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Ernesto Cánovas Meet the Artist Ernesto Cánovas Meet the Artist
5 April 2024

Ernesto Cánovas

Meet the Artist
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Contemporary artist Ernesto Cánovas employs a multi-layered practice of painting, drawing, printmaking and photography. Cánovas' artworks are heavily worked and only realised through careful contemplation. Influenced by history, cinema, and popular culture, and exuding an ironic and somewhat discerning sense of obscurity, the subject matter is not always clarified. By combining the vocabulary of Pop Art with sources from old and new media, he successfully produces work that captures everyday snapshots, presenting the viewer with a duality from which the perceived truths are questioned and re-fashioned.
Q: Where are you from? A: I am from Barcelona, but I always like to say that I’m Mediterranean -...
Ernesto Cánovas
Matisse Bookshelves, 2023
Mixed media and resin on wood
122 x 210 cm

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from Barcelona, but I always like to say that I’m Mediterranean - I love the culture, the sea, the palm trees and everything associated with it.

Q: What inspired you to be an artist?

A: I am inspired by everything around me all the time, but what inspired me to be an artist the most was the freedom of expression that comes with the creative way of life.

Q: What was the inspiration behind your first collection?

A: My first series was about nature and the reflection of human beings in the natural world. My first series at èAV Gallery, An American Trilogy (2014), was called after a song made popular by Elvis Presley in the 70's. It was inspired by the American Dream, a subject that still interests me greatly today. 

Q: Tell us about your artistic process? A: I play with the appearing and disappearing image. I start with a...
Ernesto Cánovas
Fake News, 2018
Mixed media and resin on wood
150 x 100 cm

 

Q: Tell us about your artistic process?

A: I play with the appearing and disappearing image. I start with a photograph, either one of my own or one I have found that inspires me. I digitally manipulate the photo through a process involving reduction, magnification, and cropping. Most often, I transfer the manipulated image onto wooden panels, which I love, as the grain of the wood always comes into it and effects the way the colour distributes across the artwork. I then work directly onto the panels, building up layers with acrylic, ink and varnish to create a sense of depth, while still allowing an element of the original - the essence of the image - to show through. Sometimes to finish the artwork off I add splashes of colour, which I link to think represent a bit of hope.

Q: How has your artistic practice changed from your early days?

A: I would say the ability to immediately access information and imagery has impacted my practice the most. When I first started as an artist, we were living in a very analogue world which required a lot more research and time. Nowadays, we are bombarded with information constantly and this is something that informs the way I work today. I am evolving with the times.

Q: How do you know when a work is complete?

A: When a little voice in my head says ‘Go home! Leave the studio now before you over do it and mess it up!’

Q: What one piece of art had the biggest impact on you or your career?

A: I will try not to say El Guernica by Picasso and be a bit more original instead! But it is very difficult to name just one specific piece. However, I am a big fan of Japanese art, Ancient art and also Contemporary. Sigmar Polke is a contemporary artist that I admire a lot, so perhaps he has had the biggest impact.

Q: What is your favourite creation? A: That is impossible to answer - It’s like choosing between my children! But...
Ernesto Cánovas
Razzamatazz, 2017
Mixed media on aluminium
199.9 cm x 130 cm
Q: What is your favourite creation?
 
A: That is impossible to answer - It’s like choosing between my children! But if I had to… some of my abstract colour paintings about night life would be at the top of the list, such as Razzamatazz (2017), which is one of my larger canvases and is an abstract exploration of colour. It is named after one of my favourite places to go out in Barcelona and so the painting brings back a lot of nostalgia and good memories!
  
Q: What do you want to do next?
 
A:  Well, I just returned to the subject of The American Dream, or the Californian Dream to be more precise, which is a topic I always love to examine. I grew up watching American TV and films, listening to American music and immersing myself the culture. Observing over time how America has evolved and changed compels me to return to the subject matter. My own personal practice has also gone through its own evolution, and so it is interesting to explore the progression of this topic artistically.
 
Q: What colour combinations do you find most inspiring in your work? 
 
A: This is a difficult question for an artist. I have worked a lot with neon colours in the past, but I have recently taken to combining them with pastel colours too which is an exciting development in my practice. I think if I had to choose just one, I would say orange is my signature colour. 
 
If you are interested in adding Ernesto Cánovas to your collection, speak with one of our art consultants today - info@halcyongallery.com

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