Carlos Genova is an artist with a distinctive style based in Mexico. He has participated in various solo shows in Merida and Mexico city, in addition to collective shows. His last show was at the Senate of the Republic in Mexico City on October 6, 2016 where he showed 25 paintings. He also has an upcoming book release with a retrospective of the last 9 years of art published by SEDECULTA nationwide with over 200 paintings.
It’s exciting for us to be able to showcase Carlos as our most recent “spotlight” artist. We were struck by the whole worlds that seem to live within his paintings and the emotions evoked that are not so easy to find a name for. The staff also had a conversation with him about his work, which you can read below.
How did painting become your form of artistic expression?
I don’t have a memory other than painting as a form of communicating since I was a child. When I was 6, I took realistic classes to paint because at that time it was fun to use the proper space to paint, instead of my mom’s walls, curtains, and vinyls. I fell in love with the smell and the essence of being for the first time at the studio of a real painter. Then at 17 , in London, that was the punch. I saw great artists such as van Gogh, Picasso, Modigliani. I saw the textures, the mass of paint and aggressiveness of the strokes and fell in love immediately with it. Sometimes I try to write songs or poems, but it doesn’t get closer to the passion of standing on a 6 x 8 feet white canvas…
What type of themes tend to appear in your work?
It is a combination of multicultural worlds. I base mostly on the oneiric and music personas, but it has evolved to shapes of my imagination, like seeing an x-ray of the figures that I used to paint. I love music and tales of different cultures but mostly Mexican culture, and wildlife.
Are there any colors you feel drawn to? Why?
Not really — I paint with the color that I find at my studio. I don’t like to be restrained by a color because there is beauty and feeling in every one of them. I used to paint a lot of blue ones because I had a shipment that was double the size of what I asked for. But mostly I work with all of them in trying not to lose the spirit of what is been created by itself. I don’t control the colors—they control me. Sometimes I want a painting in white and it ends up in purple. That was the decision of the canvas, not mine.
Do you think there somethings that you can communicate through painting instead of language?
Yes, my deepest secrets are buried there, if you look closely. My dreams and history. The world beyond. The fact that in this world do not exist some of my figures it does not mean that they don’t exist. There are many secrets, especially about lost loves that coexist in my paintings. Also the pain and fears that I have experienced.
Who are your favorite artists and why?
Tamayo has to be one of them. I love his colors and textures. He is a great representative of Mexican folklore and culture. I admire Picasso because of his versatility to paint what was, is and will be. I love Willem de kooning for his aggressiveness in the beginning. His last works where like melodies and more simple but beautiful.
What are you working right now?
One is sending six paintings to Paris to close a deal with a solo show with Fernando Padilla, who is my dealer outside Mexico, the other is finishing my art book with Sedeculta, and the third is the exploration of the figures and completely beautiful chaos that I called the series “milk,” which is based on the origins of past figures I’ve made. These are large format paintings (2.5 x 1.85 mts) and I want to do 10 of them. It’s like I said before: an x- ray, looking inside the characters I made in my illusions and dreams, but mostly I think I’m looking inside my self.
You can find more of his work on his instagram @carlos_genova_arte or his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CarlosGenovaArt.