Inside the Studio

Vicky Barranguet

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

Themes are always changing. My work is abstract, structural, based on forms and colors. The intensity and color scheme varies a lot from a series of paintings to the next. I usually lay a structure and work around it until I find the balance. My major theme is life ­ emotions, feelings, relationships, moments and events that impact my inspiration in one way or another. I see the canvas as a mirror, a diary written in colors, interacting forms and connecting lines, that express what goes on in my life and in the world. I find it hard to translate this into words… the base structure is like a net, usually a chaotic one, strong and powerful, rough, dark and light, disorganized and with a lot of contrast, but still with a flowing feeling to it. What goes on top of all that is softer, sweeter, more joyful, creating a counter effect on that tough base, reflecting the balance that we need to find in life, with each change good or tough… we always have to find the way, to make it work for the best. This is how I see my pictorial composition. Some of my paintings have the balance resolved, and some are just complicated, and hard to read, and they end up being an eternal inconclusive subject, which I respect and Iet be. I like to listen to what people feel and see in my paintings, collectors often tell me that after living for a while with my painting, they start seeing new stuff in it,sometimes figures, generating different feelings in them. I find this very interesting, and really enjoy listening to people’s feedback.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Be true to yourself. Be honest, genuine, don’t pretend, show what you really are. I believe that this is as important as having good technique, without putting your soul there, the work is missing something. Be working, even if you are notinspired, inspiration has to catch you at work.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

Always music. Brazilian, jazz, classical, rock, etc, etc and Gustavo Casenave, my husband’s music, inspiring me for many years, rehearsing, playing while I am painting in the next room.

If you could have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

So hard to decide…. Basquiat, de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Kline, Bacon, El Anatsui!!!! and many more, who deeply touch my soul. If I would need to choose one, would be “Untitled” by Basquiat, any of them… the rawness of his work, the use of color, words, anger, scribbles, mark­making, signs, leave me speechless each time I stand in front of any of his masterpieces.

Who are your favorite writers?

Eduardo Galeano, Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca, Horacio Quiroga, Gabriel García Marquez, Julio Cortázar, Isabel Allende, José Saramago, Laura Esquivel, Fernando Foglino and Marianela Fernández.