A while back I mentioned creating a section here titled "Fellow Artists", in which hoped to feature the work of... well, fellow artists. This has evolved into an interview type format to share with you a little more than just the visual. I want to share the wisdom and art spirit of my peers, which I find so enriching when picking their brains at openings or other events upon meeting them. I hope you find these Q&As as insightful and motivational as I do.

We kick the series off with Vicky Barranguet, a brilliant artist from Uruguay living and working in NYC. I've been following her work for years and finally met her and her work in person last week. I think it's very appropriate to start with this powerful force of creativity on International Women's Day.

Vicky in her studio

 

How do you describe your body of work?

Ever changing. An expression of the moment that we live in and that we go through.  What I go through and what affects me. Each painting is different, and I try to respect whatever the moment inspires, new emotions and energy from different sources. I hardly repeat myself.

 

Who are your influences?

My kids, Lola and Simone, my husband Gustavo, through his music, and every artist, it always inspires me to see what other people have to say through their work. My teachers, Larry Poons, Frank O'Cain and especially William Scharf.  Kandinsky, de Kooning, Kline, Mitchell, Motherwell, Rothko, Twombly, Rauschenberg, Basquiat, El Anatsui, Cecily Brown, are some of my favorite artists.

"Smilie", acrylic on canvas, 36x48 inches, 2016​​

How did you arrive at the work you paint now?

I have been painting for 20 years, now. My painting went through many cycles, figure and abstract, monochromatic and full color, and it keeps changing. 

 

When did you decide this was a career path for you?

 Suddenly, I found myself doing more painting than anything else.  I started getting involved with galleries, artists, curators, and exhibitions and trying to promote my art in a more professional way. Today I am very happy to be a full-time artist. This is possible because of the recognition and support of many people, professionals, friends and family, that believe in my work and made me trust more in what I do. 

 

Your worst art exhibit experience ever?

I got invited to a one-day exhibit, they told me that the exhibit was up for four hours or so, and it seems like not too many people came, so they left early, other artists had picked up their paintings and when I got there 2 hours before it would close, only my painting was there. It was sad! 

"True Love", acrylic on canvas, 77x112 inches, 2015

What is the biggest misconception people have of female artists?

Let's ask the Guerrilla Girls...

 

What is the meaning of success for you?

To be able to work from love and passion, to keep creativity alive and be able to express your point of view and show your voice, in a sincere way, to be able to follow your intuition. To be able to stay focused, while having a family and being a parent. And of course to make a living from what you love to do, would be and is great! 

 

If you weren't an artist what profession or path would you have chosen?

For sure something creative, also I would love to do something related to helping people in need... which I try to do through my art whenever I find the opportunity.

 

What is the role of the artist in today's world?

The same as always.

 

What's next for you / what are you working on?

Getting ready for my next exhibit in London, end of March, at The Other Art Fair.

 

Vicky's website: http://www.vickybarranguet.com

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When she stabbed me

two things happened to me which

I found to be all the more tragic. 

Yesterdays became less important

    and most relationships disposable.

 

© 2014 Franck de las Mercedes


En un rincón En una lista más Tu cara hoy ya madura vuelve a aparecerse

Nuestra juventud, verdad que un sorbo fue
Sólo los recuerdos nos vuelven a querer

© 2009 Franck de las Mercedes


En este espeso silencio en que ni el vértigo se siente, la incredulidad del vacío rumora. La abuela no se da ni presta para asuntos de espantos, ni se le permite entrar en la onda supersticiosa; mucho menos a larga distancia para poder despedirse. Uno aprende a lamer heridas propias y a morder las monedas de la memoria, pero nadie enseña a penar, lejos de donde nace el luto. Frente a tan solo a un improvisado ritual, acompañado de una vela y el sonreír de su foto, la realidad se torna macabra y burlona al llorar a la extinta ya previamente ausente. Y en la noche del solitario velorio entra a acompañarme una inútil pregunta: ¿Ahora qué nos pesará más; el frio tímido de tus ausencias o el yugo terco de la mía?

© 2015 Franck de las Mercedes


The darker side of me conceals an ugly child
surrounded by revolving unknown visitors, while being nurtured by a pimp-like toothless beast with a very dark mustache 
Still… I’m polite to them 

 

© 2015 Franck de las Mercedes


Hoy que dios es un inocente misil guiado por láser
es urgente dejar un rastro bello
que quizás encuentre un futuro arqueológico enterrado en la arena.

© 2014 Franck de las Mercedes


My life is here

A wandering place within

A lining of brick-edged structures and graffiti grandiosity fading into guesses

I didn’t pick this new turn in my time and soles

I have yet to find out if I’m thankful

But my life is here now, it goes where I go, Uptown or Downtown

I have to keep on moving in this place within

I must keep on moving in this place within

 

 

© 2014 Franck de las Mercedes


Te levanta el verso con su rocío intrigante, el cual tu sabes que ha estado vigilando tu mente Tú no pediste el incognito ni el acertijo que hoy las vueltas y tu respirar no logran devorar
Levántate al misterio y su lejano fantasma; crías del dolor y el ruido maquinario
Eres un regalo a la aburrida noche que muy pocos sacrifican
Sumérgete pues en el vacío creativo e ignora con tinta y brocha el silencioso parloteo de la muerte

Nunca el deterioro de diente o hueso vencieron la visión parida por la pérdida de sueño.

© 2013 Franck de las Mercedes