Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Spanish born artist Virginia Moreno became part of the London art world in September 2008. I love the transformative concepts and qualities of her work! She is exhibiting as part of a collective group later this year in December at The Candid Arts gallery in Angel Islington. (The private view is on Thursday 2nd December). You can see more and read more on her website: www.virginiamoreno.com

Although I’m currently in Malaysia and Virginia is currently in Spain, we managed to start a conversation which turned into an interview!

M: How would you best describe your current work?

V: ‘I am interested in creating images that penetrate the viewer's unconscious. I play with factors such as the innocence of childhood, the illusion of carnival's landscape, the application of pure colors, and excessive use of graphics in harsh and delicate strokes. Sometimes when I paint, I experience anxiety, other times psychological calm - factors that are marked on my characters. To read a painting is like understanding a map. What the artist sees in his inner landscape is what is reflected in his work. If I go away from myself and I stop to think about the characters that I do, I would say they share a violent and melancholic character.’

‘Irati’ Virginia Moreno Illustration ©

M: What are your earliest memories of feeling artistically inspired?"

V: ‘
When I was a child, I remember my uncle painting; I kept him company in silence and I remember wanting to paint as well as he did. Most of his pictures were about bullfighting but with an ironic character. Eduardo, my uncle, also painted a series of clowns which he put up on the walls of the restaurant of my mother's family. They were colourful portraits made with colour waxes. I loved looking at them. I also spent hours watching Warner Bros and Disney cartoons on television so I used to copy American animation characters. I do admire this world full of fantasy, fun and craziness. It was a motivation for me and that is why I started to create cartoons thought my imagination. I drew pictures based on that inner world of my childhood thus featuring princesses and monsters of all kinds. It used to be my play and escape from boredom. I remember I used to lie a lot when I was little and fantasy sometimes confused me. Fantasy when you're child is something that provides a magical factor to the way you understand things.

While in primary school, I always sat at the end of the class next to a shelf with my clay figurines that I had made myself and when I turned nine years old my school tutor bought me my very first pair of oil paint brushes as a birthday present. Later on my aunt bought me an oil painting kit and for mothers' day I painted two white swans using oil as a gift for her. These are things that I can remember, now. Earlier this year I painted swans again, for my work - "Ne me quitte pas".’

‘Untitled II’ Mixed technique on canvas, 2010, Virginia Moreno ©

M: As you are Spanish born artist who explores ideas about reality, are you influenced by Salvador Dali in any way?

V: ‘In my case, images are not evoked in the boundaries of sleep. Instead, it happens through memory. As a painter, I love Dali's speech - when he spoke, for example, about the sublime; a term that every artist must have in mind in my opinion. For me, inspiration happens while you are working; it is where a succession of intense emotions, sensations, anxieties, intuition and imagination occurs. Inspiration is something private and unique for every artist. With the right inspiration one can raise the usual state of consciousness from inside and from your inner landscape. So the artist is a conduit of two kinds of images, ones are classified by belonging to a real state which you can remember and some images are not remembered but are dormant somewhere within the memory. In my opinion the imagination is a raw and primitive way of knowledge.’

Dali's paintings were influenced by the classics of the Renaissance and Vermeer. I believe that Salvador Dali understood the paint as a mathematician more than a painter.

For me more pictorially valuable were the studies of two Spanish master painters and revolutionaries also: Francisco de Goya with "los caprichos y las pinturas del quinto del sordo" and El Greco, for their characteristics in expression and transformation inside the canvas.’

My first paintings were completed during my studies at the Fine Arts Faculty of Salamanca in Spain. These were completely expressionist. My fixation at that time was on the representatives of this new sensitivity of the early century Viennese expressionist paintings; by painters such as Egon Schiele and Oscar Kokoschka. It was then that I began studying about the psychology within the painting, a very important factor for me. In the work of Egon Schiele, his use of the line as a means to study the psychological of personage is brilliant. My work is full of drawings formed through my imagination and through the line I can show to the public.’

‘Murder of two prostitutes in Columbia’ Mixed technique with collage, 2007 Virginia Moreno ©

In the close future Virginia Moreno will be exhibiting at Gallery East in Brick Lane next year. The date has not yet been confirmed but invitations will be sent via email to those who would like to see her show. If you would like an invitation – email Virginia through her website www.virginiamoreno.com and she will be delighted to keep you informed.

In the meantime if you would like to see Virginia’s work you can contact her for an appointment.

By Mairead Gillespie

Contact: virginiamoreno11@gmail.com

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