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A visit to Joanpere Massana studio
How would you define your work?
Labeling or defining your work is always dangerous, since you delimit barriers that are difficult to break later. I have been defined in many ways: abstract, symbolic, material... The truth is that I do not feel identified with any of them, since the work is always the result of a process that comes from previous studies that condition the construction site. Depending on that study, I make works of a more sculptural, pictorial or drawing nature. The iconography and iconology chosen will always depend on the "book" you are working on.
Could you tell us about your creative process?
Since the year 2000 I have started series that I title: "Books"" (Il libro dei giochi, Il libro dell'acqua, Un llibre per la Jana, "Il libro dell'aria", Un llibre pel Martí, El llibre de les flors , etc.) These "books" are made up of many works at the level of installations, painting, sculpture, engravings, poems, etc. They arise from a vital need and usually last between two and four years.
When and for what reasons did you start painting?
I have always had the need to communicate, like everyone I suppose. What I wanted to explain was spinning in my head, theorizing, etc. For years, I expressed myself with poetry and music, since I combined the studies of Music with those of Fine Arts. Suddenly I realized that if I did not set limits to languages, Art flowed in capital letters, it no longer mattered if I did one thing or another... I had managed to express myself with different languages, painting among them. And I saw that in it I could include volume, writing, thought, space, texture... A new world was opening up!
"My works follow a cycle conditioned by the "books", as I was telling you before. Normally I start with small-format works on paper, engravings, assemblies, small installations, and later move on to large formats. "
How has your work evolved over the years?
My artistic profession has gone hand in hand, for twenty-five years, with teaching as a professor and Director of the Volume Department at the Ondara School of Art and Superior Design (ESDAP). For the last three years, and due to a serious illness, I have dedicated myself solely to creation and giving lectures... The result: a much more reflective life and a work that is nourished by this fact.
Could you tell us the artistic projects and exhibitions of your career that you consider most important?
The truth is that I consider myself lucky: at the age of twenty-three I won the 1st Prize for Painting organized by the Generalitat de Catalunya at the state level, after which there were numerous exhibitions in Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, etc. I got to have 5 individual exhibitions a year, perhaps too many... Arnau Puig selected me, along with 9 other Catalan artists to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the University of Lleida... But perhaps more important was having been selected to be the first artist to exhibited individually at the "Palazzo delle Arti" in Naples. A great show with a video installation, large-format works that were published in a book. Lately, I could highlight the publication of "Il libro dell aria" by the prestigious publishing house Skira.