Artist Fernando Gómez Balbontín lives and works in Santiago, Chile. He studied architecture for 6 years before pursuing a career as a painter.
1. What would you say is the most important theme in your work?
It’s taboo topics. I think the origin comes from dogmatism and disinformation imposed on our consumer and controlled society, so I intent to break it through surreal images.
2. What’s most inspiring to your working process?
To paint in a totally free way – without pretensions. Time and money should not matter. Listening to music inspires, so it helps me in the process too.
How to know to find motivation and how to manage it is the most important issue inside the process.
3. Have you any strange talents that influence the work you produce or the way you produce it?
More than a strange talent I recognise that being an architect has allowed me to observe and create in the purest way, maybe without to much ‘artistic’ pollution.
4. Which artist of the past would you resurrect to collaborate with and why?
It’s impossible to choose only one!
5. Do you think your work is understood or misinterpreted and why?
I think visual language has infinite interpretations, so maybe if some people say “I don’t understand” it is because this person doesn’t understand that they are open to feel.
I believe there is an overestimation of the understanding concept of art.
6. If you could decorate one place in the world what would it be and how would you do it?
From the aesthetics point of view, I think decoration is equivalent to everything that’s spare. There are a lot of places which need to be correctly designed, not decorated. For example, in Santiago of Chile, many years ago construction companies were destroying the architectural heritage in exchange for disposable tall buildings that don’t respect, in design terms, the city’s dignity. I think the origin of this terrible reality comes from a mix between ignorance and not understanding the real meaning of money.
Therefore my answer is I’d prefer to redesign Santiago. How? Perhaps by way of a real education.
7. What to date has been your ‘cherry on the cake’ moment and what was it that got you there?
One year ago I was invited to participate in an artistic residency in Shenzhen, China. It was an incredible experience which allowed me to embrace another way of seeing things. Access to all that information was, as a result, a great learning.
This invitation was sent to me via an email, in the same way that I have been invited to participate in other interviews, exhibitions, etc. The Internet, is a medium that promotes meritocracy, and has been essential to my career.
8. What we ask everyone! Does your artistic style influence your underwear?
At summer time I usually paint only in underwear so of course it ends up being painted!
More info www.gomezbalbontin.com
Images courtesy © Fernando Gómez Balbontín