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Talented Painter Pedro Mainman uses the human figure as a means to criticize contemporary ideas about racial, sexual and social identity, emphasizing both the physical reality of the human body and its psychological value.
All the works in this “galerie pathétique” reflect the fusion between the vulnerability of the portrayed and that of the painter himself.
They represent the hero inside each human being, still standing, still strong after the battle (each person´s struggles in life, the whole life adventure in itself). We can intuit that something radical has happened in the lives of the characters but they remain standing with dignity, as finding beauty and strength in their own drama.
Each of the characters portrayed in this series of mixed media on canvas paintings has something of the painters most intimate and vulnerable part which he opens up and shares with the spectator in an exercise of courage, stripping his interior through the psychology of the portrayed as if they were both one with the rest of humanity. Which turns out to be a great universal since as human beings we share dreams, desires, joys, fears, pain, sadness or melancholy … along with the rest of the human race, “It´s amazing how the deep and core of people’s lives is sometimes connected beyond gender, borders or even time“.
FG: When did your passion for art start and how did it come to you?
PEDRO MAINMAN: I remember being passionate about art since I was a little kid. I am not sure when it started, I think it has always been there. Specially music and painting. There was a huge collection of art books at home, the history of art by Skira editorial which is still wonderful, and I spent hours and hours watching them. And drawing all over those classics with wax, to the despair of my parents.
FG: Where do you draw inspiration from for your artworks? And how is your creative approach?
PEDRO MAINMAN: I am an observer of the human nature, the body language and the psychological impact that people create on me. I may be in a train, in a restaurant or sitting in a café and I observe people, I make up a fictitious -or maybe not so fictitious- life about them. Anyhow, I don´t approach my paintings with a concrete idea of what I want to do, I just have a concept and a very general idea which is inspired by the outside in the beginning. After that, the painting starts unfolding with it´s own natural life. When it is almost finished I start stablishing a dialogue with it in order to discover all the details about it´s personality. It is then when I understand who the portrayed is, how his life has been and which are it´s most intimate emotions, which of course are in direct connection with my own.
This is a process I encourage every observer to do, each painting should have a different meaning to each one of us.
FG: Beside painting, which other art forms do you like?
PEDRO MAINMAN: I like every kind of art form which is made with passion and authenticity. Me myself I am a musician too, and have directed my own videoclips on a few occasions. I love cinema and photography, sculpture, digital art, I enjoy everything very much.
FG: Which is the best advice you got as an artist?
PEDRO MAINMAN: Do whatever you want to do, whatever connects with your most authentic passion.
FG: Can you mention an artist, artwork or series of art projects that particularly influenced/inspired you in your work as an artist?
PEDRO MAINMAN: No, I can´t. I get inspiration from hundreds of artists. I enjoy watching art as often as I can, It charges my batteries, it makes my inspiration flow. Not only the classics, or the famous, I enjoy very much discovering new and emerging artists and artforms.
I mostly like Expressionism, Pop art too. I find the artistic currents of the early 20th century very intriguing. All the “isms” bring excitement into my life. And it is curious because it was an unstable political and social moment as it is happening now.
If I should drop a few mixed up names I could say… Marlene Dumas, Kirchner, Nolde, Michael Hussar, Heartfield, Takiro Kimura, Alma Hasser, Lucian Freud, Otto Dix, Bacon, Picabia, Egon Schiele, Ernst Ludwig, Frank Auerbach, Baselitz, Paolo Veronese, Murakami… between many others.
FG: When you work, do you prefer silence or listening to music? Which one?
PEDRO MAINMAN: Silence. It helps me to connect with the painting I am doing, to unveil it´s psychological personality. Music drives me on it´s own, so when I paint with music my hand is driven by it´s beat. At least for this current “Galerie Pathétique” serie it´s silence which allows my hand and mind to connect directly with the vital rhythm and energy of every different portrait, to understand it. The heartbeat of it is the rhythm I need.
FG: Is there a tool or material you are dying to experiment with?
PEDRO MAINMAN: In this moment I am very interested experimenting with the preparation of the canvases, I use many things in the process. I experiment with materials to create textures before painting over it.
I would like to do sculptures with plastic, or silicon and light at a point.
FG: Dou you have a favourite quote or motto you often think about?
PEDRO MAINMAN: I just let myself go, get rid of judgment completely. Be brave. Push myself forwards. That´s what I say to myself.
FG: What do you need to feel happy?
PEDRO MAINMAN: Creating art makes me happy.
Courtesy pics by Cristina Nuñez
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