SAMUEL SALCEDO INTERVIEW. REALISM AND SENSE OF HUMOR WITH 3 PUNTS GALERIA

"In the aluminum or the same black epoxy I work with, the viewer is reflected and reads according to his mood what is happening.”

Samuel Salcedo, creator of expressive, ironic and vulnerable characters, presents in Art Madrid with the gallery 3 Punts, a selection of pieces from his most recent work, where the Catalan sculptor has executed by experimenting with new materials such as cast iron or cast sand.

Samuel Salcedo participates regularly in individual exhibitions with 3 Punts Galeria, 100 Kubik Gallery (Cologne) or with Robert Drees in Hannover. His work has been present in contemporary art fairs such as Art Madrid, Swab, Frankfurt Art Fair or Art London, among others.

Samuel Salcedo

Black Mirrors Series, 2019

Epoxy resin

70 x 70cm

Samuel Salcedo

Pinball Wizard 1, 2019

Aluminum

95 x 95cm

The gallery 3 Punts is once again betting on your work. What new pieces will we be able to see in this edition of Art Madrid?

I'm very excited to bring three sculptures I've made in cast iron, a material I've started working with recently. They are three pieces, three heads that are going to be placed directly on the floor, very heavy pieces with a very nice material, which has memory. On the surface of this material, in the open, the mark of oxidation remains, and this is linked to nine masks that will be placed on the wall, worked on under the same idea. These 9 pieces are made with recycled foundry sand, sand that was previously used to make moulds in the foundry and that has been burned and reused after being bells, taps, other sculptures... So, this material that "has already done its job", I recycle it, mix it and apply it to the surface of the faces, on their skin.

Only for curiosity, have you considered experimenting with other artistic techniques such as painting?

When I started exhibiting at Art Madrid, at first I exhibited painting alone, and little by little I've changed. I like painting, it's a language that in fact was more natural to me in the beginning. Now I've been working almost exclusively with sculpture for 10 or 12 years, but I also paint. What happens is that painting is a little more "cruel" language, and the fact that I'm working at a very intense pace doesn't allow me to do many. Some of them I do, in fact I have many started but we are not here for this edition.

Samuel Salcedo

Toy Land - Mirror Mirror, 2019

Resina poliuretano policromada

27 x 10cm

Your heads in epoxy resin or bronze have different expressions, most of them passive or with angry gestures. What do you want to transmit with these apparently individualistic sculptures?

I try to make sure that the faces are not too extreme, that you can empathize with them, that they don't displease or generate rejection. It is true that some have an ambivalent expression, depending on the person looking at them, it can be interpreted that there is a gesture of pleasure or displeasure in the same face. I like very much that the person who sees my pieces can be reflected, in fact in many of my sculptures I work with a material that reflects the light or even the image. In the aluminium or the same black epoxy where I work, the spectator is reflected and reads what is happening according to his or her state of mind. In the end it is basically this, like a mirror where people see things and in the end the human face with its different expressions are formulas of communication, just as it is to speak or move the hands. With this I try to hook the person who is seeing my pieces.

Your characters are between the real and the fantasy, and all of them show certain imperfections. Does this have to do with the social and political reality of the moment?

Sometimes you do things by intuition or without thinking about them too much. In this case, choosing a more idealised beauty, a more natural beauty or more natural bodies, has no clear reason. It's true that I've been told that, especially when I represent women, it's not the usual type of beauty, these are normal beauties. We can see that there is a tendency to normalize this representation within women who actually have a body, just like men. Nobody is perfect. I remember that last year a group of girls from the University of Fine Arts told me that they identified a lot with this trend and I thought it was very nice that sometimes you can hook all this, the fact of not idealizing. There is a social background obviously, I choose not to look for stereotypes, but I try to look for the normality as we are, that for something we all live in the same place.

Samuel Salcedo en su estudio de Barcelona

As an artist, what do you feel committed to?

When you work, you make decisions, and it's true that there are artists who have a much more intense social commitment than I do, but I do at an individual level. I think that within what I can control in my work I have to try to be honest about what I do. I have small children and I try to explain, especially to my daughter, gender equality, not to look for stereotypes...

When I work with the representation of men and women, in this case, this is what I try to look for, that there is a certain dignity in women and above all I try to make my language understandable. I don't intend to create an elitist job, because it seems to me very unfair to try not to make you understand. If my family or my friends did not understand my work I would be wrong about something. Having a generous attitude towards the people who see your work would also be part of this idea.

Do you think that it is difficult to stand out as an artist today? Is it in the originality of technique and style where the secret of your success as an artist in the actual art market?

Success is very relative. When I was studying, I thought, "man, if I succeed, I'll be able to live from this...", but of course, you change your expectations. In the end it's a fight, it has an unfair point, because many people think that even if they have talent they can't get ahead, and there's also some justice in my case and in the case of people I know who are brilliant and who are doing well. If we lived in New York, we would have a very different dimension of success than we have in Barcelona, for example. I am not going to complain, it would be very unfair, but it also requires a significant effort, the demand that this work requires and the resignation must be clear. It also depends a lot on external factors that are difficult to control, but, well, whenever I have believed that I was doing something that was right, it has worked for me.

3 Punts Galeria, will exhibit in Art Madrid the last creations of the artists: Alejandro Monge, Efraïn Rodríguez, FAILE, Gerard Mas, Kiko Miyares, Ramon Surinyac, Richard Stipl y Santiago Picatoste.

 

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.