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Question 7: Did you develop a personal technique in the use of these media? If so, how would you describe it?
No, I’ve used just about every imaginable medium, especially through the great painters that have had an influence on me: Rauschenberg, Antoni Tápies, Cy Twombly and more recently Anselm Kiefer, who are mostly painters of the material. I focused almost all my activities on matter, to try to understand how these materials could work. In my last series of paintings that was called All the Children, there was like a particular energy regarding life because I had used a picture a picture showing Afghani women, all dressed in black, walking towards the sea. There were no children, no men, no animals, nothing else, just these women wrapped in black and walking to the sea. In my own conscious subconscious, my intellectual interest, the sea represents the beginning of life, the women, who are the bearers of life, dressed in black, that was because they were grieving, and they were heading towards the sea. This was generating a concept. I now had to find the material that echoed these concepts. I wanted to use this image in the paintings and the material that best matched the concept in that painting was dried flowers that I had accumulated in my studio that were bouquets that I’d been given by lovers or friends and all that. There was a very emotional link between the material, the dried flowers, and my concept of life, through that image. So without thinking too much about it – because I work instinctively – I found myself crushing the dried flowers into the varnish of the painting on which I was working. I realized that this specific material matched the concept that I had from the image and the emotions that this image carried, and that I carried, into the painting. There had to be a parallel to balance things, both matter and the image that I was using; I had to discover the elements that worked well together, so that I could integrate them to my aesthetic quest, let’s say, without giving too much of an abstract meaning to the word aesthetic. Because artists are the people who create beauty, that’s what they always say, so I was in that particular space, using various materials that I found laying around.