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Joan Artigas and Eva Casado have presented the exhibition Oxidacions at La Destil·leria Espai Cultural de Mataró. The link between both artists in this exhibition is the oxidation of the materials used, as well as the play with organic forms: while she conceives them in thought in an abstract way, he recreates them figuratively.

Casado’s engravings are loose strokes that capture the movement, basic shapes and weight of an object or figure, with figurative motifs. The shapes are created both in the matrix (plate) and in the desire for colors and contrasts applied to the entity, and explore the transparencies with skill and delicacy.

Artigasplanas is a renowned sculptor, his work explores the female figure surrounded by geometric shapes based on the idea of ​​functionalism, the symbiosis of technology and art, as well as the use of modern industrial materials. Through her works, the artist presents us with different situations of women, transforming them into a mythological scenario of iron and brass, giving them a solitary, inaccessible and supernatural presence. His work is above all very personal.

Could you tell us about this joint exhibition that you have featured on “oxidation” in engraving and sculpture made from iron and bronze for the La Vanguardia Readers Network?

Joan: This exhibition is the first exhibition meeting of two artists with very different careers separately, who have discovered that coincidentally their works had many points of connection and in this exhibition the public can enjoy this dialogue.

Why exhibit together?

Eva: This exhibition arose from a conversation between the two of us, coincidentally he was working iron and so was I. He had a problem with rust. In the course of the conversation, the idea of ​​doing an exhibition together arose, since we were both “hardcore.”

Joan: After many years of friendship, it had never occurred to us to collaborate together, but one day while talking, we coincidentally agreed that we were both working with a common material, iron. In the course of the conversation, the idea of ​​doing a joint exhibition arose. In an exhibition space located between the two points of Maresme where we live, the Destil·leria de Mataró and where its director, Agit Baqué, is doing a great job of disseminating art in the region. This halfway point between us has a special charm and deserved to be the place chosen for our idea.

What is oxidation?

Eva: Oxidation is actually a reaction of the metal when it comes into contact with oxygen and a change occurs, creating iron oxide. It changes color to brown tones and ranges of so-called “oxides”. On the engraving plate, when the iron oxidizes, it creates a stain where the ink remains, penetrates and modifies the drawing.

Joan: In the sculptures I have caused the metal to oxidize through a chemical process. Rust is a forced process in this case. For us, this change seems very interesting due to the amount of nuances and textures that emerge and enrich our work.

What process do you follow to rust the plates and paint?

Eva: They oxidize for me (casually) or I oxidize them to get special textures. I leave them in contact with air or a little water. In the same way that I can work with oxidation with iron, I can work with colors, I can make oxidized colors. In fact, in some pieces I have caused visual oxidation.

And the iron and bronze sculpture?

Joan: In the case of iron and bronze sculpture, I apply forced and controlled oxidation at the end of the process, a process called patina, in which with the flame of a blowtorch and various chemicals, we precipitately oxidize the surfaces. to find the desired color and appearance. The final result depends largely on the patina (oxidation) used, like a last layer of leather or dress.

Do you find it difficult to get inspired in front of an iron?

Eva: No, not at all. In my work I like to use the iron as a canvas to capture my ideas. I love experimenting with different inking techniques to create interesting effects in my works. I am very inspired by nature and I like to play with light and colors to convey different sensations in my creations. I am very interested in the contrast between solid and liquid, and how I can play with transparencies to create works that invite reflection.

And you with iron and bronze?

Joan: In my case, I am passionate about working with iron and bronze, and exploring the possibilities that these materials offer in art. I like to create textures and organic shapes that mix with the natural oxidation of metals to create unique and original pieces. Artigas: Yes, exactly. I have worked with iron and bronze to create sculptures that reflect the strength and resistance of these materials. I have been inspired by nature and geometry to shape my works, always seeking contrast and depth in each piece.

What motivated you to explore this particular topic?

Eva: We have always been interested in the connection between art and nature, and we found the idea of ​​oxygenation a fascinating topic to explore in our works. We wanted to play with colors, textures and contrasts to create a dialogue between abstract art and iron and bronze sculptures.

Joan: Furthermore, we found it interesting to work with unconventional materials in current contemporary art, such as iron and bronze. We wanted to challenge the viewer’s expectations and show them how these materials can be transformed into vibrant, life-filled works of art.

Eva: We intend to share with the public this work that we have prepared with so much love. Whoever sees them can explore a series of works that combine abstract art with the texture and depth that iron and bronze provide. Additionally, we have experimented with different inking techniques to create ranges of colors and contrasts in our pieces, adding an additional layer of complexity and beauty to the works.

Joan: We have also played with transparencies and delicacy in our creations, creating a unique atmosphere in each piece. We would like viewers to immerse themselves in our works and be surprised by the interaction between materials and oxygen, using different techniques and materials to create a work that breathes life and movement.

What do you expect from this exhibition?

Eva: May it be an invitation to immerse yourself in our creative process and enjoy the different textures, colors and contrasts that we have explored in our works.

Joan: We would like audiences to feel inspired and excited when viewing our work, and to take away a new perspective on the role of oxidation in contemporary abstract and figurative art.

What do you want to convey to the viewer of your works?

Eva: We hope that the public can enjoy the beauty and creativity of our works, and that they can explore new ways of seeing and experiencing art. We want them to immerse themselves in our creations and let themselves be carried away by the emotions and sensations that we intend to transmit.

Joan: We also hope that our exhibition can inspire other artists to explore new avenues in their work and experiment with different materials and techniques. We want to encourage creativity and innovation in the art world and show everyone that the possibilities are endless when it comes to expressing the beauty and depth of art.

Can you tell us any anecdotes?

Eva: A while ago a group of artists shared a studio and each one was on their own creative wavelength. It occurred to our teacher (the king of creativity) to collect all the leftovers from a barbecue they had had on Sunday with some friends. At that time, I took my dog, Kenya, to the studio and accompanied us in the sessions. Our teacher was preparing a great exhibition and since he was the king of creativity, it occurred to him to incorporate the barbecue ribs into the fabric he was working on. With all the laughter that entailed. About to go to the exhibition with his great work, he detected that there was something strange in the fabric and began to observe and turn it over and then we saw that part of the ribs that were incorporated into the work were missing. We discovered that Kenya had been eating them secretly. This gave a lot of play at the inauguration because, of course, we are talking about an unfinished work and I suppose that the person who acquired it took away the anecdote as well. It is clear that in the world of creation anything is possible and no one can estimate that with fewer barbecue ribs it would be a worse work. It’s art…

Joan: I was surprised by the large number of former students who came to the opening of the exhibition and that many of them have a very good artistic professional career, they are dedicated to teaching sculpture or ceramics. I must also highlight the fun presentation of our friend and great writer Pep Bras, remembering anecdotes from times past and a fun comparison of each one’s style.