Updated: Dec 2, 2020
This weeks we will be talking to painter Guardo about his most recent series of paintings, the colours he uses and he he approaches creating a new piece of artwork.
Image description: a landscape poster showing two paintings split in half. On the left depicts an yellow white and black abstract painting. On the right is a textured purple and pink painting with crosshatched lines. In the centre in bold text reads GUARDO, underneath in smaller text reads @guardoart.
If you are interested in seeing more of Guardo's artwork you can follow his Instagram page @guardoart.
Why do you make art?
I paint because it is my way to connect with other people and tell them about myself, my thoughts, and experiences. I see it as a tool that allows me to show my feelings and my personality, which is something that cannot be expressed in any other way, not even with words. Painting has become my passion and something I really enjoy.
Can you give us an overview of your art practice?
My art practice mainly involves painting in acrylic and I often make collages. All my works have a meaning and a reason behind it, as well as a personal and emotional side to it. I believe that is the essence of my works.
Guardo, Club De Roma, acrylic painting.
Image description: an abstract landscape painting with jagged shapes of black green and beige with interspersed text layered within.
How do you approach creating a new piece of artwork?
When I approach a new piece of artwork, I start by coming up with a concept. Then, I research about it and try to become more familiar with it in order to get my ideas straight. From there, it is an intuitive process of painting and reflecting about the concept exploring with different types of tools and materials as I go.
Your artworks consist predominantly of paintings, why do you choose this material to
Most of my works are made of paintings because it is the first medium I have been introduced to and it’s what I have been enjoying working with. Right now, I don’t have much time to explore with different materials, since I’m currently studying to become an architect. Apart from painting, I have a great interest for glass art and sculpture. That is something I will for sure pursue once I graduate.
Guardo, Armor Amarillo, acrylic painting.
Image description: an abstract portrait painting with fluid lines and swirls of bold yellow and green on top of a purple ground.
How do you go about choosing your colours within your paintings.
When it comes to choosing the colours for my paintings, the colour is based on the main idea I have in mind. I visualize which colours I am going to use, and I interpret a meaning for every single colour. For me, choosing the colours for the painting is the most important part of the process since it’s how I can transmit my own interpretation and feelings to my audience. Once I start painting, there are times I integrate some other colours that where not in the initial plan. This is because it is mainly instinctive.
Could you name any artists that have inspired your art practice?
I was first introduced to art in my first years of architecture school when I was assigned to make a spatial interpretation of Ozenfant’s painting “Still Life with Glass of Red Wine”. Researching about him and his works sparked my curiosity for art and art history. From there, I started to take some classes where I learned certain techniques and abstract expressionism was the one that got my attention. A few artists that inspired me to paint are Jackson Pollock, Roberto Matta, Pablo Picasso and Oswaldo Guayasamín. Right now, I admire Mark Bradford. I was able to see his exhibition Pickett’s Charge in Washington D.C. This exhibition called my attention and made me realized that I could create many pieces with collages made from paper.
Do you try to present any themes or concepts within your paintings?
Every painting I make always has a concept behind it and I give it an explanation. Most concepts are based on my personal experience, interests, and feelings. I often choose to paint in series, which are made up of paintings that revolve around the same concept. Sometimes, one painting is not enough to fully express myself. However, it’s interesting, because at the end of the day, even though all my painting are very thought out, the audience can make their own personal interpretation that can vary from mine. That is what I love about abstraction.
Guardo, Skies the Limit, acrylic painting.
Image description: an abstract portrait painting with a bold yellow background with swirls and splashes of black. Thick white lines cover the surface with thin rectangles of orange and white that flow down vertically.
What projects have you recently been working on?
The project I have been recently working on is designing a mixed-use complex in Quito, Ecuador where I am investigating and speculating life post-COVID and how that will affect architecture and space overall. Right now, painting is on hold as I am focusing on finishing my semester. As soon as I finish, I will continue with the series I’ve been working on called Raíz (Roots), which is an exploration of myself trying to find the colours and shapes that represent my true essence.
What inspired you to make this kind of artwork?
I was inspired to start this new series Raíz (Roots) when I met my new baby cousin. I hadn’t seen a new-born baby before, and I started to think and appreciate a bit more about how lucky I am to have a family. As I began to analyse more this idea of family a bit deeper, I started to think about my family tree and the colours that I’ve taken from each person.
Guardo, Raiz, acrylic painting.
Image description: an abstract portrait painting with thick applications of vertical lines of jagged rectangles in green, red, orange, blue and black.
Your paintings include many patterns and textures, how did you develop this style of
I developed this style of painting by using unconventional materials to paint. My desire to paint was sudden and I didn’t have any professional tools. I decided to use materials related to architecture, such as the cutter blade and even other random materials such as shoelaces. Since then, I’ve been used to working with these materials I own or find along the way. Most of my paintings are made of this type of materials, which is one of the main reasons why most of my painting have texture.
Can you give us an insight into the experiences you have had during the pandemic and
how you have adapted to still create art?
The pandemic has been difficult, but I’m grateful to be experiencing it in a comfortable situation. I can study and paint while being at home. At the beginning of the quarantine in Quito, I was finishing the semester online. As soon as I finished, I was really bored and had a lot of time in my hands. This is when I finally decided to start my Instagram page and make all my paintings public, which had a very positive output, something I honestly didn’t expect. This inspired me to make my first painting in series called “Buscando a Dios” (Finding God), which is an insight on where my mindset was during quarantine by questioning my own beliefs. During quarantine I decided to paint in my terrace. It is an open place where I’m alone and feel excluded from the world and my daily duties. I also have an incredible view of the city and can breathe fresh air, which is motivating.
You can follow Guardo's Instagram page @guardoart. to see more of his artwork.
If you are interested in being featured as an Artist of the Week you can fill out a short application form here.