María Burgaz is a prizewinning Spanish artist whose works are held in public and private collections worldwide. Drawing inspiration from pop and collage art, Burgaz’s paintings are an explosion of color that depicts a variety of narrative themes. Painting with bright pastels, her collective works are bold and full of intriguing details. We sat down with María Burgaz to talk about her current projects, inspiration, and the start of her artistic career.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Since I was a little girl, I loved spending time drawing and painting. My after-school activities were always art classes and for my birthday and Christmas, I asked for pencils, crayons, and felt pens. I would stare at my presents for hours before using them. I guess I always wanted to be an artist! When it finally came to choosing my studies my only option was Fine Art, and so that’s what I studied.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
My work and my taste in art come from many different influences. I studied Fine Art at college and learned about all the different art periods. Knowing and understanding all these masters really opened my mind and helped me find my way.
Living in Madrid I often go to the Prado Museum where I keep discovering how modern many of the old masters were. Goya and Velázquez are always a reference for me! I also have been influenced by the avant-garde artists of the 20th Century. Fauvism, expressionism, and pop art are my favorites. If I had to choose the ones that influenced me the most, I would choose Matisse, Kandinsky, Warhol, Rauschenberg, and many others. Also, of course, I always enjoy attending art galleries and looking at the work of other contemporary artists. I am lucky to live in a city where art galleries continue to show art from all over the world and I can always find inspiration in other’s work, although the final result may be so different.
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
I enjoy chatting with others and sharing my work, but I love and need the loneliness of my studio when it is time to paint.
In my case, it’s true what they say about an artist´s chaos. My studio is full of “things” and I work on several pieces at the same time. This means there are canvases, papers, and experiments not only on the easel, but on the tables, the floor, etc. This is my chaos, which I understand and live with, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone else having to deal with it. I also like to work while listening to music or the radio. Let’s say my studio is my private space while I work, and to completely concentrate I need to be alone.
Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?
Since we are now allowed to travel, I am visiting many cities in Spain that I already knew of, but I am now rediscovering. I’m taking pictures, collecting old ones, doing sketches, and getting information about them to make a series in which old city maps and my photographs will be the basis of the artworks. It will be the next step of the series, “My cities” which I started several years ago. The essence of many places ought to be kept and I believe traditions and old stories should not be forgotten.
What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
This is a difficult question because I have never thought of any other option. Maybe I would be a cook! I love cooking and I feel it also needs creativity, experimentation, mistakes, and success. The final result is meant to be eaten and will disappear, but the process and the work you do with your hands is similar to painting.
Also, the colors of food and the way you display them on the dish and on the table is a way of creating a short-lived art piece. Paintings are a way of keeping this culinary art forever!
Have you found any other artists on SINGULART whose work you admire?
Yes of course!! On SINGULART I find so many different styles that when I dive into the website I can spend hours on it. There are many great artists that I admire. Most of the artworks of the artists I like best have nothing to do with mine! I admire the pieces that would be difficult for me to do.
Among the artworks that I love, there are two kinds: the art that I would hang in my home, and the art that I love to admire, but wouldn’t acquire. I think artworks on SINGULART are definitely pieces to live with. I also find it amazing how the artists of different cultures and countries express their art in such different ways, and on SINGULART we can find so much diversity.
What advice would you give to young artists starting out?
The art world is beautiful, but difficult. You really have to love and be passionate about your work and you must be sincere with yourself. Never think about what others will think of your art, instead focus on your own thoughts and feelings. Good art never goes out of fashion!
We all want to earn a living with our art, but this can be very difficult. An artist may start to think about what art collectors want. I think this is a mistake because art, for me, is something much more personal. It’s an adventure that entails looking for something, finding it, and starting over again. There are no two days in the studio that are the same, not two pieces that have the same path.
The happiness of finishing an artwork that you are proud of is something that compensates for the insecurity of this life.