Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MIRAMONTES - Art Gens Passions Interview


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Seattle Art Galleries Miramontes sculpture
How did your art career begin? What happened even before you imagined creating sculpture?
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In fact, sculpture has come late in my life. I first studied art, drawing especially. I followed my parent’s guidance with a done deal: I went to business school and enrolled in art school. After a teaching diploma in fine arts I began working at the European Parliament and in the evening after work, I attended the Academy of St-Gilles. There I had a sculptor for whom I studies under for a few years and when I had the first opportunity to touch the clay, it was magical , it was like glue, I could not stop.  It is not me who went after the sculpture, that it came to me was obvious. It was instant, I never stopped working the earth.
At first I started doing some portraits of family and friends, and then I worked with models. But I had very little time because I worked full-time in the European parliament. Models often arrived late and it bothered me that they caused me to lose time. So I said that with all the experience I had in drawing, I had to do something. I got the pile of earth, all alone, without using templates. So I started creating characters straight out of my inspiration, my imagination. After I realized that these characters existed in me for a long time they escaped without my conscious. For example, at 18, I had created already, with copper wire, small thread-like characters that could move, there was already a lot of movement.
For how long have you done the bulk of your work?
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                 While I was working full time in parliament I pursued my path. It was very difficult at first because I only had time on the weekends. At this point, I never imagined that I would create and make a living. But I was dreaming. During an internship, I realized I had to think very hard and believe in what I wanted. I did not know then but it's really the way that it happened.  I was creating little movies in my head.  I imagined exposure and those present.  In short I did this film to be able to live a day.  And it happened.

But it did not happen at once, for I dared not leave a good salary, security, and all the facilities I had to dedicate myself to art. I had to find galleries, get in touch with many people. There was the sculptor's work and organizational work. I knew it was going to be difficult and costly in time and materials too. This requires a budget. Since I had the means, I rented a gallery at the Sablon where I held several exhibitions.
And at that moment, were you still working?
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Yes, I worked full-time in the European parliament until 2005.  After a successful exhibition, I received a call from a man who had seen one of my sculptures in a foundry, and was very enthusiastic.  He asked if he could come and see my work.

I was very nervous because this call was part of my dream.  Someone will one day see my work and would be interested.  It was really what I wanted.  Even though I was unaware, it was very naive.  I had previously mentioned, we create panels on which we put everything we want to happen in our lives, and we think and believe very strongly.  I wonder if it has the same force.  My dream was more unconscious.
Yes but on the other hand, if you dreamed of that, it's still you who had the urge to do?
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Yes, of course. But it was a dream. Then the man who called me comes up with another sculptor, and I show them what little I have left. They find my work interesting, but I had to convince the agent. In effect, he said that my work needed more refining.  It must have lived. I wondered how he could judge people without even knowing them.  In 40 years I considered that I’d had a sacred experience.  Furious, I told him: "If that is what you think, I'll wait ten years if I have to!”  And in my head, without telling him, I had already planned that I would convince him in two years.  And a year and a half later, in 2003, I held another exhibition at the Sablon. I had invested the money to cast twenty bronzes. I knew that this agent would come with his wife, and indeed they arrived two hours before the opening.  I knew I had won. A few months later, I signed the contract.

So I had an agent, it changed everything. That is to say that it was someone who believed in me, who would invest in me and I also gained exposure.  Then I thought seriously about whether I would quit my job in parliament. I proceeded to make a list with the positive and negative: If I did not take that chance by leaving my job, I was sure to be angry with myself the rest of my life. The con, if I made the decision to leave the parliament and to make only the sculpture, MAYBE would I regret leaving my job.  That's when the first catalog came out, and my son jumped into my arms, saying: "The good life with mom!”  The balance had tipped in favor of sculpture.

My son had understood, without being able to express that I would never really be happy by being a public servant the rest of my life. I also had the support of my husband, my sister and my father. So I didn’t make a blind decision, I needed to plan everything. I worked hard to get there, although I'm not religious, I had placed all my faith in my work. For me, it was not a bohemian life. It was created to be transmitted.

What do you mean when you say: "I had placed all my faith”?
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I had put all my energy into thinking of my goal, but without being conscious of an outcome or with the purpose of life. It's something I did because I had to do it. It is deep inside, I was born to create.  Born into a family where art was not a trade, it would not fit in their values.  It came out of me because, it should. Faith is difficult to explain, in fact I sacrificed a lot, because I had my family, professional life, my friends and I spent all my weekends in my studio.  It is a force that is not explained, it is done, it happens. I felt caught up.
In what state were you when you were working in your studio, how did you feel?
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At the time, I did not feel at peace. I had this . . . I had to create something. Deeply, I think I had to convince people who love me that I was capable and worthy of being loved. Historically, the level of art, I needed to prove that I value, that I am proud of me.  Moreover, anytime in my life when I encountered obstacles or disappointments, I managed to still organize an exhibition. Although it was difficult to find a gallery, I always managed to bring people in to show them my work.

I did not blossom in parliament, but I have no regrets because I've met many people from different countries. I learned a lot and I think it there is no chance.  And it was through this work I was able to invest in the creation of my sculpture as it was very expensive.


You told me about your need for recognition. And beyond that, what state are you when you create?
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I am in all states every day.  I had moments of peace, pleasure, enjoyment, and then there are difficult times of creation where I rant, I complain, I collapse.  My day affects me. If for example I get bad news, I work all day thinking about it. I think we cannot ignore the worries of everyday life.
Tell me when you collapsed when your work had been broken. And how you managed to recover?
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I put in the oven a large piece on which I spent a lot of time. The firing took four to five days. And opening the oven, I discovered a mountain of rubble. I was left without a word. My family was told and came to the house, as we have for the deceased. I put all the pieces on the table and my sister told me: "You will succeed in the repair, I know you are capable." She told me that as evidence that she believed in me. And I restored the sculpture, making it better.  Now it's one of my best pieces.
If I understand correctly, one of your engines to grow and take steps, is your neighborhood?
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Yes, these are my relatives. They were all there to help me. I can count on them.  Yet my father was very afraid about me leaving the parliament as security was very important to him. But he understood what was happening to me, because he himself had always dreamed of being a sculptor. Is this why I became a sculptor? To please him? To do what he did not do? Is there a link?

And telling me the first time you did a show and you had a sold out exhibition?
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I sold twenty sculptures in two weeks. It was very enjoyable-not only because I had covered all expenses and plus I had made a profit. It was not money that mattered, because I was earning a good living. My pleasure was the fact that people paid for a piece of me to be in their home.

When you have sold twenty sculptures, it was the second expo. And the first exposition you had also sold out.  Is the idea that you could one day leave the parliament has not become more concrete?
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No, I had to go further. I mostly sold drawings and I knew it was not enough, I needed to convey something stronger, leaving a trail, a real stamp.

For you, what are the qualities needed to reach your goals?
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The determination not to quit, have the courage to believe and really want to change your life.

What would you say to someone who does not love his job?
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Maybe due to the course "I have found my way" I have talked about discovering what your dreams are.  And then it depends on what we want to do but I would advise maintain the opportunity to work ... and take action. There must be a minimum of energy expended to make things happen. Move, register for a course, creating in the field, plan and dream too!  Trust your intuition, your instinct. Do not think too much either, but especially act.

You mean dream, but how often?
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Personally, I was "my little film" mostly at night when my head was empty of daily worries. These are images that I enrich with details.


And what you saw in your dream was accurate enough?
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         Yes. I visualize, I speak some elements and characters, and then there is a break. That is to say that I want to extend this story, and I have some trouble.  It is like a new beginning, I always return to the same point.

And when you lived this "break" that was happening?
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Oh, nothing serious. I just wanted to continue the story and sometimes it went in another direction. It's as if I was the director and the actors acted the way they wanted. At one point it stops, there is a brake, and I do more exhibitions after that.

How would you define life?
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In life, there is a beginning and an end, so it's something ephemeral that regenerates. That is to say that life is constant.  Death also, against "our life" is a trace on an infinite line.  Life is a miracle, a gift!

And how would you define the Passion?
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Already this term annoys me, especially when people tell me that I saw my "passion".  I do not know passion. What I know is that the sculpture is a NEED.  It is a tool that I found to express myself and leave a trace of my life.  It is also a pleasure.  So if this can be called "passion", I would say that passion is an energy, which helps to flourish.
When asked where they draw creative inspiration, I think they all respond: "Open your eyes. This inspires us and it is life."  To just look and feel is very important. Feel your emotions, know that we are, manage and exploit.

And money, what is it for you?
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The money, it is reassuring.  It can contribute to happiness but does not bring it.  We need it, it's true. We have to think and adapt to society, we cannot live like a hermit.

What are your future plans?
Seattle Art Galleries Miramontes studio
I want my work to be recognized, leaving a trace.
I want one of my pieces in a public place, and I also dream of making monumental sculpture.

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