Wednesday, 27 June 2018


Giulia: In your work distortion and blur have a significant role and its clearly visible since the beginning, when you started with drawings on paper. Why did you decide to use this technique? What meaning has distortion in your practice? 
Yugo: There is something called the simulacra effect. It's a phenomenon where, if there are three dots, the brain associates it with a human face. A process that has led to the creation of the emoji. When there is distortion or blur, humans try to correct it, and subconsciously follow the brushstrokes and colors in a picture. By doing so, you can incorporate elements of motion into a painting that is more an image.
In that sense, I'd like to paint works that are more like images. Now that we are too used to seeing videos, I think these forms of expression have more reality.
G: Can you explain the process you follow with your painting? The technique you use creates abstractions. Sometimes the silhouettes you paint are not any more recognizable, they become abstract geometric shapes, losing the figurative aspect. In this way, nudes, flowers, mountains and faces are put on the same level. Have you ever considered using geometric shapes instead of the realistic ones?
Y: I think this leads to the topic of geometric shapes, but at the bottom is an interest in transient things, or things that are elusive. Even a color is, in essence, a kind of wavelength of light, and you could say that according to the laws of physics, everything in the natural world is constantly changing. So, as you say, I guess I do put everything on the same level, no matter what motif I'm portraying.
G: Your past works take inspiration from the human body and I guess they all come from portraits you find online or through the media, but in the residency youre doing in Spain I see that the nudes disappeared. Natures is now part of your subjects. Can you tell me how did you decide to focus on a religious theme like a typical Spanish procession that takes place during the Semana Santa? What has caught your attention during that specific event?
Y: I was looking for something that I couldn't paint elsewhere. I didn't want this to be a residency where I simply painted what I had always painted in a different location. However, three months is too short a time to get to know the climate and culture of this place well. I thought that choosing a traditional, religious ceremony like the Semana Santa would allow me to get to know this place on a deeper level. I guess you could say that this ceremony certainly had enough of an impact to make me feel that way.
G: The technique youre developing here involves a new palette of colors and the perspective is absent. How do you feel about this new evolution?
Y: Regarding the palette, I don't think there are any ugly colors, any more than there are beautiful colors. All that exists are correlations between colors that are beautiful, and correlations that don't look beautiful. Therefore, the palette is affected by the theme, and by the motifs, and because I want to actively embrace that, my palette is forced to undergo a change at the same time. As far as perspective is concerned, it's more an issue of composition. If you want to introduce an abstract element, you just have to destroy the perspective at some point. If I keep the perspective intact when I paint, the abstract elements often end up as nothing more than background for people. I want to make it more complex.
G: I think its a clear rupture with your past works and the photographic aspect has a fundamental evidence in these landscapes. How did this new experimentation start? Why did you change your usual way of painting?
Y: I'm always looking for new possibilities in terms of techniques and materials. I think that changing one's technique can also be described as acquiring a new technique. I believe that adding to my inventory and increasing my range will also have a positive effect on the techniques that I have already been using.
G: Hows the experience of a residency abroad? Lumbier is totally different from Tokyo. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of being isolated from the chaos? 
Y: I've lived in Tokyo for about 15 years, but I was born in a rural town that is not so different from here. I was there until I was 18 years old, so I believe that the both aspects—the big city of Tokyo and the countryside—have cultivated my sensibilities. That has helped to give me a range of values and ideas. In that sense, I think that sometimes it can be a good thing to put yourself in a different environment. I think the biggest advantage is that I can really focus on my work. Being isolated also allows me to face me to confront myself. There's the Internet and social media, and you can gather information, but I guess the disadvantage is that it takes too much time and money if you actually want to see something with your own eyes.

Giulia Gelmini, Spring 2018 curator-in-residence at Calle Mayor 54. She is contributor at: ATP diary and Made in mindmagazine. 
Yugo Kohrogi, Spring 2018 artist-in-residence at Calle Mayor 54.

Thursday, 21 June 2018


Yugo Kohrogi is having an exhibition in Japan with the paintings he made at Calle Mayor 54.
See here the detail:

Solo show at Gallery Naruyama feature my latest paintings created in Spain starts this Saturday.
“I started exploring the origins in Spain as is my usual practice. I adore a presence of universal experience. It rises above language, culture, religion, time and nationality. I try to capture things not describable in words such as emotions, sensibilities and interpret them by painting. It’s my step on the way to understand the origins.”
“Across the night”
オープニングレセプション 6月23日 (土)
休廊日 :水曜日、日曜日、祭日
Opening Reception : 6/23(Sat) 17:00-19:00
Gallery Naruyama
Opening Hours : 13:00-19:00
Closed on Wed. Sun. and National Holidays

Wednesday, 13 June 2018


Giulia: Your interest in the animal world is evident since the beginning of your artistic career, but I was surprised when I noticed that in your first artwork you portrayed the human figure. What happened then? Where the human figure has gone? Can you tell me the reason of this change of topic?
Andrea: I realized I’m not interested for the moment in working with human figure. Although I don’t dismiss the possibility of working with it again. I worked with human figure for many years since I was studying fine arts and I got bored of it.
G: The animals you model have an inner strength that brings them to be really dynamic. I’m looking at your works exhibited in a white cube space and I’m comparing them with the recent experiments you did in Lumbier. There you exhibited open air, but you had full respect of the environment as you decided to remove all the works installed to prevent a contamination of the soil. In this way, after two months of residency there’s nothing left, but I guess this experience had a strong impact on your personality. Can you tell me how do you feel about this? Weren’t you sad or scared of throwing everything away?
A: For me it was a real challenge to work in the landscape because it was the first time I did that. My work has to do with the respect of nature and that’s why it would be a contradiction to leave the clay there. As I was psychologically prepared for a long time about the idea of throwing everything to the trash, at the moment I did it, it was fine for me. Of course it would have been nice to save this works but I new I couldn’t and I’m very happy with the pictures I took. I guess that one of the qualities of land art is its ephemeral life and that’s also part of its complicity and beauty!
G: The work “Landscape” you developed in Lumbier is a reference to the mountains and their shape. I see it through the pictures of the installation. “360 feathers” is another site specific work realized in Spain. All the colors you used have created an evident contrast with the surrounding landscape. Your intervention is not mimetic and it doesn’t hide itself in the nature. Can you explain the reason why you decided to work with pop colors? They seem to underline something, as if they were trying to fill an emptiness. How did they communicate with the nature they habit?
A: I wanted to do some works that could dialogue with its surrounding no matter the color I used. I think that part of the challenge was to be able to connect geometrical figures (as the ones in “Landscape”) and bright colors with thesurroundings and be able to generate an equilibrated contrast and at the same time do something that could connect physically and metaphorically to the landscape. That’s why I decided that the color should have been the protagonist and should have been able to generate a contrast, which gave at the same time a new meaning or “spirit” to the place where the work was installed. The color also, as you say, underlines a specific zone of the landscape I chose, for me it was like trying to write poetry over nature but with shapes and colors.
G: Do you think the work you did in Lumbier has something in common with the Land Art?
A: Of Course! I saw a lot of Land Art pictures to get inspired.
G: The two main figures we encounter when approaching your work are animals or abstract shapes. They are two distinct spheres that present specific features. The animals have an identity and they are all different one from the other while the abstract shapes come from the same mold and they change just in the colors. When do you feel the necessity to switch from a production to the other?
A: The process of making my animals consists on modeling a first copy and then making its mold. I can use it to reproduce a figure several times, but making every copy differently, in order to see some differences. After a while I started paying attention to the molds of the animals I was doing and I realized I needed to do something with them. That’s how I started thinking about reproducing part of this molds with clay so that these “meaningless reproduction tools” could have a new aim and could be transformed into art pieces by themselves. When I started working with them, little by little abstraction started to take place in my work and I saw that there were new and interesting possibilities. I also discovered that, in one hand, I could continue working with my “animal/nature concern” but in a less literally way, by using the negatives of the animals I modeled and also, new ideas started to came to my mind. Not only I could work with animal shape molds, but also, I could work straightly with abstraction and geometry so that a new and maybe completely different project could be done, inspired of course on this molds I had. And for this type of project I needed to work with molds: making the mold of the mold of some animal or other interesting shapes I did, then reproducing them in clay, then making the mold of the mold of the mold... and finally trying to make a difference in each piece by intervening the shape of each one in a very subtle way so that they look like they are the same, but none of themis the same as the other. So my work now doesn’t have to do only with animals and nature, but I’m discovering new and different possibilities that also can be done with ceramics but that will probably have completely different meanings. And that’s what I love about art! 
G: How’s the experience of a residency abroad? Lumbier is totally different from Tokyo. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of being isolated from the chaos? 
A: Advantages: Having extra time to work on your own. With the help of the silence and the isolation I had the opportunity to connect with myself in a deeper way so new inspiration came to me. When you are surrounded by stress, to many people, to many information, too much to be done, it’s very hard to get connected with your own art and feelings, so this was a good chance.
Disadvantages: Loneliness and cold weather really affected to my mood somehow. I felt lonely sometimes because the other artist in residence arrived a month later than me. I think my energy went slowly to a “low battery mood” and that affected a lot to the production I was making.

Giulia Gelmini, Spring 2018 curator-in-residence at Calle Mayor 54. She is contributor at: ATP diary and Made in mindmagazine. 
Andrea Rodríguez Vial, Spring 2018 artist-in-residence at Calle Mayor 54.

Friday, 8 June 2018


Last May, we had first curator-in-residence at Calle Mayor 54.
Giulia Gelmini (Italy, 1993) has a great education related with: art, curatorial studies, art market, communication and fundraising . And, although young, she also has interesting working experience. She spent three days at the house reviewing Yugo Kohrogi's portfolio, and, making questions to understand his work here. It has been a positive experience to have her at Calle Mayor 54. She gave light to several issues. We will definitely invite more curators in future.
Her working method is based on the interview. We found out some things about Yugo's working process, as:
-How he uses a phone application -similar to Photoshop- to inspire the movement, the blurry images he paints.
-He likes to paint the mouth, because it is the gate to the human interior.
-He mixes oil-painting and acrylic, or, at least one over the other.
Soon, you will be able to read here the article she wrote about his work.
If you would like to know more about Giulia Gelmini, you can read her articles in two magazines where she is currently contributor: ATP diary and Made in mindmagazine. 

Thursday, 17 May 2018


Although he lives upstairs, I almost don't see him, he is always in his studio, very committed to his work; we communicate through internet.
He is doing multi layered oil-paintings; about a dozen of canvases or so, in which he applies many coats of colour. It seems a meticulous long process. He has a curious painting technique. All I can tell you by now, it is the images are inspired by the Easter procession.
 Vicepresident Joselito follows artists work with attention and devotion; sometimes, he also tastes it.
 Yugo masters blurry effects. (On the photo, a painting in an early stage)
Sun dried oil-paintings, like the tomatoes.
 I feel he got the main idea: Spanish processions are a really scary live show:
 The Procession...or the Hell?
Enlarged to show detail 
One more layer on the right side.

Thursday, 10 May 2018


Andrea Rodriguez Vial -artist in residence at Calle Mayor 54- having a video conference with Giulia Gelmini in Italy.

As Andrea Rodriguez Vial arrived and was leaving earlier -to link her residence at Calle Mayor 54 with another one at EKWC, in the Netherlands-, we set a videoconference with Italian curator Giulia Gelmini.
Giulia is the first curator at Calle Mayor 54. The purpose of this encounters is to connect artists with curators. It seems -at least to me-, curators work with institutions and artists too. But, mostly apart, not together; like two parallel roads.
The common thread of their conversation was:
1) The artist statement coherence. Sometimes, artists don't say all it could be said about their work.  Another times, there is not a real match between the artwork and what the artist says. The purpose of sort out this topic, it is just for the artist benefit and own knowledge, and the exercise of re-thinking her/his own concepts and ideas.
2) Having a review of her/his work here, a feedback; plus an article, that later the artist could use to accompany his/her work.
Giulia's approach to artist work it is based on the interview. She made some key questions to have a better understanding and know Andrea's line of work.
Andrea's previous work
Here some notes I took from their conversation:
-Giulia suggested Andrea to research further about "anthropocentrism" (one of her recurrent themes), look for authors, to enrich her artist statement, making it more solid.
-In reference to another Andrea's subject, "extinction", she also suggested to reflect further in the role of nature, the exploitation, and how to enclose this topics in the artwork. Giulia suggested some ideas to develop further a theme on "anthropocentrism", "extinction", as representing the human being control over the animals, as maybe, a political act; or a scene of man and animal together, and so on... But Andrea disagreed, she doesn't like the idea of a narrative art, she prefers to suggest, or just present the sculpture for a freer interpretation. She summarized: "The more I know the human being, the more I love my dog".
Andrea's previous work
-Giulia asked for her technique choice, why ceramics and not other media. Andrea is very enthusiastic about ceramics. For her, clay has no limits, the whole Universe can be represented with it, she said.
Part of Andrea's production at Calle Mayor 54
-About her other geometrical works, Andrea was saying how its production relaxes her, like a mandala, the repetition, looking for shapes, patterns... 
Part of Andrea's production at Calle Mayor 54
Andrea already left Calle Mayor 54. Some weeks later Giulia send her a file with some questions. Now, she is working writing an article.
Thank you both Andrea and Giulia for sharing your work process.

Giulia Gelmini is contributor in:

Tuesday, 1 May 2018


Open call for Autumn 2018 residencies at Calle Mayor 54
Application deadline: May 31st
Residence: September 15th- December 15th 2018
Number of resident artists: 3
Call for innovative visual artists.
-Read more about:
-Apply online: