Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Conversation between Pati Baztan and Olivia Ramos.
Ok, I am here....when ever you want.
RAMOS: hi Pati
Thank you for joining me.
I am excited to discuss your latest work.
I had yet seen "Red Studies N.9"
Can you tell me about it?
Some time ago I painted a unique red on wood 'si me falla la meditación', I was satisfied with the result and now I wanted to return to this color and work more deeply to see where I was arriving, the result has been a series of 9 paintings on wood.
Yes i see 5 different studies all in red - which makes me curious, or rather makes me look into a bit.
For some reason it makes me think of my period.
The different shades of red, light to almost black.
I'm sure everyone would have a different interpretation.
It's okay for everyone to feel what comes to them, that is the idea, as human beings we tend to interpret everything too much and it is normal because it is difficult for us to separate ourselves from the rationality that governs us, anyway, I try to put away that rationality and I try to arouse the emotion.
I think you are right, and personally I do have a tendency to look for representational content. This is something I've tried to get away from and it seems like it's very much alive.
So then if not a certain thing that you think about when you look at this work, then what kind of emotion do you feel?
For me it's nothing, it is simply light, color, proportion, full, empty ...
When people see my work, I would like them to feel as if it was a child again, to see and feel without filter everything learned, to get rid of the sense of things and simply to get excited, because art without emotion for me is dead and I try to distance myself from the intellectuality that surrounds art today, it seems that when you go to a gallery, to understand what you are seeing you need to read the instruction book before.
Lets try to unpack that a little.
For example in N.5, there is a very intentional horizontal line that breaks up the piece.
What is the intention there? For me it does not seem playful or exciting. It feels like it has a very specific purpose.
Is a diptych, so that the horizontal line, but the photo is very contrasted and does not distinguish well, perhaps I should have put it in the specifications...
Especially in size, I take note to change it.
And N.8 is a triptych?
And what process do you go through to decide if it will be one or the other?
And how does it affect the experience you are looking for?
It depends, I guess I have in the subconscious experiences acquired throughout my life, memories, feelings ... maybe also because I studied architecture I have an idea of proportion and fullness and emptiness ....
But when I paint I feel like an animal and I try to get away from all this and simply I empty my subconscious on the canvas.
That is a fair statement - I am trying to get to the core of something i can't describe, there seems to be a contradiction between this feeling of childhood and playfulness and this very intense red color.
Red is a very serious color, the color of blood, usually it invokes fear or makes people cringe.
I'm trying to understand how you see it as such.
As a light and whimsical emotion.
It could have been red like blue or green, I have made a series of reds because I think it is a beautiful color and at the same time difficult to work, but not because of its meaning in itself.
When I talk about the child that we were, I mean when we were closer to the animal that we are, that is to the fact of only feeling (feeling as the most authentic and primitive feeling).
I like to see art and feel it, not to think it.
In a way then, you don't feel responsible for the viewer experience, and you are not trying to convey anything in particular, emotional or thought.
Once you paint, you are detached from the consequences.
I think we have distanced ourselves a lot from pure emotion, from real feeling, without complex or fear.
How do you think your work helps the viewer get to the pure emotion?
If that is your intention.
Yes, that's exactly.
I try to get to the emotion leaving large voids, never filling the entire canvas, working this way the contrast, because that way the focus is on the painted part and so the whole entire generates greater feeling of density and power.
Contrast and immensity for me have always been synonymous of emotion.
So then you are generating your own visual language or representation of emotion... with voids and accents of paint.
That makes sense to me.
I do wonder, however, why you don't see the specific color as an important factor. It makes a big difference to me.
And you chose red simply because you liked the color.
I guess i am wondering why you are not taking advantage of every single aspect to product the effect you want more accurately.
If theres a chance that the red throws me off from the emotion you intend, why take that chance?
I understand that each color arouses a different emotion, but here we would return to the acquired intellectual rationality.
I guess I chose red because it denotes aggressiveness, blood, power .... and I just tried to work the opposite to get rid of the established when we see that color. I am interested in that feeling of contradiction that puts us in a state of surprise.
That the color is not the primordial does not mean that it has been chosen to random, for me everything is important but there has to be an equal dialogue between color, stroke, form, emptiness ... without any prevailing over others.
If the conversation started with those intentions - that you wanted to invoke the emotion of blood, power, and aggression - i would not have questioned it.
I think if that is the intention then it does transmit quite successfully - however i don't get the childish, dreamlike, whimsical feeling, that is why i was conflicted
would you say it is important to you that your audience feels what you intended?
or do you want them simply to feel something?
or do you not care at all if they feel or not?
I think my English is not very good .... I did not mean that, but the opposite ...
As red means passion, aggression, blood, I just work with forms that want to reduce it and create a contradiction that generates surprise.
Don't worry about your English, these conversations are meant to help discover all kinds of things, and sometimes the most important discoveries are in how we express what we do.
I definitely see how you would want to have a conversation with the color red in order to detach it from the normal interpretation.
There is something very powerful there, in terms of giving things a whole new meaning through your work.
Something worth exploring further.., with more intention, with more rigor, with a way to test if it was successful or not.
Yes, in fact this will be an experiment that will last my whole life.
I just try to express myself in a less rational way.