Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Keke Vilabelda.
Lives in Spain
How do you describe your own art practice?
I often refuse to describe it because when I do it, I feel that I’m creating boundaries…
On one hand, I have a material and sculptural approach, I’m drawn to the tactile nature of things, the beauty of texture, and how that speaks to us. On the other hand, there is a graphic and digital aspect, where I use new technologies and recent tools. I am really interested in this friction and collision between these two worlds, the “old” and “new” media, in that gap is where I try to develop my practice.
Which question or theme is central in your work?
My work is an examination of how the landscape is constructed over time. How we see it, how we move in it, how it changes with us, and ultimately what is revealing about ourselves as a society.
I focus on studying the processes that transform my environment. Blending multiple media and experimenting with a wide range of materials, from cement to acrylic glass, I reference the heterogeneous character of present-day cities.
As an artistic genre, I find landscape very appealing in all its approximations. A contemporary observation of landscape is the one that is filtered through a screen; we place ourselves as spectators, and from this almost cinematographic perspective we visit distant locations. I feel captivated by how the idea of landscape stands somewhere in between the physical and the mental world, the tangible and the virtual.
What was your first experience with art?
I suppose no one can really remember the very first experience with art. I believe that our relation to art starts at a very early age… and grows slowly over the years.
I remember particularly when I used to visit my grandfathers’ home; he walked me around the house, stopping in front of each and every painting hanging on the walls. We talked about them, what we liked or what we appreciate most. It was our own ritual; we did this hundreds of times, but it was never the same.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
It may sound a bit cliché but travelling has been my main fuel of inspiration. Getting to know new places and put them in confrontation with my familiar surroundings has been always a trigger.
I feel especially inspired by architecture and urban spaces under construction. There is a potential there for beauty, but also for failure and disappointment.
What do you need in order to create your work?
Once I am in the right mood, I don’t really need much.
Nevertheless, as much as I hate to say it, many times this mood depends on specific given opportunities. 2020-2021 is proving to be a challenge in this sense, as the pace of projects has been delayed. My aim is to create freely and independently of exhibition opportunities, but now I’m aware it’s easier to get lost without the necessary context to produce and show new works.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
Recently I haven’t been able to assist as many exhibitions I as would like, so most of the art I have been watching is online.
This said, recently I have been surprised by the work of different artists I already knew, like Marcos Uriondo and Guillermo Ros. They both have a great technique in their own fields – painting and sculpture- but they are transcending beyond it. I also admire their sense of freedom and self-determination to create pieces that are funny and deep. I would also include Juan de Morenilla in this group, who is having a fantastic Solo at Galería Punto, in Valencia.
For me, it’s very encouraging seeing artists who are able to change, evolve and succeed, not repeating the same formula over and over again.