In this interview, we delve into the multi-faceted work of artist Daniel Arteaga, whose creative process encompasses painting, printmaking, performance and street art. Arteaga’s art captures the essence of places, memories, and dreams, while exploring themes of reflection, belonging, and movement. Inspired by artists such as Monet, Avery Singer, and Peter Doig, his pieces range from abstract to figurative, creating a sense of momentum and connection with the viewer. His work is also influenced by his interest in philosophy and his personal experiences of migration from Colombia to London.
Daniel Arteaga: I’ve been working on the Titles project, creating small landscape paintings on wooden boards, based on the locations I encountered during my bike rides. These pieces explore the idea of reflection and belonging through image-based titles that capture the essence of a place.
Kelly Foster: So, the title is the image itself, capturing the essence of a place through the image rather than its name?
DA – Yes, my work focuses on the essence of a place, and the idea of reflection is a recurring theme. I’m interested in how these installations create a connection with the viewer, who may recognize the place through the image.
KF – Your exhibition pieces seem to depict anonymous places, with abstract figures. Is that a reflection of trying to remember something?
DA – With these paintings, technique is crucial. I use screen painting to create layers of paint that emphasize shapes and forms, resulting in a sensation or vibration reminiscent of memory, the past, and dreams.
KF – Can you tell me about your printmaking and how it relates to your painting?
DA – I’ve separated my printmaking from my painting, but I’m interested in how different elements can work together or how I can structure something unrelated and see if it works. For instance, I realized I could do paintings using printing techniques.
KF – Your works exude energy through color and vibration, with movement and time depicted in various ways. Are you inspired by philosophy?
DA – Yes, I’m drawn to Martin Heidegger’s philosophy because he explores the meaning of being in a profound way, which is the kind of depth I strive to achieve in my paintings.
KF – Your transition from Colombia to London must have been difficult. How has it influenced your work?
DA – The experience of migration and movement has encouraged me to create work that reflects my journey and search for a sense of home and memories.
KF – Your prints are intriguing. Do you screen them or use airbrush?
DA – These are screen prints created in my studio. I find it amazing how technology allows us to gain more control over the image and discover new ways to create, resulting in a modern form of painting done digitally but printed using traditional methods.
KF – The process of basing your work on a photo, abstracting it, and then transferring it to a mechanical process before painting it by hand is truly intriguing.
DA – I enjoy experimenting in my own way. I’m inspired by Monet, Avery Singer, and Peter Doig. I’m also fascinated by generative art.
KF – Was there a particular artist who inspired your approach to printmaking, airbrushing, and painting?
DA – Avery Singer’s airbrushing technique inspired me. Growing up in a family of carpenters, I was always fascinated by the use of spray paint and the sound of the mechanics involved.
KF – Your work ranges in abstraction. Some pieces are more figurative, while others are more abstract. This progression could be connected to the motion you’re trying to achieve with the frames, creating a sense of momentum.
DA – Yes, that’s an interesting observation. I recently completed a new painting inspired by the light in England. The figure in the painting is more of an outline, barely discernible among the colors.
KF – I’m intrigued by the variety in your other pieces as well. Some have a mix of vertical and horizontal elements, while others play with color bands, reminiscent of Bridget Riley, Gerhard Richter, or color field painters.
DA – Yes, it’s all about the sensation and the experience the viewer has with the artwork. I appreciate this concept of creating these effects.
KF – Your project with creating small paintings and pasting them in the street is an interesting aspect of your process I didn’t know about.
DA – Yes, this is not on my website. I have fond nostalgia for this process because I truly enjoyed doing it. It allowed me to connect places with their stories, like street art or graffiti.
KF – And you created sketches of people in the underground in real time?
DA – Yes, they were one or two-minute drawings. I believe it’s important to keep pushing boundaries and not limit oneself. I don’t want to deny any part of my artistic journey, as that is the path to growth and evolution.
In conclusion, Daniel Arteaga’s art is characterized by a unique fusion of traditional printmaking techniques, digital technology, and painting, resulting in a captivating body of work. His pieces reflect his personal journey and search for a sense of home, while also exploring themes of memory, reflection, and belonging. Arteaga’s dedication to pushing boundaries, experimenting with new processes, and continually evolving as an artist ensures that his work remains fresh, engaging, and thought-provoking. By capturing the essence of a place and creating a connection with the viewer, Arteaga invites us to delve deeper into the world he has created and experience the profound depth and meaning behind his work.