Marcos Zrihen is a dedicated Spanish painter whose works have been exhibited in France, Spain, and Switzerland. His distinctive aesthetic is marked by micro figures isolated in nature. He explores themes such as people, nature, the sea, desert, photography, and a zen spirituality. His style is minimalist, highly technical, composed energetically, and shows commitment to exploring the history of each character. We sat down with Marcos Zrihen to talk about his current projects, inspirations, and the start of his artistic career.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I was 17 years old (currently I’m 55) when I went to an Edvard Munch exhibition in Barcelona. His paintings touched me so deeply that after I saw his work I knew my calling was to become a painter.
From that day on, I wanted to express my inner-self as he did. I started painting and drawing and haven’t stopped since.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
I would say I have a lot of artistic influences. Throughout my career, I have always loved African Art, Ethnical Art, Minimalistic Art, Expressionistic Art, and of course Naif Art. I also feel inspired by aerial pictures.
I would say as well that I’m influenced by some artists. For example, I enjoy Spanish contemporary artists especially Miquel Barceló, El Genovés, and Olivares. I also admired René Magritte’s work.
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
I have tried both, but I think I prefer to work alone. It’s easier for me to concentrate and to focus on my artwork. Silence and a quiet environment are so important to me when it comes to painting. It’s like meditation.
However, it depends as well on the artwork I’m currently working on. Sometimes I like to paint with music.
Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on a new collection. I’m mixing together drawing, painting, collage, and origami techniques.
It is something I’ve been working on for some time now, about 5 years. The name of the collection is Worldwide People and it is based on portraits of people from all over the world. It has been a creative experiment and required a lot of anthropological and sociological research.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I probably would have been a teacher, a cook, or a writer. I think I would probably have dedicated my life to travel!
Have you found any other artists on SINGULART whose work you admire?
There are quite a few, but I’m only going to mention 2 of them. I love Casey Mackee’s work. His pieces are surprising and astonishing. He creates amazing and surrealistic worlds. He makes my imagination take off and travel.
I also admire Benoit Montet’s work. His artworks use a very accurate and realistic technique. It’s like going back to the past. I find his paintings to be very old-fashioned and glamorous. For me, it’s like being inside a french film. I enjoy his smart and vintage style.
What advice could you give to young artists starting out?
To learn by just painting and drawing while also having fun. Express yourself and do it with passion. Never give up and always be yourselves.