Interview / Ángel de Cáceres García

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Ángel de Cáceres García was born in Córdoba and is resident in Sanlúcar la Mayor (Seville). Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Seville, specializing in Painting, a year after he succeeded in obtaining the post of Professor of Drawing and Plastic arts through public examinations, and performed this position during the next nine years, combined with study of new techniques of painting and sculpture.

In 1997 he started a new experimental period, dedicated to go more deeply into several techniques, especially about oil painting, and into the study of great masters formulas. Is in this period when he discovers possibilities of pastel, a mean which he soon feels identified with, and to whose experimentation will dedicate several years, until he found in it a personal way of interpreting reality and a way of transmitting his artistic needs.

In 2013 decided to focus his production in pastel painting on black paper base, beginning several thematic series and a very good number of works based on portrait and on the search of the balance between tradition and figurative painting, as well as on improvement of an innovative style, respecting pastel requirements.

 

 

 

Hi Ángel, we can’t wait to find out about your wonderfully painted portraits!

Your portraits have a wonderful way of placing the viewer within an environment.  Especially as you often paint the same scene from many different vantage points.

 

How long have you been doing this art thing?

Although obviously I can not remember it, I think since I came into the world. Everything that I have lived and felt since my first memories goes together with the artistic reasoning. It is not a link, nor the result of any learning; it is a way of life with which some people are born and, therefore, the natural thing is tahat we develop it until the end of our days.

 

 

 

PASTEL TECHNIQUE “I see Pastel as a pictorial technique. Experience with oil painting exercises an absolute influence on my work, in a conscious and deliberate way. The choice of black, uniform paper, with a notable texture, as a background, helps me to build every work from deepest darkness and to play with the texture of its surface as if it was oil on canvas, but it also looks a background that surrounds the figures and even participates of tones and shadows of every motif.”

 

Tell us a bit about yourself –where do you live, what is your background and how long have you been an artist?

I was born in Córdoba (Spain) and I live in a town in Seville, in Sanlúcar la Mayor, where I have my studio. I studied the cereer of Fine Arts (University of Seville) specializing in Painting and later I taught for several years in Secondary Education. I have dedicated a lot of time to the search for new forms of expression thaht connect the tradition of “great painting” with the contribution that is always expected from the creative fact and, finally, after experimenting with oil –even with sculpture and graphic and ornamental design-, it was in the pastel technique that I found a very useful médium to develop as a painter. Since 2013 my dedication to this technique is exclusive and this has made posible that in 2017 I made two solo exhibitions: “The Measured Time” (Córdoba) and “Woman and Women” (Seville), with a large number of my Works produced during the four years previous.

 

 

 

 

Was there a pivotal moment  when you decided to follow your path as an artist?

Officially yes: upon finishing my studies. Really, as I have already stated, there was not an exact momento. I consider myself privileged to be able to develop in what I have wanted and felt. It’s something that I carry with me, wherever I am. I just needed to want to do it, to understand it as a personal responsibility, as a wonderful and inescapable obligation.

 

What  piece of your artwork would you like to be remembered for?

This is a very interesting question, but also, for me, very difficult to answer. We all know that often the author’s visión differs greatly from that of the viewer, so there are paintings to which I have a special attachment (Rusalka, Eco, The Summer of the Nymphs, Andromeda, May, Lovesong, Rodin, etc.), but that does not have to coincide with the taste of the public that observes them. Anyway, time will decide if we deserve to endure and will respond better than me, properly, to this question.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How was this year for you in terms of your artistic practique –what breakthroughs and setbacks did you experience?

It has been a year of hard work, a period of return to the “tranquility” of the study after two important exhibitions, but, above all, a year of evolution, of extension of material practices in my work to pastel and also a time in the one that I have laid the basics to the foundations of some thematic series during the next two or three years. As for the inconveniences, whitin the studio of a painter there are always, they are almost necessary, they are part of our strange inner struggle both in the personal and in the artistic field, although no adversity is as worrisome as time, its limitations are our biggest inconvenience.

 

If you’re just creating something for yourself, (as opposed to commissioned work) where do you get your ideas from? How do you begin?

The world of ideas is inscrutable. Its relativity, its closeness to chaos, gives it a different charm from the rest of the abstractions. That same realitivity sometimes governs the creative exercise, which is wy it is difficult to explain it. I compare it with the world of Nature, although its proximity is more evident with that of feelings. It is these worlds that generate creations. The fact of observing places or natural corners means opening the door to inspiration, and this is applicable to human referents and any complement that has a presence in the concretion of an idea. In general, the proposal of a painting is born unexpectedly, its origins are usually spaces, moments, situations, stories or people that for whatever reason suggest emotions; this i show a kind of need is born, a kind of desire, a way to retain the essence of these stimuli and add their own elements. Sometimes the idea starts from an established motive, as it can happen with a landscape, or with the recreation of a historical, mythogical carácter, etc., but this only indicates what the door is, not what is behind it. I can say that, at times, the idea for a painting lived in my head for years, waiting to be given all the favorable circumstances. However, when I start a painting, even though the idea has matured, and since I never made previous sketches –without a very basic scheme-, I always leave an important place for improvisation; from there, exclusive effects are obtained tht probably would never have been foreseen.

 

 

 

 

 

You have such a varied practice, what are your favourite art materials to use and do you have any tips and techniques you could share about portrait painting?

My preferences are oil and pastel, two techniques with which results can be achieved in a certain way, similar, but with very different processes: while the pastel is applied with immediacy (where it is also part of its difficulty). The oil, in its trtaditional use, it requires drying times, layered work, etc. In recent years I have dedicated them to the pastel, with the portrait as the main theme, a field in which I would recommend starting with identification with the model, looking at it and understanding it from the inside and trying to get to its own, to the primordial or its personality: the life that is contained in his face must also be contained in the painting. This principle is of great help, indispensable in the pastel technique where the possibilities of rectification are extremely scarce.

 

Can you talk us through your process?

Two technical aspects determine my way of using the pastels: the choice of black paper as a support and the absence of the traditional blurring of colors. Once the paper is mounted on a table, I make the outline drawing as accurately as posible; from there, I began to trace the chromatic bases, the sketches of volumes and the concretion of zones of light and shadow. My studies and work approaches of oil painting have moved to pastel, perhaps unconsciously, but it is true that the process of applying color is very similar in both cases: I replace the brush scrubbing with pastel strokes on a remarkable texture support, something that enhances the effects of tone vibration in a similar way to oil.

 

Do you have a favorite photograph or painting, which inspires you?

Many, but I just review any portrait of Rembrandt to retake the true meaning of painting.

 

 

 

 

If you could work within a past art movement, which would it be?

I always have doubts, because fortunately every movement has great contributions. I identify a lot with the trilogy “Renaissance-Mannerism-Baroque”, beacuse I think that there man raised the artistic qualities to insummountable levels.

 

 

 

REFERENCE “My experimentation with pastel technique allowed me to integrate universal symbols and my own elements with visual effects that derive from Realism and Impressionism. In the same way, aesthetic components and appearances acquire renown, evoking Renaissance painting concepts.” “Painting must be a mean of transport for our emotions, a free and prosperous exchange built on facts and dreams, a performed reality, enriched with the beauty and harmonies that human being is able to create.”

 

Where do you get your ideas from? Have you had any particular influences over the years?

All the great masters, from Leonardo or Michelangelo to Rembrandt, and later Van Gogh, Rodin, Gustav Klimt, etc., point to Nature as the mother of all the arts and the source of inspiration par excellence. That is our reality that inspires us by its harmonies, by its appearances or movements. I, in addition to this, I count on the influence that Music exerts on my creative capacity: I consider i tan essential pillar in the life of people, it is like a painting that remains in continuous evolution, ists abstract nature, its arrangement of sound and silence in a intangible way is a sufficiently attractive mystery to generate other types of mysteries in any artistic discipline. Almost all my Works have been devised from one or several pieces of music, and it always  will be like this.

 

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 

Three: “learn from the artists who have advanced the world of art”, “the artist does not rest, he always carries the factory on his shoulders” and “Works from the concept, from the essence of things, to be able to reach the rest”.

 

 

 

 

What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?

I hope to leave a broad legacy. Hopefully it will be like that. But above all, in my dreams it is that this legacy i sable to stimulate other people that motivates them and encourages them to create their own Works as I was stimulated by those of the great masters.

 

Why do you love what you do?

Well maybe because I do what I love. In the studio there is only an unconditional love for the artistic fact. The art of painting is not just fun, well-being or pleasure, and the painter who wants  to go beyond the conventional, must know it from the beginning; he must son understand that the scourges of personal life will add the disappointments of that other life, magical and mysterious, that he will carry every day on his shoulders and for the that the strength of that love will be indispensable: love for creation, but also for everything necessary in the execution process of each work. That being the case, that love will be reciprocated through the first picture that provides an unknown form of happiness.

 

 

 

CHIAROSCURO “I always understood chiaroscuro as a resource that invites to reflection about what is represented and, somehow, it extracts it from space and time. Human expressions acquire this way a high emotional component, they become transcendental, mysterious, they search the eye of the spectator, finding in it the course for a never-ending dialogue.”

 

 

 

 

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