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Interview with Santiago Ydáñez: "This painting represents the Collection, its history, having chosen one of the most emblematic artists, Julio Romero de Torres"
Interview with Santiago Ydáñez: "This painting represents the Collection, its history, having chosen one of the most emblematic artists, Julio Romero de Torres" Interview with Santiago Ydáñez: "This painting represents the Collection, its history, having chosen one of the most emblematic artists, Julio Romero de Torres"

2020.12.04


MAXAM Foundation - Press room - Interviews - Interview with Santiago Ydáñez: "This painting represents the Collection, its history, having chosen one of the most emblematic artists, Julio Romero de Torres"

How would Santiago Ydánez define his own work?
I would say that the way to define my work is in an organic, direct, simple and passionate way.

Your love for Nature defined your first vocation. What made you definitely dedicate yourself to painting?
I have been nurturing and have been interested in art in different ways, since childhood, although not directly with painting. I have always been a lover of Nature, my first vocation was to be a paleontologist, and I used to draw the birds in what is now my workshop to register them in a guide.

My artistic beginnings were from 0 when I began to study Fine Arts in Granada, I tried it and I was passionate about it. When I finished my studies, I dedicated myself to teaching for a couple of years. I had the courage to ask for the Botín Scholarship, which they awarded me and allowed me to continue working and to start exhibiting in galleries.

In your works there is a lot of autobiography. Where do you find inspiration?
In the environment, the landscapes. in the history of art, cinema, literature, in everything that surrounds me. Everything influences and at any moment you can find a spark that illuminates you, that inspires you. Land is very important to me, where I have my family, my friends forever. I have never lost the link of the Sierra del Segura. I did the largest workshop as a way to hold on, I enjoy here I feel at home, also in Granada or Berlin.

Why do you choose the reinterpretation of pieces as a way of working?
The reinterpretations of works are out of pure passion over which I choose. Working with a piece makes me enjoy that piece more and brings me closer to it than just looking at it.

Three years ago I started doing it more forcefully after a piece that I did in Rome, Caravaggio`s Martyrdom of Saint Peter, which I did three times in different finishing stages. Also in projects to which they invited me, such as Caravaca de la Cruz, where I painted a gigantic painting (14 x 8m.) With a religious theme that helped me to make versions of Ribera, Caravaggio and relate them to each other.

You add your signature to the MAXAM Collection and the popular explosives calendar. What role do you think the almanac plays in the dissemination of art?
Calendars are mythical, they have been recognized and have reached very different corners, they have always been anywhere. It is a way of popularizing art, something similar to what the towns of Castile have done by reproducing images of the Prado, in a very spontaneous way of bringing art closer to them.

The contemporary art collection, I got to know it later and it seems extraordinary to me. Being part of it is a pride because many of the artists who are there I adore them, Alfonso Albacete, Gordillo, Pérez Villalta ... being with them is simply a luxury.

How did you receive the order to create the image for the MAXAM Calendar for 2021?
Although I knew the theme of the MAXAM Collection, I like to use my repertoire, to reinterpret it in a way that I find fun. The new painting represents the Collection, its history, having chosen one of the most emblematic artists, Julio Romero de Torres. I chose ‘La gitanilla’, which is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Murcia, a work that I reproduced in 2010 in black and white in a small format and that in this version I have resized to 2 meters.

This time it occurred to me to set fire to the orange that the character is wearing. I photographed it for the records and I decided to incorporate it as a direct link with the Collection.

"Look how pretty she was!" is your personal interpretation of Romero de Torres. How do you describe your relationship with the painter?
This author has always hypnotized me. It may have a touch between naive and archaic but it is also very sweet, melancholic, sensual and I have always been interested in that. The intensity it has with its land and that dark and melancholic part - technically and conceptually - I find that it may have something to do with me.

It is not the first work that I reinterpret of him. I already did it with ‘Look how pretty she was’, another piece by Romero de Torres whose title I have chosen for this work for MAXAM. I think this version brings a romantic vision, due to the approach to the artist and the affection I have for him, and ironic, because of how I have treated his work.

What does the fact that the ultimate goal of ‘Look how pretty she was!’ suggests to you is to illustrate a calendar that will be distributed all over the world?
I believe that a format such as the MAXAM Calendar will bring my work closer to an audience that would not otherwise know me. I would like people to come to my work and see the reproduction on a calendar to do so with simplicity, cleanliness, with affection.



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