Juan José Garay is a Spanish artist whose paintings have been exhibited nationally, as well as in the United States and Switzerland. His artistic journey began with still-lifes, figures, and characters. It has evolved into abstract expression. While the subjects in Garay’s compositions are diverse, he describes the common thread as being the shapes, painting in movement, and colors that fuse. We sat down with Juan José Garay to talk about his current projects, inspiration, and the start of his artistic career.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Since my childhood, I knew that what I wanted was to one day become a great painter. My mother has a degree in Art and I remember accompanying her every Saturday to the best museums and exhibitions that took place in Madrid.
Thanks to her friends I could get in contact with the owners of great galleries and I was able to meet and connect with great painters. I learned about different artistic movements that were developing in Spain at that time. My passion for art and artists made me fond of drawing and painting.
After this initial stage, I became fond of drawing and painting pictures of the great masters. I remember that I was always told that I preferred to be given books of artists and comics instead of toys. I have fond memories of my first paintings.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
From a very young age, I remember reading the great art books that my mother consulted. I was lucky enough to enjoy the great library that my family owned and spent hours reading and studying the different artistic styles and the great biographies of the artists.
On the other hand, I also remember starting to draw and being inspired by the black paintings of Francisco Goya. I became passionate about the paintings of Pablo Ruiz Picasso and Salvador Dali. However, I have most enjoyed the Abstract Movement. One of my favorite styles and inspiration is the technique of Jackson Pollock. It is fascinating and I really enjoy painting in his style.
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
From an artistic point of view, I am lucky to have my own studio. From experience and knowledge and with several friends who are painters, the process of creating a painting is generally very lonely. Normally when I start a new project, I spend many hours alone in my studio and my only companion is usually my dog “Coco.” Since he was a puppy, he has always accompanied me to the studio. I have to admit that more than once he has come back covered in paint.
From a commercial point of view, I’ve been called to collaborate on artist group shows and charities. I’ve always enjoyed all kinds of artistic styles and movements.
Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?
I have just finished several large-format project commissions for various private collectors.
But the most curious project has been a special commission by a collector from Japan for his great company. He has selected me along with two other artists and sent us all the material for the process of creating the painting. The painting is a large format painting (600x200x0.3cms). The period of execution of the painting has been very short, but it has been worth it. During the creation of the painting, I had plenty of materials and I made another 648x220x0.3 painting for myself. I will make it available on SINGULART shortly. The collector has been pleasantly satisfied and his initial expectations were exceeded. I have really enjoyed the assignment and have found a new client and friend.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I possibly would be an architect. For many years I have been working in the Technical Construction Office of a large Construction company in Spain. I have always liked the design and execution of buildings. From its off-plan start to its completion of construction.
Have you found any other artists on SINGULART whose work you admire?
I admire many artists who make up the great SINGULART family, but I have a lot of admiration for Preston M Smith, Carla Sa Fernandes, Nestor Toro, Ronald Hunter, Lucy Moore, and Max Yaskin.
What advice would you give to young artists starting out?
Honestly, I am not one to give advice to anyone. However, to everyone who has the desire to paint. My advice is to paint and draw everyday. It does not matter if it is while they are talking on the phone or watching television. Paint, paint, paint, and draw. And if they can’t because they don’t have materials at that moment then draw with your mind every day and never stop creating.