Few weeks ago, I came across Marciano Buendía`s fascinating sculptures at Kikekeller (Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 17, Madrid, Spain), a singular and ever-changing space for art and industrial design thought to be explored while you have a drink. All the pieces displayed are on sale, from the chair which you are sitting on to the surrounding sculptures and objects. The current exhibition (until 24.06.2014) shows part of Mr. Buendía`s captivating work made of ceramic and steel, which really fits in with the industrial and retro furniture designed by Enrique Keller.
↑ Kikekeller, Madrid
The best introduction to this unpretentious and devoted artist I had the pleasure of chatting to last week is his own manifesto:
‘There is little,
I can tell about my work.
I just do it.
Closer to strangers and people I will never get to know.
It`s never clear who is who.
Creations on the fly,
In the dead silence of my chaotic desk.
Walking up the ladder of the unknown.
Waiting for the future…
I am not afraid of you, STUPID!
The voices that soothe
— How did this project start?
Celia Montoya, founding partner of Kikekeller, saw my work madre-Madre-MADRE in a gallery few years ago and decided she wanted it here in an exhibition. We have made a selection of works from different periods of my career, carefully choosing their natural position within this particular place. As soon as a piece is sold, it is immediately replaced by another, following the changing nature of the space. At first, as Kikekeller is packed full of people at weekends, it didn`t look like the ideal environment to keep the works safe. However, people have turned out to be careful and considerate, even while having a drink! In fact, this kind of spaces have proved to be an alternative to traditional galleries. They move art away from the sacred white cube and open it to a greater variety of people.
↑ madre – Madre – MADRE
— The series of works called Citizens are really fascinating, not only aesthetically but also as a reflection of urban society. How did you come up with this idea?
A few years ago, four sculptors with nearby workshops – Rubén Polanco, Julián López, Ángel Fernández de la Morena and I – planned a collective exhibition about the city. I came up with the idea of the Citizens while working on a piece for that exhibition and thinking about the cities, the degree to which they isolate us from nature, turning us into a numbered and uniform mass in which individual identities fade away. The materials play a key role in conveying this idea: steel represents the city, the tough, harsh setting where the urban life takes place, whereas clay gives shape to the fragile and malleable citizens.
↑ Ciudadanos Contenidos IV
— Coming from Toledo – a traditional place for ceramics –, is there any link between your origin and the fact that clay is one of your favourite materials?
No, there isn`t. I moved to Madrid at eight and I had been working in theatre for several years before I learnt ceramics from a Swedish potter. Although at the beginning I started to make utilitarian objects such as boxes, little by little I found myself getting more involved in art. Later on, I studied the artistic qualities and behavior of other materials like steel in a school of arts and crafts.
— Could you talk a little bit about your creative process – from getting the idea to the finished object?
The creative process might be triggered by a topic, an image or daily-life events that, after years of self-discipline, I am able to channel into sculpture. Most of the Collages are the result of personal experiences whereas the Citizens, as I have just pointed out, came to my mind through working on a theme, the city. On numerous occasions I make models, tearing cardboard boxes apart. Regarding the Citizens, I always had a clear picture of the different variations so I only needed to make a sketch, mainly to specify the measurements of the steel. Despite having a small studio in Madrid and a roomy workshop in a village in Toledo, it is impossible to have the appropriate infrastructure for every material so, although I make the rusty finishes, I collaborate with a reliable blacksmith who builds the idea. In regard to clay, I use a traditional Japanese technique called Rakú. This technique consists of removing the pieces from the kiln when they are red-hot and placing them into a container filled with sawdust, dried leaves, or any other combustible material. Once the material has caught fire, the recipient is covered to extinguish the flame and the smoke stains the unglazed pottery black.
↑ Cobijo Ciudadano I
— Have gallerists got any kind of influence over the creative process?
I would never commit myself to a gallery that could constrain my work. I have always had the freedom to create what I feel like, and when I thought suitable, even when I worked for a Japanese dealer who acquired all my production for a year. If I had a pressing need for money I worked more intensely, but pottery needs time and it is not possible to shorten the drying process without risking quality. I believe it is a luxury working freely, without any pressure.
— What Spanish artists inspire you?
I am deeply moved by Jaume Plensa`s work. I am also very interested in many others who are not internationally acclaimed such as Julián López, Rubén Polanco, Ángel Fernández Sánchez de la Morena and Esther Pizarro.
↑ Individuos Dos
— What is your next project?
Even though I believe there is a consistent development throughout my career, I am currently working on something completely different from what I have made so far: a series of small Perspex boxes with tiny pieces. Working on these artistic projects means an emotional release. Although there is no denial that techniques play a key role in the artistic process, it is the inner expression and the connection with the beholder that really fulfills and rewards me.
See more works at www.marcianobuendia.com