Chris saw his first computer at a science fair when he was in the seventh grade. He bought one with money saved up from his paper route and started to write his own computer video games late in 1980. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1990 with a degree in…
The first time a saw Rómulo’s work I got impressed by his great paintings and sculptures. Specially with his drawings and how real they look. I contacted him and he was so kind to accept to answer some questions for Graphic Magazine. Enjoy!
First of all, we would like to thank you for providing Graphic Magazine with this interview. Please tell us a little bit more about yourself and what made you become an artist.
I started drawing since I can remember… As time went by, it came to me that artistic creation had become the terrain where I felt comfortable. It made me feel good. I guess this was a good enough reason.
You have many macro sculptures, what do they mean to you?
Macro acts as camera lens, graduating the scale of measurements with which we perceive what we look at and breaking down the correspondence between the real size of an object and the size that we perceive depending on how far away from it we are. It acts as a kind of traditional magnifying glass that draws us closer to the object worthy of observation even when we keep an appropriate distance in order to view it.
Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where do you inspire from?
I am mostly inspired by objects we use in everyday life and hardly notice. Through my work, I want to make the public focus on these objects that constantly surround us, objects that we relate to. My intention is to give these objects new dimensions, strengthening their presence and inviting us to explore them, discovering hidden spaces and unnoticed nooks. I try to break down the physical laws that govern our logic as observers and place us before a growing world, with the same consequences that we would see as Shrinking Men walking through a reality made up of objects whose unsuitable size renders them functionally useless, existing on a scale that is no longer human.
Could you describe for us your typical ‘start to finish’ workflow when working on a project?
I usually structure my work in series. These series are for me the expression of a concept developed through a collection of works which also cover a certain spam of time. The important thing for me is the development of the series without ever forgetting the importance of each of the individual works, that while taking part of the whole, must also work on their own as unique pieces.
Based on the concept which I want to deal with on the series, my first task is to choose the element or object I want to use as a reference. After this, I take real life models, if necessary I take photographs as backup, and I prepare the materials with which to carry out the work. This includes a thorough investigation process concerning the technical procedures that the work will require.
Finally, there is the phase where I execute the work, which even though it is pretty clear since the beginning, it is always subject to improvisation and therefore to the search of adequate solutions as doubts and problems arise. This execution phase is, in my case, very long and it can take from weeks to months of work.
Once the piece is concluded comes the photographic documentation of the work. At this point I can consider the work to be finished and I am ready to start thinking about the next piece.
What is your favourite work?
I have to say that it is very difficult to choose from so many works, especially when each one of them is the result of so many hours of dedication, from the inception of the idea until I attain the final result. Each one of my works has something for me that makes it distinct from the rest. As I mentioned earlier, and even though I work in series, the need to create individual works with identity of their own has always been an important constant in my production.
Tell us a bit about your plans, are you thinking in creating new projects?
Yes, of course. I always try to work in a steady and constant way so that each project leads to another without pause. Right now I am working on a new series with which I will participate in The Solo Project in Basel this following month of June.
I am also working on a large scale piece which I hope to be presenting in Arco Madrid in its following edition, next year.
The workspace is important for an artist, can you describe yours?
I absolutely agree about the importance of the work space. Actually, right now I am in the process of moving. I recently left the studio where I worked for the past four years and I am currently working at my friend’s studio, who very generously offered to share his space with me until I find a new one for myself.
Reality bites I Polychromed polystyrene 129,5x114x25cm
How do you like to spend your free time?
Especially with my girlfriend and friends, I like outdoor activities….etc. It is very important for me to enjoy activities that have nothing to do with art. I think it is a good way to gain a certain objectivity regarding what one does and also, without even noticing, you get new ideas with which to nourish your future creative work at the studio.
Macro VIII Polichromed polystyrene 180x117x45cm
Thank you again for your time Rómulo, as a final word, what advice would you give to the young artists?
I think I would give them precisely the advice I would have liked to have had myself when I started working. Firstly, that it is possible to dedicate your life to what it is that makes you happy, as long as you are clear concerning the effort this will involve.
Secondly, as I briefly pointed out before, it seems to me that the secret to continue enjoying work at the studio lies precisely in the enjoyment of life outside the creative task. This definitely brings fresh ideas into mind as well as allowing to maintain the necessary objectivity towards one’s own work.