Guillermo Vázquez Zamarbide

Art and culture

Argentinian painter and architect living in Tenerife

“With my painting I want people to be encouraged to seek 

its center and harmonize with the universe in some way.”

Who is Guillermo Vázquez Zamarbide?

I started out as a seeker, and now I’m more likely to find things. You have to be a witness, let things happen and interfere as little as possible. With painting you become a kind of channel and everything is interpreted about what happens in a pure state and what changes it when it is handled. For 3 years I have been developing sensations close to the superficial unconscious, the one close to the dream. This kind of inner path I am on has given me many arguments for painting.

With your exhibitions you try to arouse feelings that invite to self-observation. “Intimate symbols”, “Eternity in the moment” are some of your titles. Where does this need come from?

Basically, it comes from a radical change in life. I have tried to capture the encounters that life suggests and to capture the things that gave me a certain peace. Loneliness becomes society when you realize that you can rely on yourself.

Why do you think there is a connection between a person and your work?

I believe in Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious, according to which the psyche expresses itself beyond reason. In a way, there is a system of symbols that we carry latently within us, either because we have experienced them or because they come from somewhere. I think that if a person is addressed by a picture, it is because it has touched his heart in some way.

Do you consciously intend to cause this reaction when you are working on a piece?

I think this work will come. I try not to attract it too much, but rather to leave it naked. It should reach the viewer directly. I’m very interested in developing the concept of complementary opposites that I think occur in life and in painting. There are colors that sensitize more than others. They are colours that harmonize more with the tonality with which we dream.

What is your work process?

I paint every day. I try to capture the muse through my work. I get up, prepare a mate and if I still feel the connection with what I know is there, then I go to the canvas. They are intense works, but they don’t remain unfinished for long. As long as it’s not a large-format painting, everything you do on the canvas changes with every movement. It needs an immediate reaction so that I can produce the textures that I want to achieve with my palette. It’s a very direct technique.

How has architecture influenced your work, being an architect?

Above all in the technique, in the perspective and in having the concept very consolidated. This allows me to abstract myself from a normal point of view. The motivation part doesn’t come from architecture. My approach comes from a vision that I perceive.

In your work the landscape is present, but it is rather an inner landscape. What do you want to demonstrate?

I want people to dare to look for their center and harmonize with the universe in some way. It is a way of finding oneself. Like a map to go deeper and find your own way; a way you fall in love with in the end when you find it. For me the goal in life is to live in a state of love and to pass this love on to the whole world.

Do you think that the dichotomy that arises when we approach the subconscious and of which you talk a lot in your work influences creativity in some way?

I think that creativity is a way to destroy, to set things in motion, to start something new and to break out of already existing schemes. To dive into another world that is utopian. This is the part that distinguishes us from animals. By being aware of ourselves, we have this ability and privilege to create things that are good for all of us.

And finally, what would you say to a person standing in front of one of your works for the first time?

I think people who are a little desperate can identify more quickly with my work than a happy person. If you ask yourself questions and you are not in that state of comfort where you don’t have to think about anything, you are more sensitive to everything. This is essential, for example, to understand a poem or a painting. The state of comfort kills in my opinion the artist, brings him into a kind of lethargy in which there is nothing to say. Art is a kind of genius that will appear as soon as you have an open heart.

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