MATEAS PARES, artist
Tell us something about yourself?
One of my endeavours in life is to find simplicity, calmness, and balance. I think one can see that in my art practise; the artworks being heavily limited to a few materials and a minimalistic visual expression. My nature, though, pulls me in the opposite direction, so it’s a constant tug of war.
Do you consider yourself a painter or a sculpturer?
I think people see me more as a sculptor but looking at my artworks it’s hard to tell what I actually do sometimes. That’s why when I talk about my artworks I simply call them just that; artworks. When it comes to how I define myself I personally don’t think an action can define who you are. When you argue that, you open up a Pandora’s box of all kinds of metaphysical questions that seem impossible to answer. I mean, is it enough to just feel that you are a sculptor? If yes, that means you don’t have to produce a single artwork in order to call yourself a sculptor. If not, how do you measure it? The amount of time you spend working as a sculptor per day? Or wether you can live off your sculptures or not? Itall seem very arbitrary to me. That’s why I’m more drawn to answer that I am nothing, I just sometime occupy myself with the act of creating art. It reminds me of the scene in About A Boy when people ask the protagonist what he works with and he answers nothing, and they can’t find anything to say after that. People are so attached to labels so when you don’t label yourself they get confused. But I’m totally aware that this is exactly the tug of war between how I want to live and how I tend to live that I mentioned, and I know that when I’m answering like this I just make my life unnecessarily difficult... sometimes I can almost see the will to live slowly die in people’s eyes when they listen to me.
Tell us something about your creative act?
My art practise is probably one of the most boring ways of creating art. 5% is creative — sketching and realizing the physical sculpture — and 95% is about building and assembling the artwork. I’m constantly thinking of ways to increase the creative part. My dream is to work like someone like Willem de Kooning. Every single action seem very intuitive and creative, up till the very last brush stroke.
Do you separate yourself from your artwork?
I don’t think an artist can ever separate him- or herself from his or her artwork. Artists might not always create the artwork with their hands but as they have started the process that leads to the creation of the artwork, it will always be connected to them, wether they like it or not. Emotional separation, however, is possible. You might not care a single bit if your artwork gets destroyed, for example. Personally I believe you have to be able to separate yourself emotionally from your artwork to some extent, in order to keep some sanity, and to be able to live on your art. In the beginning it was very hard to see a sold artwork of mine being loaded into a truck to never be seen again, but I’m getting better at letting go.
Does it exist good or bad art?
Well, there are at times bigger and smaller groups consisting of more or less important people who tend to think that certain artworks are better than others. I would argue that this is a product of the ”business model” which the art world is based on. Some art just have to be seen as better than other in order for the system to work. Does that mean that they are right? Probably not. Art doesn’t have any quantifiable quality traits, so there is no way to come to any form of objective answer to that question, I think. But I try not to think about these sorts of questions because it just makes me aware of what is trendy right now, and I think it’s dangerous for artists to occupy themselves with that because it can corrupt their art practise.
Behind the mask
A portrait series exploring identity, passion and dreams.