Gorka Mohamed & Matías Sánchez

ENTREVISTA Gorka Mohamed

How would you describe your contribution to the Truck Art Project?

An innovative project that escapes from the usual patterns of the art exhibition.

How do the two sides of the truck engage in dialogue?

In my case, they’re not interrelated works. However, I was sure I wanted one image to be of a moving person and the one on the other side to be a static object.

What do you see as the challenges of the project?

The main challenge was the size. Although I’d painted graffiti in an earlier phase, this time I was facing large dimensions with house painter’s brushes and acrylic paint. That meant a technical challenge. Gradually, throughout, after the sessions, I adapted to the medium.

How does this project fit into your artistic development and discourse?

For me, it’s been a breath of fresh air because it got me out of the routine of the studio, connecting me in a way with the time when I painted in the streets of Barcelona with Zosen and other artists from the Ovejas Negras collective. Personally, it was very enriching to work in a medium where you were in daily contact with the curator of the project, the magnificent team from Palibex, my truckmate Matías Sánchez, and other artists I happened to interact with during the fraction of time it took us to paint the lorry. There was a lot of talk and laughter, which gave me very good memories of the whole experience.

Some artists admit they arrived with a preconceived idea which they then had to modify, or which grew in other directions when they were confronted with a support like this. Was that your case?

I went with a quick sketch of what I wanted to do, and the way I confronted it was very instinctive. Every morning, when I got to the place where they had the truck and my eyes were still fresh, I took my decisions on how I was going to advance during the day. In the case of my first side of the truck, I painted a headless chicken walking along with an elongated neck that turned into an amiable phallus. However, once the truck was on the road, the driver told us there had been complaints about the image, and I had to adapt it a little to the audience that might receive the work. At the same time, things like this also make you see the limits of creating a public piece, and it’s interesting as a social analysis of the environment through the reactions the work is liable to provoke. On the second side of the truck, I let myself go and the image went in other directions where I allowed myself to be more chaotic and technically more expressive.

How have you envisaged the reception of a work like this one, which is found rather than sought out by the spectator, and which doesn’t circulate through the usual artistic channels?

My main approach in that respect was to imagine what I would like to see if I were driving along a highway and a painted truck suddenly sped past. I opted for an image with an incongruent and enigmatic character.

And the fleetingness of its reception?

It’s truly fantastic to see a painting at motorway driving spee—or static, in a traffic jam—and it’s curious to think that the audience is totally fortuitous and variable.

How did you tackle the scale? Were you used to it?

With great enthusiasm. I mean that it was great fun for me to have so many metres to paint, and to work at height in the elevator cage. It’s a fresh experience to work on an image where the surface is far taller than I am. It’s quite a powerful sensation to be surrounded wherever you look by the very image you’re creating. It’s like finding yourself thrust into a film set that you’ve made yourself.

What do you get out of participating in a project like this, and what do you think you contribute to it?

I think it’s a symbiosis between the two, where both sides come out the richer for it. And I hope the project keeps moving in every sense.

What’s the interesting thing about a project like the Truck Art Project?

That it’s dynamic and innovative with regard to the standardised structures of art, that it poses new and necessary challenges, and that it’s supported Spanish artists, providing essential help for our national artistic produce.

GORKA MOHAMED

Gorka Mohamed (Santander, 1978) graduated with a degree in Art and Design from the Massana School in Barcelona and holds a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College in London. His work shows the tension between an irrational side and fixed and organised structures in a process of sculptural construction through pictorial language. Heavily influenced by the Spanish Baroque, his production displays traces of Golden Age costume and is reminiscent of Velázquez and El Greco. His work can be found in various collections, among them Fundación Coca-Cola, Museo Patio Herreriano in Valladolid, Caja Madrid, Fundación Centenera and Goldsmiths College at the University of London.

MATÍAS SÁNCHEZ

Matías Sánchez (Tübingen, Germany, 1972) began his artistic career at the Galería Cavecanem in Seville in 2001. A self-taught painter, he draws inspiration from expressionism to construct a violent painting impregnated with satire and removed from fashions or trends. Sánchez uses his work as a loudhailer for understanding the society we live in, over-exposed to images from television or sensationalist publications. His career in the contemporary art market began at ARCO 2002, where he won great public and critical acclaim. His works are to be seen at various contemporary art centres, such as the CAAM – Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas and the CAC – Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga.