Arnau Casas is one of the artists participating in the exhibition 'Art Still Flourishes', and he answers some of our questions about his inspirations, the best part of being an artist, and more.
What’s your background? How did you start making art/Why do you make art?
My parents have been working in graphic design, illustration and sculpture and due to the deadlines that they had they were babysitting me when I was a kid. I was in their studio until late several days and nights so they gave me large paper rolls and I suppose that was when I started to develop my will to understand or like the world in images and graphic expression instead of other ways. After that, I started to work in graphic design but it was too cold and kind of impersonal, so I started my studies in Illustration and painting until now.
What does art mean to you?
In a substantial way, art is the meaning of the inability and need of human beings to express themselves in other ways than the rational one. We need ways to communicate our ineffable deep and superficial feelings, emotions etc. In a formal and conceptual way, it is a tool to improve this world, generate consciousness via some kind of attractive visual way, yet this visual aesthetic way can be a reason itself to develop and intimate with your inner self.
What inspires you? What are your biggest influences?
Human beings are the subject of my work, in a general way they act as an engine of betterment of themselves through consciousness and will to change. In an individual way, it is a mirror of myself and the emotions and the events that happens in my direct environment. Expressing what I feel and bothers liberates my emotions and make it flow to others, in all kind of directions (sometimes deeper and sometimes shallower). Theatricality, mysticism and hidden "accidents" inside-and around of - the human being generates in me an immense curiosity, not to find answers, but to find new questions and uncertainties. I view myself as some kind of unlimited field for investigation and exposing myself to these questions, inspires me to keep looking for further and better questions. I am an emotion aesthete, therefore formally I am very influenced by these people that transfers to art their own vision of reality, that is, expressionism in all art areas. Goya and the "School of London"(Kitaj, Bacon, Freud, Uglow, Andrews, Auerbach) as maximum exponents of this practice.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
I do not know it exactly, for me painting is like breathing, it is a basic need, in a very personal way, the best thing that it happens when I paint I transcend the concept of time and it happens that it does not exist anymore but this is a thing that happens, I do not do it on purpose.
What gives you the most joy?
I think Kubrick said once that he didn't always know what he wanted, but always knew what he didn't want. I think it happens some kind of similar thing to me, the fact of choosing not the right brushstroke, but not using the one that i do not want. Also the fact about switching off the concept of time is superb to me.
Considering the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, what do you think is the impact on the art world and how could we overcome it?
Well, we are already overcoming it through online exhibitions. Actually I am unable to imagine what will happen to the global social fabric. I am even more unable to visualize the impact on some specific areas. The only thing that I believe in, is that for issues relating to capital (such as art), society will have to invent new ways in order to "survive" and/or maintain things as they were before COVID-19. What is ‘normal’ life is unknown to us at the moment, but I am positive that we will overcome these challenges in due time.