MY NAME IS ARMANDO MESÍAS, I’M A VISUAL ARTIST FOCUSING ON ABSTRACT PAINTING AND DRAWING. I WAS BORN IN CALI, COLOMBIA, AND HAVE SINCE MOVED AROUND, LIVING IN BOGOTÁ, LONDON AND BARCELONA. I AM CURRENTLY BASED IN MADRID. I LIVE WITH MY DAUGHTER CECILIA AND MY WIFE NATALIA, WHO IS A MULTI-FACETED CREATIVE SOUL HERSELF. I BELIEVE IN ART AS A MEANS TO EXPLORE AN EVER FLEETING ESSENCE OF THE SELF AND THE EFFECT MEMORY, CONTEXT AND THE PASSAGE OF TIME HAVE ON IT’S EMERGENCE. STARRING @ARMANDOMESIAS WWW.ARMANDOMESIAS.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARINA DESINOVA
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. What started as playful exploration later became technical and aesthetic curiosity. Eventually, it evolved into a viable career path and sort of came around full circle to become a means of exploration in terms of materials, topics and ideas. I studied Industrial Design for my undergraduate degree, working for over a decade as an art director and illustrator, before going on to do my MA in London and then classical training in drawing and painting at the Barcelona Academy of Art for 5 years. All of that sort of comes together in my work right now.
Although it is mostly abstract, I emphasise the use of line drawing and typography to create a more cryptic impression, which may give rise to more questions for the viewer. I work mostly in large format, and rely heavily on the use of non-traditional materials (household solvents and paint, coffee, dirt, vegetable oil, found fabrics, etc.) and the natural decay of materials and marks created in the studio environment.
I try to create a state of flow or automatic action in which conscious decision-making fades to a minimum, and I’m able to come up with unexpected steps of the process and outcomes. It takes a lot of work and awareness to actually reach that point. I’ve discovered that podcasts, audiobooks or studio visits work very well in order to keep that conscious part distracted and let the unconscious mind get to work.
I very rarely do any sketches. I like to have starting points, but no discernible end goal. That becomes clear during the process, and changes constantly. I usually drop the fabric on the studio floor and wait until something interesting happens while I’m working on something else. I try to take it from there.
I think most of what remains intact for me is the influence of abstract expressionism, pop art and visual culture in general, minimalism, romanticism, philosophy and graphic design. I feel like it’s really important to keep these influences flowing and I try to be very mindful of what they mean. I also try to keep a dialogue with my process over the years and incorporate elements from past stages of my work and life.
I always envisioned my studio as a place to hang out, to get work done, but also just to get comfortable being bored. A lot of what I could call inspiration comes from boredom. Just sitting around exploring materials and techniques without any particular goal.
I really like to have people over for a coffee or a drink or to chat and listen to music. I see it as a part of my work itself, a journal for ideas, marks and experiences. I feel, as time passes, it gets more and more loaded with memories and moments that enrich the work.
“I see art as a tool of communication for everything that language and logic fall short of.”