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Snatch of “Dialogue with Álvaro de la Vega” by Mercedes Rozas

[…]
M.R. You use a lot of materials that progressively became usual in your work.

A.V. I think that in the evolution of a sculptor the experimentation and the use of new materials are essential. Although the possibilities of new media, I use materials that are closer to nature, harshness and primitivism. Anyway, I do not rule out anything in the future; any substance is language.

xxx

M.R. With which material do you feel more comfortable?

A.V. Well, wood is the most direct.

M.R. The pieces that you present in the last exhibitions are made out of clay. It seems like you come back to the authentic.

A.V. Yes, I was interested in manipulating this antic material. We can see clay in human being’s first artistic experiences.

M.R. You used wire in some of your last works.

A.V. It was the solution for integrating the line to three dimensional works. Line is so important… Besides, line is the expressive way of drafting. Is like the revaluation of drafting in the work of a sculptor.

M.R. But the spontaneity of drafting is not always in sculpture. It seems like a game between instinctive and cerebral matters…

A.V. It is about speed. Drafting could be as fast as thought. When we form an idea with hard materials delays and reflections are necessary.
There is profit and loss in this change of rhythm, but at the end three dimensions, the space and the disappearance of the optical trap, direct us to new expectative and we could even modify our first ideas.

M.R. How do new projects born?

A.V. They always come up from the poetical idea of reality. This is a mixed between practical world and impossible world… It is like rain falling on the road, looking for canals to flow.

M.R. What a beautiful metaphor! But you fragment reality in your creations: hands and arms, busts, heads… you detach them from the body.

A.V. Well, an artwork has some physical limits, but I have to decide constantly what I present or what I omit. It is like making an ellipse with any language.

M.R.  I suppose that absence must be as important as presence.

A.V. This part could be widely interpreted so this is where spectator restricts or enlarges his own idea of what he is looking at.

M.R. You manipulate the material or the material manipulates you?

A.V. I give him a chance but I prefer bossing the show (laughs).

M.R.  Moreover, wood for example; it contributes with elements that you use deliberately: knots, streaks, forms… or, do you start from scratch with your first knock?

A.V. I’d rather start from an idea than from the form of the material. There could be some variations in the production because of that, but I try not to be influenced by that.
[…]

Álvaro de la Vega. Puntos de encontro, puntos de fuga. [Cat. Exp. Biblioteca Ánxel Casal]. Xunta de Galicia, Dirección Xeral de Promoción e Difusión da Cultura, Santiago de Compostela, 2009.