From her studio in Barcelona City, Spain, artist Peca meditates over a series of new oil paintings on panels. Having been an artist since childhood, Peca feels that a new world opened up to her recently when she began meditating. The artist feels that her works are self-portraits, and are ways for her to communicate the encrypted experiences that she experiences in life. Peca’s paintings feature strange spiritual entities- multi-eyed furry creatures made of ‘star stuff’ that bleed strawberry juice, and exhale galaxies. Join us as Peca gives Hi Fructose an exclusive peek into her thoughts about art and life, while sharing a few images of new paintings she has just finished for her debut solo exhibit at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles.
HF: Where is your studio and where are you from?
Peca: I was born, raised, and graduated with a degree in Visual Arts in La Plata, Argentina. I then migrated to Barcelona; and I have lived here since 2001. At present I have a small studio in my apartment in Barcelona City, near Montjuic Mountain. Even though it is a penthouse with beautiful city views, I need to get a bigger studio – outside my home! Small living spaces just can’t accommodate larger scale paintings, and I’m starting some of those next.
HF: How long have you been making art as a pursuit?
Peca: I’ve always been an artist but about four years ago when I started practicing meditation, my mind became more conscious of my art and my life in general. I began to discover that everything is connected, that the answers are right before our eyes, we must just be alert, it is not an easy task because it requires a lot of concentration and being in the present. The meditation helps me to create and painting helps me to observe myself. It’s a good way to get personal feedback.
HF: Do you exclusively work with paints on canvas or panels?
I did this series in oil on wooden board, with the exception of the last painting. I made that one in acrylic for a quicker drying time. Lately I have also created cut out wood animals, which I often combine acrylic and pencil to produce. And sometimes I paint on walls too.
HF: How would you describe your work?
Peca: My work is an intimate process of introspection like a meditation. It is the road to my unconscious; an exercise of self-knowledge to find answers. It is also my way of understanding life and connecting to the universal organism. So spirituality is very present. Somehow my paintings are self-portraits, the encrypted representation of my experience in life.
HF: Is there a specific idea you are pursuing, or an effect that you are looking for, from those seeing or experiencing your work?
Peca: During the construction of this new series, “a road between strawberry fields and sky with diamonds” I have gone through many states of anxiety because of the storm of news about wars, attacks, repression, as well as personal things. These new works represent two months of intense and daily silent struggle in my art studio. But then in the middle of all the anxiety the idea of reversing that energy appeared, or at least the idea to transform that into something positive. It’s important for me to focus on my intention as an artist; which is to produce work that functions as an energetic alchemy that allows us as viewers to launch a mantra of peace into the universe.
HF: When did you first begin pursuing art, did you have any inspirational influences along the way?
Peca: I think that the art and I are together from past lives. I remember this fire since my childhood and I really do not remember any season in my life in that art was absent. To be creating recharges my batteries and stimulates me to live. It’s as much a part of me as my legs. Perhaps the thing that has changed since I was a child to now is that I am more conscious about this. I’m learning to redirect all the impulses that society has taught me and correct. I think that is my way to access knowledge, and being that I live my life as an active artist it’s my job to grow in this regard.
I’ve had a lot of influences and stimulus in my artistic life: The Beatles, Bosch, Frida, Bjork, HR Giger, Quay Brothers, my husband who I greatly admire, artist friends,… It´s when I discovered the artists from Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow that I felt that I had I found a place where I belonged.
HF: Tell us a little about these creatures that live in your paintings’ worlds. Who are they and what are they up to?
Peca: The beings that inhabit my paintings are spiritual entities. They have their channels of perception open and are in continuous search. They are existentialists with extraordinary abilities. They like to fly or walk on water. These beings observe and sometimes warn us. They are intimately connected to space, appear furry or transparent while some are made of cosmic dust, These creatures often have many awake eyes, bleed strawberry juice, expel galaxies from their mouths, take off their heads to fly, dialogue with beings from other worlds, cry birds, believe in dreams, protect stars – all this while walking through fields of strawberries, calm oceans and organic universes.
HF: You have a big show opening very soon at La Luz de Jesus- Is this a full series of works or are they a part of some larger narrative?
Peca: This is the first solo show of my work in California, but previously I have participated in some groups in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The name of my show at La Luz de Jesus is called “a road between strawberry fields & sky with diamonds”. It is not a series in itself, but a continuation of a long series that started with my previous solo show at Fousion Gallery in Barcelona called “Hopi dreams in strawberry fields “. This open series has evolved over time. There is a narrative building about connecting these two worlds.
HF: So, what do these things mean? What is the sky and what are the strawberry fields?
Peca: I always talk about myself in my paintings, “strawberry fields” refers to my childhood. The reference is not so much about any specific memory but more about our having so much potential energy. When I talk about the “sky”, it means what is about to be revealed, the enigma, the magic, the miracle! In this scenario, time and space merge, everything happens in a simultaneous way, things are connected, the spiritual beings have a mission to accomplish and each object symbolizes something, although in this series I think my painting is more simple and clean of elements, I worked with the impulse without getting lost in details, this show is like a silent scream.
New works by Peca will be on view at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles from February 5th through 28th, 2016.