghai.

 

Moret Art brings your production back to the Fair. How do you feel your work fits in Art Madrid?

Works of art today reflect the individualism of their authors; works of art are mobile, they travel and fit anywhere. Needless to say that this individualism is a generalized feature. There is another more academic art which is institutionalized art, less free. Art in Institutions and Government museums is the only one that has reliable regulated guidelines when it comes to “fit” in such places. In this case I normally refer to propaganda art. Art Fairs are generally perfect places to find free art (if that were possible, or made sense to some extent, or if we understand art as a social phenomenon based on liberty.)

 

In your work we can perceive the questioning of the glance as an abstract concept. How do you think contemporary art is viewed today?

There is a social stream that views art with some criticism and skepticism. I think this is healthy and it has a foundation that we do not want to analyze in depth. If we compared it to some other areas we would understand why. For example, in sports we can clearly see a more normal “justice.” He who is objectively faster or stronger wins. Talent in the sports world is something evident and because of that sports are disdained by the world of art. I believe anyone can reach their own conclusions. By all means Art is (in theory) an intellectual phenomenon, which does not mean that art turns intelligent anyone who approaches it, just as anyone who touches a soccer ball is not a Maradona. As an intellectual phenomenon it is impossible for art not to have lots of misguided argumentations, false judgments, sophistry, and hot air.

Your work has been recognized internationally on many occasions… Do you believe that artistic recognition is a dynamic facet?

More than dynamic. The results an artist needs are the sequel of the relationship between the artist and his work and society. This is something that is not learnt in any university.

 

As an artist, what do you feel committed to?

With liberty. This word has almost been shunned from the paraphernalia of today’s art. I am very critical with official art which is nothing but academe. In my work I introduce 19th-century academe as an ironic way of pointing out this problem: I believe that postmodern education and philosophy have been, and still are, a hoax that has diminished the intellectual capability of the humanities.

 

Criticism through irony over a great technical mastery is your hallmark. Although you have a diverse production… do you feel a unity in your work as a whole? Is that generated consciously or is it a natural artistic trait?

In my case I am aware of it. Besides, it is the process of hard work. To speak of naturalness, and above all to speak of unconsciousness is an aberration. Whatever reduces art to a subjective subconscious or spiritual discourse is an all-out sham that discredits the world of art.

 

Do you believe that artistic originality is getting to be difficult to find? Is it there where the value of your work rests?

I believe so. Although the difficulty here is to decide what to be original means. In times where the cultural predominance is in the hands of the passing anecdote, the emptiness, and the all goes… perhaps originality might be something else, right?

 

The gallery Moret Art will present the recent art works of the artists: Daniel Sueiras, Xurxo Gómez-Chao, Miguel Piñeiro, Pilar Diez

 

 

”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