I am with many projects and very busy but happy because they are all things related to art. Soon I will be sharing those projects and much more.
So, I share the transcription into English of a video interview they did to me for INA DAO
Bárbara Bezina: a fresh face in Argentinean contemporary art
I was asked to interview the visual artist Bárbara Bezina, in the context of the AMA Sessions organized by the female artists collective INA DAO. Bárbara is based in the rural area of Pocito, San Juan Province — far away from city life and its constant stimuli. She insists that all she needs to create is a calm environment that can enable her to explore her inner world, an infinite source of inspiration.
In this article, we intend to give a glimpse of her creative vision, along with her specific ways of communicating it. As we’ll see in the interview exert below, Bárbara’s language is characterized by a rich use of metaphors, which adds poetry to what is already intrinsically poetic: her visual work.
The inner call, 4768 x 6370 px, Digital art / Photomanipulation
— How did you start your path in the arts?
— It all started when I was very young. I was two years old and I already knew I was going to be an artist, although I had never done it before. I always drew, since I started I never stopped and I always took art very seriously. It seemed like pure magic to me, but I started dedicating myself full time to art 13 years ago.
— How did you feel that calling?
— It might be something a bit supernatural if I told you, but now I can explain it like this: somehow my current self told my little self what I was going to do in her life. And that’s the way to explain that I discovered lately, because at the age of two, I knew not only that I wanted to be an artist, but many things. That I was going to live in the mountains, that certain things were going to happen that all happened. So I already knew that. Because I told myself that. That’s the answer I have now. There is no such thing as time. So somehow one is always communicating with one’s self from all life, from all dimensions, I don’t know. But that’s how it is. I told myself that.
— Did you have a teacher?
— No, because I always drew, I did my own, and my mother sent me to Art School. But I was young and I went for a week and I got bored. I found it very boring. So I never went again. So everything I learned I learned by myself. Because I’m very much into learning by doing. So that’s how you learn. If you love what you do, the consequence is to learn it. Experimenting and experimenting all the time.
— It seems as if you started more with painting and then you went more into photography, is that so?
— Absolutely. I started drawing when I was very young, then painting and that’s what I did, I didn’t do photography at all. When I came to live in San Juan… Bruno is also an artist, he was going to college at that time and he had a good camera. I don’t know where I got it from, but I started to like the subject of photographic manipulation. Then I started to take pictures just for that. I mean, no, I wasn’t interested in photography itself. But I started to do that, to mix photos, generally self-portraits, because we live far away from the city, you see? So I had only me at hand, I started for that sole reason. I didn’t really like the idea of taking pictures of myself, now I love it, but not at that time. Then I started to mix it with photos of my paintings and drawings, that’s how I started and several years later I started with real photography, I really fell in love with photography, I think it’s amazing how much you can do. I really like to explore different things, not just the traditional.
— How is the experience of working with your body as an object, as a work of art?
— Incredible, because as I say, at the beginning, I felt uncomfortable, honestly. I don’t know. You don’t know how the body is from behind, how it is from the side, how it is from up close. Besides, I also had the urge to go to Photoshop to do other things, not just take pictures. On top of how difficult it is to do self-portraits because of a thousand technical things I can tell you. So it was a bit despairing at the beginning, but little by little I started. I think that knowing oneself inside and out is closely related. So, you make a simultaneous path of both things, to know yourself inside and outside. I live more in the world in the inner world, so the body sometimes surprises me to see the body. It is very interesting to see how time goes by and how the body changes, but let’s say that it is always focused on the artistic, on the aesthetic. So the question always goes that way. And I see it as one hundred percent self-knowledge, in every sense.
— Do you feel you have your own style?
— The truth is that I don’t know if I have my own style. I mean, others could tell me that maybe I do, but that’s not my intention at all. In fact, I’m a bit against that, which is imposed a bit by universities, by society in general, that you have to find a style and keep yourself there so that if someone sees your work they will recognize it, which is stupid. Because life is to live it, not to stay stuck in one place. I can’t see it that way. And besides, I do so many things. Maybe they have something in common. But if I stay there, I stop experimenting and trying new things and the truth is that it’s the most fun of making art. All the time I’m looking for things, trying things, it’s the most fun. I don’t know if I have a style, and I don’t know if I want to have one. And in any case I have a thousand styles. If you see the whole set, I have millions of different things that have nothing to do with each other and also through the years one varies. Everything I have is very diverse.
— Are there any recurring themes in your work?
— Like which ones?
— Like the body, for example.
— Is there anything more beautiful than that? The whole female body is a beauty wherever you look at it. The truth is that I don’t know if it is conscious. But I guess because I am a woman that I have a female body. There is so much sensitivity, so much depth, so much darkness too. I don’t know. Everything about women is very magical. The fact of the feminine. Men are very concrete and I like everything else a lot. It is very interesting. And it is something that is also very hidden, what is inside. Everything that is inside has to come out. That is why I am fully involved in the issue of supporting women artists. It is a path that each one does individually, isn’t it? But it is between all of us that we have to get out, that we have to let ourselves be seen. It seems that many women feel invisible, they don’t feel recognized, they don’t dare, for example, to raise the price of their works.
— Where do you find inspiration?
— In the inner world. Everything is there for me, it’s in the inner world, which is huge, gigantic. I don’t know, the truth is that I live there, more than anywhere else. And besides, we have also sought that life by living far from the city, with a huge garden with animals. It has its good things and its bad things, but we are both like that, of a lot of self-knowledge, of investigating, of exploring everything inside, because with what is inside you do what is outside. That’s also the reason for the price: everything inside can be seen outside. It is outside. And you can modify it, but it is a huge work. Because there are installed programs. From different places. And it is very difficult to uninstall and install new ones. Let’s say that’s what we do. And art is the best way for me to do that.
Black Sheep, 4768 x 6370 px, Digital painting
— You talk about uninstalling programs, or breaking patterns. Do you think it has to do with your piece Black Sheep?
— That work was related to the mother. And if I have to think about my mother, what it means, what she always said, is that she was the black sheep. There are lots of thing I don’t like about my mother. In many things, I don’t agree, many things that she has instilled in me, I have wanted to get rid of them and I can’t get rid of them at all. Well, the good and the bad that everything has. The whole relationship with the mother, right? And with the father. But the black sheep is something I think is good. I consciously accepted it because that’s what it’s all about, to break patterns, to do what you want to do in your own way. We are all different, if we listen to our true selves, there are all these ways of doing things that can be different and that’s the fun. I mean, something that works for one, surely doesn’t work for another and neither does it work for another. Why do we have to do everything the same? It doesn’t make sense, so that’s what black sheep is, to me. Let’s say that most of the things imposed by society, school, university, etc. are to keep you inside a closed tupperware, and it’s very boring. Where is the magic in life? No, I like the magic.
— And how does this relate to the piece Inner call?
Well, it’s about that relationship with oneself, with that I don’t know, that higher self, you can call it in a thousand ways, your soul, your spirit, that voice that’s inside. In other words, there is something else there besides the program. The program is stubborn, it does not want to change. It is terrified of changing. So, the true self has to go beyond that all the time, because it is a machine of always doing the same thing. So that inner calling is oneself. It is oneself from a higher place where you can see everything better. Where there are a thousand inner and outer worlds.
— When I looked at your work, I found the way you represent the female body and femininity quite countercultural. There is something that conveys a certain darkness and that would also be part of the feminine.
— Totally, it is a very powerful force, that is, what is inside. It is very powerful and that is why there is light and there is darkness. It is that without light there is no darkness, and the other way around. And that power is scary, but we all have it inside. It is very powerful, very, very, very, very powerful. It’s dark because it can destroy at one point. But I don’t know, I’m very attracted to the dark. The dark in the sense of mysterious. I mean, because sometimes, you see? It’s like the dark, as if it were terror, the bloody. All this is not really darkness for me. For me darkness is the mysterious. It’s the depths. That is darkness. And when you put the light there, many things come out.
— Tell us about your current projects, what are you working on?
— I came up with the idea of making a virtual museum of women’s art. I did it a week, two weeks ago. Suddenly the idea came to me because I want to do more things, it’s like it’s not enough for me just to do art, seeing the amount of artists, especially women, who are doing incredible things. The ones I like the most, the truth is that they should be much higher than they are. Because they are incredible. Especially in photography. Which yes, it’s gaining space, but the truth is that not like it should.
— How is it like your creative process? Do you have schedules to work with?
— It’s all the time for the last thirteen years. Life is art for me. It comes out easy because I let it out, it’s like it’s open. Luis Alberto Spinetta used to say that he felt he was connected to an infinite source of creative energy. I swear I had thought of it exactly in those words. For me that is my inspiration. It’s a source of creative energy that you can connect to. I always felt connected. Always. So it’s like that. It just keeps coming out. It’s like I feel like it’s coming out of here. It keeps going out, going out, going out, going out, going out. So you can’t stop doing it. And the truth is that I must have been connected since I was a child. To that source. And I don’t think I’ll ever disconnect. Because it’s wonderful. Try to connect. I don’t know if there’s a way to do it. But it’s there.
— Last question: what is art for you?
— I’ve already said other times, for me it’s magic. It’s pure magic. I can’t say anything else. It’s like I feel sparks inside. I don’t know how to tell you, you have like an enthusiasm, love, but it’s magic, pure magic for me.
If you wish to support Bárbara’s virtual museum of women’s art, please check their marketplace supported in objkt.com.
By Belén Zuazo
Here the original interview
Bárbara Bezina ♥