Inside the Studio

Adrian Caicedo

What themes do you pursue?
I don’t have a particular theme I work with yet, but I like that enigmatic and unstable side of human nature. A complete factory of chimeras.

How many years as an artist?
16 years painting, but I really feel that I’ve just started.

I rarely use it.

Where is your studio?
I just started in a new place. A retired friend offered me a separated room in his workshop with enough light, and a wall where I can work larger formats; all for free. He’s a taxidermist so, in that room, I have my own private public watching, with disturbing realism.

Favorite eats?
I miss the hamburgers from Cali – Colombia!! Also Italian food.

Yes, I have two of them. The representation of death in my back, it is a big obsession of mine.

iTunes or records?

Succulents or Cigarettes?
I quit cigarettes a few years ago, so the only thing left are succulents!

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
You have poetry in your painting, which you should conserve, even without knowing where it will take you. However, that is the small secret of painting.

What’s around the corner from your place?
Le chemin vert, a long passage of huge trees that lead you to the lake of the town. I had the pleasure of walking through it in the four seasons, which was really nice.

A piece of art you love?
Girl with a Pearl Earring. With this beautiful and ephemeral gesture, captured in time by Vermeer, I realized the power of painting.

Favorite place to ‘get away’?
Any place where I can immerse my body in water, but my ideal is the sea.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

Where can we find you outside the studio?
At my friend’s place or moving around the streets of the city on my bicycle.

Not useful to me.

Favorite contemporary artist?
Adrian Ghenie, Connor Harrington, Jerome Zonder…

Day job?

Process> Concept or Process < Concept?
Process is more important to me.

Would you rather be able to make a living as an artist now or become famous after you die?
I want to live as an artist now.

Going deaf or going blind?
I could not live without light and colors…

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
The hallucinogenic Toreador of Dalí. I was lost in front of that painting. It is the most beautiful synthesis of all his iconography.

Favorite sound?
The sound of thunder that rips the sky, and disappears into echoes through space.

Favorite smell?
A woman’s head.

What was the uncomfortable situation you have ever survived?
Every public speech is uncomfortable for me.

Why do you make art?
At some point I realized that it was the only thing I wanted to do. When I paint there’s no time around, and you reside in other space. It’s some kind of real freedom and I like that.

Art School or Self-taught?
Both. I have been painting since I was 16, but I went to art school until I was 21. There was no support for artists interested in other stuff than conceptual, so I was involved in other art processes, and my work as a painter was really slow and marginal. I have been in France since 2010 because I had the opportunity to study here, and this time I decided to just paint. I found a great place to do it, easy access to materials, less expensive, and a good tutor that upsets me a lot, still that helped me learn to never be comfortable with what I knew. I’ve rediscovered the pleasure of painting once again. This has been a long process, however it has allowed me to taste a little bit of everything, so I can definitely say I’m a painter. There are so many talented artists that work without a school involved, and that’s really great because art school always has the risk of killing your spirit.

What do you collect?
I’m not a Collector.

Which living or dead artist would you most like to meet?
Goya, so I could hear him talk vociferously, about his caprices series.

Food or Sleep?

Greatest achievement?
Still coming.

Finish the sentence: I would never be caught dead….
In a frenzied, irrational crowd.

How cleanly do you work?
In front of a canvas, a large percentage of paint ends up on my body and unexpected places.

Mottos or catchphrases?
Too many stars, so few ideas… Dan Perjovschi

Astrology or Astronomy?

Would you ever figure model naked?
I already did for a drawing workshop. Sometimes their approach was the movement, so my partner and I were dancing la salsa for two hours. It was interesting to see how we were digested by the glance of other artists.

Religion or Pop Culture?
Pop culture. At this moment we have introduced all in this category, even history and religion. So I think it is inevitable.

Which artist would you have decorate your home?
I like emptiness in home.

Couch surf or hotel?
Hotel, I like to make my own mess, in an ordered space, that doesn’t belong to me.

Would you rather see your art on a t-shirt or on a billboard?
I really don’t care about that, I just ask for time to see my work.

Traditional or Conceptual?
They work together, but I think I’m more traditional.