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Interview with Artist Marta Carceller

Hello Marta. Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I was born in Barcelona in 1977, and I am a mother of 4 children. We currently reside in Barcelona, the city that has seen me grow up, and it is in a small studio in my home, where I create all my works.

My academic training has revolved around music and I graduated in Psychology, which has helped me to internalize, explore and identify my emotions, in order to capture them on a canvas.

How did you first discover your passion for art, and what inspired you to become a painter?

I am a self-taught painter. As a young girl, I began to be interested in this form of art, but I could not dedicate myself intensely due to my other occupations. Little by little I started stealing time from other things, and gradually I leaned toward what fulfilled me the most.

After the tragic death of my husband and father of my 4 children, I began to dedicate myself even more to this exciting world and to realize that, what he always encouraged me to do, was what really fulfilled me and what I needed; to stop the world and learn from myself, learn from my own mistakes and take the time to explore my own interior.

My full dedication came as a result of the confinement due to the Covid pandemic; this situation gave me motivation and meaning. It also gave me time and my children and Alex, my life partner, gave me encouragement to continue on in this adventure.

“Always free”, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 130 cm, 2023.

Can you tell us about the evolution of your art over the years? How has your style and subject matter changed since you started?

The themes at the beginning were very varied, from landscapes to still lifes, and little by little I have been leaning towards the human figure, a theme that makes me feel very comfortable and motivated.

The art of painting has allowed me to experiment with different materials and textures, but basically I use acrylic paint and canvas as a support. I use the spatula a lot for adding texture to the work. I also use drips and stains that help me to give the work an expressionist air.

The style has also changed over time, initially my style was close to realism, and has been changing towards an abstraction soaked in realistic figuration, offering my personal vision of the world, framed by a compositional perspective that undoes the known.

What are the main themes or sources of inspiration in your artwork?

My sources of inspiration are basically my family and everything that surrounds them. It is important for me, and at the creation time, to have an emotional connection with what I paint. In order to create and enjoy doing it, I need to feel it in a very special way; the theme has to make me vibrate.

For me,  thinking about the future observer of the work I am creating is a source of inspiration; I am passionate about imagining the possibility that, even if it is very remote or very small, when observing my work, it provokes a feeling, an emotion, a thought, or that it transports the viewer, through memory, to some scenario already experienced.

I very much agree with Jordi Sierra y Fabra, a Spanish writer of children and youth literary works, when he says “Art is measured by what you feel when you do it, not by what you are paid to do it.” That is why I am satisfied to be able to transmit to my work viewer a minimal part of what I feel when painting involves me in this intimate act of creating.

“Camins de tardor”, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, 2023.

Could you describe your creative process? How do you approach a new painting or project?

First I choose or recover an image that conveys something to me and, after evaluating the size of the canvas, I start to think about the colors of the background, the colors that match this image. I work on the backgrounds with a lot of material, one superimposed on the other, revealing all the layers.

Next, I make the drawing with great care and attention, and finally I add color to the drawing, basically using the spatula. I keep working on the drawing until I achieve the desired effect or result.

I know how I start a work, but not how I am going to finish it. For me, the act of creating has a clear starting point, but as I advance and delve deeper into it, it becomes a truly exciting and extremely enriching adventure, pouring part of myself into the canvas. Learning and internal discovery are constant.

Are there any artists or art movements that have had a significant influence on your work?

Nowadays, social media is so accessible that I would dare to say that all the artists whose websites or social media profiles I visit regularly are a source of inspiration for me. Undoubtedly, when I see their works, it causes a change in my way of seeing the world and, even if I don’t want to, they influence me. Some of them in a more significant way than others.

Your use of color is quite distinctive. How do you choose the color palette for each of your paintings, and what emotions or messages do you aim to convey through color?

The colors used are in accordance with the image represented. I pick colors that “say something” about the object of the work.

In the background is where the real game is found. Is there where all the colors intertwine to finally create an image in a single view, which is what is perceived in the distance, highlighting color and shadow to achieve two-dimensionality.

Up close, however, it is easy to see how the different colors and volumes chase each other in a curious way.

Do you have any favorite pieces among your own creations? If so, what makes them special to you?

The most special works are the ones that have made me vibrate the most and also the ones that I have enjoyed creating the most. Although these may have a certain value over others, once I finish them, my satisfaction is never full. I guess it is due to a matter of personal requirement.

“Brothers together walking away”, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, 2023

In addition to your art, do you have any other interests or hobbies that complement your creative work?

For me, music is very important and it is closely linked to my creative process. When I was young I began my training in the world of music and I have a special sensitivity towards it. Music helps me to be able to experience with greater intensity the feelings that I want to capture on the canvas.

Apart from music, I think that my whole life and my daily routine are also part of my creative work. My personal growth makes me grow as an artist and vice versa; without being able to separate one from the other.

All my experiences, especially those linked to my family, are what excite and motivate me when I pick up a brush and stand in front of a blank canvas to face the challenge that is to look inward and capture my dreams and feelings and, from this, to be able to provoke emotions and memories in others.

What future projects or exhibitions can we expect from you? Are there any new directions or themes you plan to explore in your upcoming art?

Since confinement until today, my works have been recognized with different Contemporary Art Awards; they have appeared in different International Contemporary Art magazines, and I have exhibited them in different countries, such as Spain, France, England, Greece, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, United States, Colombia, Monaco, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark…

I really want to continue working along the same lines as until now but, inevitably, there will be changes and evolution in my work as a result of my  daily learning. Every day I learn new things and I keep experimenting, especially with different techniques.

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