AS IS | Salustiano

Artist

From Sevilla, Spain

Based in Sevilla, Spain


Salustiano creates striking portraits that often position the subject on a red background. His style became known for its Renaissance-inspired precision. We talked about his art journey, creative rituals, ways to experience art, favorite books, and much more


A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?


S: I spent my childhood in the Countryside where my chance to be in a close touch with Nature was considerably enhanced by a very limited choice of toys I had to amuse myself. I have always believed that this circumstance made me develop a special sensitivity that has allowed me to see things in their ultimate essence. I am convinced that this attitude towards an objective reality is called for to become an artist or a scientist.

A: What inspires you the most?


S: Life as a whole is my source of inspiration. Observing people is paramount to me; see what things excite them and thus be able to unravel the mechanism that unleashes their emotions to use them as the raw material of my work.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?


S: I cant’t work in silence. I often play classic 50’s movies with a lot of dialogue in the background

A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (whether artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

S: For the viewer I think it would be very important to get away from the complex of "not understanding" art. It is curious that many people strive to "understand" contemporary art. On the contrary, no one asks to "understand" the music. Music moves you or it doesn’t. Nor does anyone need to understand a Gothic cathedral to be overwhelmed when entering it. Art moves you or it doesn’t move you. Art happens.


I would tell young artists to work hard and never be self-complacent.

A: What are your three favorite adjectives related to art?


S: The art must be exciting, it must be executed well and must be respectful to the viewer.


For me, emotion is a key word in contemporary art. In recent years in the art world, artists have tried to flee from 'emotion': saturated with every kind of visual stimulus, they have been more concerned with making an 'impact' on the spectator than in touching an emotional fibre. I strongly believe that emotion should be the principal motivation and purpose of the artist. For centuries art has emotionally impacted upon, moved or even perturbed the spectator; and this interior movement has contributed to the evolution of mankind.


I also think that even if the artist intends to stimulate the intellect of his or her audience, then this should be done through emotion. Another key for me in art is technique: in order to 'inject' a particular emotion into the spectator, you must use the appropriate means or medium. But we should not make the mistake of 'losing ourselves' in technique: the means should never be the end. Today, thanks to a world of information, techniques from both the past and the present are all within our reach. As such, what is truly important is not the technique that you use, but how you use it to transmit what you wish to transmit.


Another word which I think should be key in contemporary art is respect, towards those who are going to view your work. We should always work keeping in mind that the spectator is a person who is prepared on both an emotional and an intellectual level. This, which seems so obvious, seems less so when you see some of the works on show at art fairs and galleries.


To give the best of ourselves, we artists must be conscientious in our preparation, just as other professionals are in other walks of life: scientists, astronauts, or tightrope walkers.



A: The best angle to look at art is from ...?


S: From the front, with the eyes of the child we once were.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ...?


S: Ummm, the perfect phrase I don’t know . But it might be nice to start with: “What would you like to drink?"

A: Must-read books to help us talk about art (or do we even need them)?


S: Principles of Art History by Heinrich Wolfflin, The Story Of Art by E.H. Gombrich or

Social History of Art by Arnold Hauser

A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?


S: That only those people who love it should dedicate themselves to art. Currently there are so many individuals that dedicate themselves to art only for economic reasons, and this is doing a lot of damage to the credibility of contemporary art.

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art).


S: I leave you here 3 phrases from Matisse with which I feel identified:


“I have decided to keep my torments and concerns to myself so as to express nothing more than the beauty of the world and the joy of painting.”

“I have always tried to hide my battles, wishing that my works had the lightness and joy of spring, which makes no one imagine the efforts it has required.”

“I spent my whole life in lockdown.”



Thank you!


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