Art Show: Carmen Cámara

In this post, I’d like to celebrate the work of Carmen Cámara (who also happens to be my fabulous aunt). Her artwork is very original but also has a familiar quality that allows even the most inexperienced viewer to grasp the feeling being captured. Whatever emotion that is (usually dark), it seems to keep us intrigued, and certainly her versatility of style is something to admire. To find out more about her work, I asked her a few questions. I hope you enjoy!

When did you start painting? 

I began to paint when I was 16. But when I was a little girl, I always drew caricatures of my friends.

At what point did you begin to consider yourself an artist?

I think that I considered myself an artist when I knew that I couldn’t live without painting or creating something original. I came to realize this in my teens.

How would you characterize your work?

My art is constantly changing, however at the same time, there is an element of it that is rooted in tradition. I don’t like to overextend formulas, which is why I tend to look for new inspiration and inclinations when I know that a period is over. I believe that this is something that every artist knows when it happens to them. What is most important to me is to have an internal motivation, some fundamental concept that serves as the basis for all the work coming from that point of reference.

What is an example of that internal motivation? What currently inspires you?

I just came back from Florence and am amazed by how the city is filled with stunning exhibits and architecture. I consider the paintings there, “Paintings” with a capital “P”. During the Renaissance, painting was necessary because it became the plastic form of all that happened in society when there was no other way to do it. Here Carmen is using the word “plastic” to mean a physical man-made form. The hundreds of frescos from the 15th century that you can find in Florence or Tuscany are the best examples of why painting is one of the most important man-made inventions. I am particularly inspired by the frescos of Masaccio, Andrea del Sarto, Botticelli, Giotto, Piero de la Francesca, Andrea Mantegna, etc. I am humbled by the mastery of these artists and I’d like to do something that, in a similar way, recreates the feeling of happiness I experienced while looking at these masterpieces.

Why do you like to switch from one medium to another, from painting to graphic design?

As an artist, I like to use very technical mediums that are constantly being developed. However, I believe that it is the artists that unravel these new technologies. For example, if it seems as though one particular medium would be the best way to describe an idea that I have, I feel that I must familiarize myself with it and use it, rather than choose a less effective technique. Video is one that I’d like to know how to use better. One other thing that is very important to me is expositions: they allow the artist to reveal all of their skills at once and compete with other forms of expression that are more popular, such as film or large performances.

Who are your favorite artists?

Piero de la Francesca for his elegance and his enigmatic characters.

Marcel Duchamp or his intelligence and irony.

Picasso for his strength.

Ilya Kubakov for his insight and poetry.

And many more that I learn about every day…

Carmen in her Madrid studio

3 Responses to “Art Show: Carmen Cámara”
  1. claudia says:

    Carmens artwork has had the ability of surprising me throughout the years.
    It never leaves you indifferent!!!

  2. Manuel says:

    Carmen’s art has always some humour in it. Even when she depicts something tragic, like in her “mujeres borrachas” (“drunken women”) series. It shows how much she enjoys her art and how this art allows her to give her own perspective (usually critical) of the world she lives in. And, conversely, how the real world is constantly making a tremendous impact on her. She is quite an artist!

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