Inside the Studio

Juan de la Rica

What is your medium?
Mainly acrylic paint. It dries fast and, at this moment, I like that. I use oil paint just when I don’t want it to dry fast. I make collages with my computer.

Sketchbook? Do you use one?
I use sketchbooks, not only for sketching, but for doing math operations, writing ideas, drawing useless and automatic doodles (like the classical ‘telephonic drawings’).  It’s a bit chaotic, but I feel comfortable there.

Traditional or conceptual?
Traditional, since I use one of the oldest artistic technique. Maybe my digital collages are more avant-garde, more innovative and conceptual, but I’m not sure…probably not.

Process> Concept or Process<Concept?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Favorite contemporary artist?
David Hockney, Dexter Dalwood, Peter Doig, Matthias Weischer among many others, I can’t say just one.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Any painting by Peter Brueghel the Elder.

Which living or dead artist would you most like to meet?
I wouldn’t like to meet any dead artist, I think it’s a bit creepy… So, I’d choose David Hockney.

Monet or Manet?

Figurative or abstract?
I like depiction itself, no matter if it’s figurative or abstract. But, as a painter, I think I need a real reference, a small connection to reality, to start working with. I don’t rule out making abstract painting in a future, but at this moment I need something physically real to hold on to.

Representational or Surreal?
Both interest me. I like how everyday elements become surreal in some scenes. And how surreal images, or even ridiculous thoughts, can suddenly come true in our everyday life. I like it when irony and the absurd come into play.

Who are your favorite writers?
I love Latin American literature: Vargas Llosa, García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Ernesto Sábato…

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Al niño que no dibuja, se lo lleva la bruja (the child who doesn’t draw, the witch takes him away).

Why do you make art?
Why not?

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I think I’d be an accountant.

What do you collect?
Photographs from newspapers and magazines, images from the internet, from art history. I try to keep any image than shocks me in any way. Tumblr is a great tool for that.

Photo references?
Sure, lots.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I like music, but I don’t mind to work in silence.

Food or sleep?
Both, separately. And water too.

Is painting dead?
I don’t know, that’s been questioned and said for more than thirty years, the same as for rock & roll… I don’t even know what does the question mean, but I really don’t care.

Palette knifes?
No, not any more. I gave it up.

Would you rather see your art on a t-shirt or on a billboard?
On a beach ball would be a way better.