In the summer of 1987, I was walking along the road through the town where I lived in the province of Navarra, my head full of the typical problems of a seven-year-old boy. My friends, my parents and my brothers and sisters made up the world around me, and my happiness was utterly dependent upon them. I was also starting to think about death: the thought of disappearing completely absolutely terrified me. Unable to bear such thoughts, I would try in vain to stop them. This would happen quite a lot. I never found this ability to reflect on things much help at key moments and I suffered an attention deficit throughout most of my education.
I don’t know why, but one day a teaspoon appeared in my pocket and I decided to carry it with me everywhere. I thought that, even if I changed my clothes, the spoon needed to stay with me. I’ll always be remembered, in life and in death, as the boy with the spoon.
Txema Maraví Artieda
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Cuenca.
Master Pensar L’art D’avui, Museu Picasso, Barcelona; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.
Licenciado en Bellas Artes, Universidad de Cuenca.
Técnico Especialista en Grabado y Estampación, Escuela de Arte de Pamplona.
Técnico Especialista en artes gráficas, Salesianos de Pamplona.
Exposiciones Individuales (Selección)/Selected Solo Exhibitions
Cuadros para pilar, Bar California, Pamplona.
Txema Maraví Artieda, Confitería Ruiz, Cuenca.
Bichos, Gaztetxe Euskal Jai, Pamplona.
Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
Seleccionados en encuentros de Navarra, La Ciudadela de Pamplona.
No somos gato estaca, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad de Cuenca.
Tariro, tariro, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Cuenca.
50 años pa ná, Fundación Antonio Pérez, Cuenca.
Lupa eta imana, Arteleku, San Sebastián.
Okupgraph, Horno de la Ciudadela de Pamplona.
Colaboración en d[x]i Magazine. www.dximagazine.com
Presentación de la Editorial Puré, Bar La Segoviana, Madrid.
Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Proyecto Ingráfica, Cuenca. (Seleccionado/Selected)
Archivo web, Institut Elia, Vilnius, Lietuva. (Seleccionado/Selected)
Archivo web de fotografía y otros trabajos artísticos, Tiny Vices, New York. (Seleccionado/Selected)
Certamen Jóvenes Artistas de Navarra, Ayuntamiento de Pamplona. (3er Premio/3rd Award)
Taller de creación artística desde la experiencia de la pintura, Arteleku, San Sebastián. (Selección/Selected)
Maraví Artieda, Txema, "El Bizcocho", d[x]i Magazine, n 40, 27/XII/2010.
Oliveira Lizarribar, Ana, "Doble Representación", Diario de Noticias, 21/XI/2006.
Alejos, Nerea, "Homenaje a una madre", Diario de Navarra, 21/XI/06.
1. What made you choose art as a profession?
I’d like to say that it was art that chose me, but that might be going a bit far… For me, after working for three years at a printer’s as a technician with an offset printing machine, I was given the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the more creative side to the work, which in turn led me to experience the entire process from start to finish. Above all, though, this decision came about by giving free rein to a creative vein and, why not, out of pure personal satisfaction.
2. How would you define your work?
I think I’d go as far as saying that part of my work is driven by a psychic need to channel desire (sublimation) and a physical need spurred on by my own intelligence (action). By this I mean intelligence as an engine for both sensitivity towards physical objects and the subsequent development of sensitivity through pictorial language. I have shaped all the many forms that appear in my pictures through an awareness that everything is conceived in isolation and, when joined with other elements, things take on new meanings. In this way, I can create meaning and free all the forms that require physical space to return to their place of origin, which is the world. Here, although they might act differently, they once again regain the importance they once had. This is what I mean by ‘representation’.
3. What subjects are you interested in?
Abstract representation of the physical world, both the object in itself and the space it occupies in the world. Colour as a sensation received by the organs of sight and translated as elements able to be recognised as ‘colour’. Based on a subjective reading of the natural process and its development, I try to get the reality we all know superficially to transcend the merely visible to reflect the subject. The structure and layout of an abandoned tennis club in the middle of a city. In the process of isolating and placing things in a new framework, I try to get new, out-of-context meanings to offer a new reading of the object.
4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
One of my basic resources is the freedom offered by being able to set a series of limits within my work, even though this might appear paradoxical. Every decision about form, colour palettes and the subjects to be represented all shape the final product. These resources are largely the motive and inspiration for my work in terms of form.
5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
Spaces on a flat surface call for mastery of a series of a conjuring tricks and the intellectual ability to conceive new perspective and new spaces. The world is made up of many elements in spaces at different heights which, on a different scale, resemble the human being that created them. These spaces make up all the material I need. Although all slights of hand can be considered as the mere appearance of reality, they also offer new readings and therefore reflect what I think of as an abstract reality.
6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
Art has no point – and that’s what makes it interesting. Let’s be quite clear about that. Every human activity has evolved over the course of history and art is no exception, adapting itself perfectly to man’s needs. If we listed humans’ needs over the centuries, we’d realise that one of them corresponds largely to art: the need to transcend the material world. However, in today’s world, we think we’ve moved on from this. In my opinion, this means that art doesn’t cover other, practical needs and lacks a real purpose other than its essential one.
7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
My project or intention is to see how works of art are constructed through pictures, helped sometimes by leaps of the imagination. I’m interested in seeing whether this personal, individual construction and its relationship with the real world can create new images in spectators.
8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
From my education and basic training at school, I place great value on the technical training I received at the Salesianos studios and Pamplona Art School. I also value the art training from friends and teachers at the Fine Art Department in Cuenca.
9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
If ‘professional situation’ refers to paid work as a painter who makes a living from this, I haven’t really got much to say, since I’ve only just finished my training and haven’t had any professional experience yet. In the future, I hope for what every aspirating painter or artist hopes for: to earn a crust doing what, in my opinion, I do best, which is lying… I mean, painting.
10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work?Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
This question seems to follow on from the previous one in terms of what all artists hope for. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who asks themself this question. Obviously, everyone wants to see their work recognised. In my case, art work requires a certain number of hours set aside exclusively for painting. This time is inseparable from my free time and dedication in my everyday life. This is the method I’ve adopted until now, my way of working. Maybe I could find a way of feeding my imagination in my free time and, meanwhile, carry out other paid jobs, but for my painting, and only for my painting, I’ve adopted this slow, tiring system. What I’m trying to say is that I have thought about this thorny issue, so, yes, it does affect me but it doesn’t have a direct bearing on my work.
11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I think I need these relationships because sometimes it’s better to delegate management and organisational matters to art professionals, and I haven’t got much experience outside the art studio. I hope to find more advantages than difficulties in these relationships in the future and, however they might turn out, to learn something from the experience. Answering this questionnaire has already been a positive step in my development, as it’s made me ask myself professional questions, although it’s also been difficult to write all this out, because as a plastic artist I treat this as a letter of introduction. In the future, as I said, I’d rather delegate this to professionals.
12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
I’m not really up with the latest on the Madrid arts scene, although I do have friends and teachers who work there. They’re my only reference and I can only compare it with my home town. The difference is that Madrid has much more culture on offer and a wider range of it.