My recent work has been shaped by a keen interest in craftsmanship and ‘outsider’ artistic expressions. I’ve centred on hands-on pieces and pushed ideas into the background: it’s a case of working because I feel something and not because I think something.
I reached this way of working after feeling a longing for manual work, which I see as a form of creativity and therefore freedom.
These ideas are intimately linked to an ideological position based on going back to basics – a political position within our hyper-industrialised society that has neutered our most valuable powers.
1. What made you choose art as a profession?
So people wouldn’t tell me what to do.
2. How would you define your work?
I don’t see myself as having any work yet. I’ll talk about my work when I’m seventy and still going strong. I understand someone’s work as a long-term concept. My work is based more on doing than on ideas. I do stuff because I feel something, not because I think something –doing something creatively.
3. What subjects are you interested in?
4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
Paint and canvas.
5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
I only understand art from the perspective of reality. Everything’s here: the rational and the irrational.
6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
To produce ideas; it’s a means of expression and communication that should transmit creativity and make us more critical and free.
7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I’m aiming at anyone and everyone who wants to see my work.
8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I spent four years in the Department of Fine Art at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and two years at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. What I value most are my years in Berlin; the university in Madrid didn’t do much for me. In Berlin I had the chance to be in contact with teachers such as Lothar Baumgarten, Rebecca Horn and Baselitz. This was very important for me; when you’re a student, these stimuli are vital for realising that it’s possible to choose art as a profession.
9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
Work, work and more work. Art is a long-distance race; if you haven’t trained properly, you’re in trouble.
10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
People who don’t make a living from their work either don’t work enough or spend more than they earn – which is another point that’s worth making, an attitude of “I haven’t got money for food, but I spend everything I have on production”. You have to be realistic and practical if you want to be professional about this. I don’t invest much in production; this is a basic premise in my work, so economic considerations are not a hurdle to carrying on with my work. I’ve always got paper and a pencil to hand.
11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I expect them to do their job well; they play an important role in the art world as a link with institutions. I do think that promoters and curators should be separate professions.
12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
Madrid hasn’t got a great arts scene, and the problem lies with the education system, because there aren’t any good arts departments in Spain in general. University should act as a bridge to professional life and in Spain that’s simply not the case. Another key factor for creating strong networks is making sure the baton is passed on to new generation, which doesn’t happen in Madrid, although it does in the Basque Country, for example. You get the feeling that Madrid has a very provincial attitude towards art.
Antonio Ballester Moreno
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Madrid.
Se busca equipo para acción furtiva, Taller con Jon Mikel Euba, Centro Párraga, Murcia.
Licenciatura en Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid.
Universität der Künste, Berlin.
Exposiciones Individuales (Selección)/Selected Solo Exhibitions
Anti, Peres Projects, Berlin.
Antonio Ballester Moreno, PMK, Seoul.
Antonio Ballester Moreno, Galería Maisterravalbuena, Madrid.
Gallo rojo, Gallo negro, Laboratorio 987, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, MUSAC, León.
Hunter House & Bear Suit Number Two, Peres Projects, Los Angeles.
Bärkostum, Peres Projects, Berlin.
Stay High, Espacio Abisal, Bilbao.
Greens, Galería DF. Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela.
Just a little Crime, New Dominions, Los 29 Enchufes/Invernaderocultural, Madrid.
Clean Sponsors, Sala de exposiciones del Centro de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid.
Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
Antes que todo, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, CA2M, Móstoles, Madrid.
Narraciones extraordinarias, Off Loop 10, Barcelona.
Get behind me satan and push, Peres Projects, Berlin.
La liberación cómica, masArt Galería, Barcelona.
Minneapolis, Peres Projects, Los Angeles.
Creador de Dueños, Off Limits, Madrid.
Existencias, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, MUSAC, León.
No futuro, Organización Nelson Garrido, Caracas.
Entresijos y Gallinejas, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, CASM, Barcelona.
Certamen Internacional d'Arts Plàstiques, Museu de Pollença, Mallorca.
Video a la carta, Galería DF. Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela.
Off LOOP Video Festival, Barcelona.
CIRCUITOS XV Edición, Sala de Exposiciones del Centro de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid.
VIDEOMETAL II Edición, El Laboratorio, Madrid; Hangar, Barcelona.
Aggregat, Völksbühne Pavillon, Berlin.
Zeit Zone, Galerie Haus Schwarzenberg, Berlin.
Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Beca de Creación Artística, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y
León, MUSAC, León.
Beca Propuestas 2004, Fundación Arte y Derecho.
Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museum and Collections
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, MUSAC, León.
Jerry Speyer Collection, New York.
Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, CA2M, Móstoles, Madrid.
Peres Projects Berlin-Los Angeles
Schlesische Str. 26, 10997, Berlin
Galería Maisterra Valbuena, Madrid
Doctor Fourquet, 1, 28012, Madrid