Inside the Studio

Heny Steinberg

Favorite material to work with?
I mainly work with acrylic on canvas. I like the immediacy of the material, perhaps due to my background as a graphic designer. I also like to work with ink and oil bars on cotton paper.

What themes do you pursue?
I like to develop a subject as a series of paintings, according to a specific theme I pursue at that moment. Although my work could be cataloged as abstract, it is also concrete at the same time, and sometimes I like to include fragments of figurative elements. Lately, I’ve been working on themes related to cartography.

How many years as an artist?
I worked as a graphic designer for a while before focusing on art full-time. I’ve been doing this for approximately twenty years.

Where is your studio?
I have a large studio on the second floor of my house. It is very well lit, with a beautiful view full of trees and plants; lots of green colors.

Art school or self-taught?
I have a degree in graphic design, which has provided me with certain skills that have come in handy for my work as an artist. I also enrolled in drawing and painting workshops. I believe that one is always in the process of learning and researching.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I always have music playing in the background, mainly classical and jazz. These days, I’ve been listening to a lot of French composers; I adore Debussy.

Where can we find you outside the studio?
At the movies…or stuck in traffic around Mexico City.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I would’ve loved to be a filmmaker. I love cinema as much as I love painting. In fact, many of my paintings have cinematographic references.

Use anything other than paint?
I like to work with serigraph inks on plexiglass or glass when I develop projects for architectural or interior design purposes. Sometimes I work over transferred images, or I use paper to create collages.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Any piece by Rothko or Giotto’s “The Expulsion of the Demons from Arezzo.”

Who are your favorite writers?
It depends on which moment of my life. Right now, I’m devoted to Japanese writers Inoue, Ōe, Tanizaki…

Is painting dead?
Painting is alive and well, and it exists comfortably alongside New Media. These two forms of art interact and enrich each other. I believe that the focus or purpose of painting evolves over time. It nurtures itself as it interacts with historical, geographical, and social contexts.

Palette knifes?
I always use palette knives as well as spatulas from the hardware store. I also love to improvise tools, depending on what I’m aiming to achieve.

Monet or Manet?
Lots of both: you can never have enough of either.

What do you collect?
Found objects from nature, or forgotten small items that I find interesting.