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Question 6: Have you used a number of different media? If so, how did you come to specialize in the media that you currently favour?
At the start, I painted – traditional paintings, in oils – doing backyards as was the usual practice. Because I worked in small spaces, working in oil left a peculiar smell that bothered me. So I changed medium to work in acrylic, just to be more practical, and it dried more rapidly. I work very quickly so oil wasn’t suited to me, it was too slow. Acrylic was a more suitable material for me. I went on to discover that I was a ‘matierist’, a matter-based painter, that materials had great importance for me, so I continued working in acrylic, with house paint also. If Rauschenberg had used it, it was allowed to use any kind of paint, anything that would leave a mark on a canvas, on a surface, all those materials. Then when I met other painters that used grainier materials, as did Tàpies and Rauschenberg, I used sand, gravels and all kinds of other techniques, adding other components to the work, materials, objects, to try to balance the idea between the object and the paint. If I placed an object, a fan for example, in the painting, I tried to understand how to balance the materials I was using with an object that already existed, with its own colour, its own shape, and try to combine them so as to convey something, let’s say, aesthetic. I wasn’t using the terms at the time; it was so that it worked as a visual organisation, according to my own perception. I’ve always worked with this in mind: for every material I encountered, I first wanted to see if I was able to use it. Secondly, I discovered that each material has a specific energy. It was at the knowledge level: does it work? If I mix gravel with house paint, and if I then push in an object, is the result going to be visually interesting. Afterwards I realized that I wanted to know how the universe operates. Scientists have said that if you give over your whole attention to one particular thing in this universe, the thing is, the part contains the whole. So I decided, If I focus my entire attention on one thing, painting, I will discover the whole, at least to have a perception of the whole, of totality. This was mostly the direction I took in my work. I viewed materials – be it paints or a log – as having the same meaning. They were not separate things, they were two objects that had the same energy. I had to find out how to bring these two energies together, as an artist. But I didn’t really see myself as a painter, it was a laboratory where I worked with paint and objects.