“Art is not an ordinary work at all, art is a passion that affects every single time in my life”.
José Lopez Marcos was born in Spain in 1968, then spent his childhood in Switzerland. From that moment, he never stops travelling; he has lived in many countries, studied and understood many cultures, which have shaped him until he became the artist he is today.
“If you want to become a great master, you have to create a lot works, as much as you can and even when you are tired of doing it, do not stop creating.”
From an early age he took his first steps surrounded by art. During his life he studied a lot and made many artworks, which led him to exhibit in important institution in different countries.
1) How did you understand that your identity as an artist was configured with ceramics and not with another techniques?
The 21st-century ceramic artist is a result of the avant-garde fine art movement. At that time, each and every artist pushed boundaries to reach radical new languages in art. That new era was the starting point for contemporary ceramic art. Today Ceramic Art is a complex artistic discipline where object design, chemistry, and fine art meet together. As a contemporary ceramic artist, the first stage for creating an exclusive ceramic artwork is to develop a powerful design concept for driving the ceramic creation process. Once achieved, it is time for a painstaking chemistry research in order to produce the proper raw material to work with. The last and most important stage is handcrafted creation, this is the time for the artist. When I am creating a ceramic artwork with my own hands, all my being is just focused on that creative process. For me, this is a crucial moment, where both, my body and mind work together, like a perfect symphony orchestra.
2) You have had the opportunity to travel a lot, to study the cultures of different countries. How nature and culture question each other in your art?
Effectively, I was so lucky to live and travel all over the world. I have a great passion for art world and Mother Nature alike. Each and every wonder of Nature that amazed myself drove my mind to search for its origins. At the same time, every artwork around the world that affected all my being pushed my mind to study it until achieving a deep knowledge about it. I used to spend a long time to conceptualize my experiences from art world and Nature. It really is a complex process where my mind is working on figuring out the complex relationship between Nature’s wonders and human artworks. As a result, each and every ceramic artwork immerse yourself in my own fictional Nature’s wonders, driving your senses to believe these ceramic artworks are about to come alive.
3) Ceramics have always been an existing medium. What is your vision of contemporary ceramics and how has it evolved over time?
Actually pottery is one of the oldest craftworks. Some ceramic objects discovered in the Czech Republic are dating back to 29,000–25,000 BC. According to archaeological discoveries, pottery from ancient times was mainly a human handcrafting practice to create functional objects for cooking or storing food and drinks. At the same time, some of them were cult-oriented objects with deities’ representations. When visiting museums around the world looking for ancient ceramic works, I was amazed about some of those powerful artworks. From my view, even ceramic artisans at that time, when making such functional pieces were also searching for creating a unique piece of art, while developing new shapes, textures and colours. For that reason, I really think that contemporary ceramic art is the heir to those artisan works. As a result, a new kind of artist was born, the ceramic artist. Besides functional and décor ceramic objects, contemporary ceramic artists are looking for creating artworks to become masterpieces in art history.
4) What makes an artist different from an artisan?
Today’s ceramic art creators generally introduce themselves with terms such as craftsman, artisan, potter, ceramist artist, ceramist sculptor and so on. Most of art practices need handcrafting skills in order to create a piece, both in two or three dimensions. Therefore, from a working process view, most of artists are artisans. Some artisans create beautiful functional objects, applying the same design to produce a specific amount of pieces. Meanwhile, other ones spend a long time searching to create the most unique and outstanding exclusive piece. Although, both of them share the same skills and mastery for handcrafting objects, just a few of them become artists. As an artist, I feel myself in a non-stop necessity to create new radical artworks, never seen before. It is a demanding feeling that pushes my creation work to achieve unique exclusive artworks. Day to day, I take advantage of the momentum of this strong necessity to create the most outstanding ceramic artwork, a masterpiece never seen before.
His continuous artistic and philosophical studies, experiments and reasoning led him to create a series of ceramic works of art, called "Gems of Glaciers".
5) How do you place nature in your art?
From my perspective, the search for depicting Nature’s wonders is unattainable, because it is impossible to show such complexity in a single piece of art. Having said that, my approach is to conceptualize my own experiences in a particular place of Nature. As a result, I create the base material to convey those experiences to a ceramic creation. In my latest porcelain collection “Gems of Glaciers” I focused on shapes and colors. Creating every single detail of the porcelain artworks to catch viewer’s senses; a blinking white hits their eyes while a deep blue makes their body feel the ice water. Like colossal glaciers, these porcelain creations appear in front of them showing some hypnotic shapes. Their bending forms, intimidating cracks and frozen glaze seem to be just about to come alive. It is not to represent a Nature’s landscape, it is to make viewers feel it.
6) Besides the ice, what are your inspirations?
I feel a great passion for those unspoiled places around the globe, and with special attention to polar weather environments. Once there, my mind was overwhelmed with hundreds of shapes, textures and colours. One could say it is like a big feast for your senses. From my experience, inspiration has nothing to be with a magical moment, but it is a result of outstanding real experiences in an artist lifetime. My endless curiosity pushes myself to journey to any corner around the world, no matter how far away it is. My latest porcelain collection “Gems of Glaciers” is the first series from a trilogy to come. It began some years ago, when I went on a voyage to Greenland. Time later, I conceptualized the new porcelain collection after journeying through Antarctica. Those places are full of icy wonders. I developed a powerful concept based on their shapes, textures and colours. It was the prefect source to start the first porcelain collection, and also a whole trilogy about icy worlds.
7) How do you live the paradoxical moment in which the ice of the work is released from the fire of the furnace?
My latest porcelain collection “Gems of Glaciers” has been a great technical challenge. It started in my chemistry laboratory when searching for creating the most proper porcelain to work with. My goal was to achieve an exclusive porcelain with good plasticity and a great whiteness. Glaze is the perfect partner, and this exclusive porcelain needed a balanced glaze, with a velvety white colour. It was a challenging work of creating hundreds of testing tiles before achieving those marvellous materials for such icy porcelain creations. Paradoxically, as a ceramic artist, even though I spend a long time in designing and handcrafting every single detail in my ceramic creations, firing is the most complex process in ceramic. Just after firing, when opening the furnace door, I feel myself as a child unwrapping his Christmas gifts. The ceramic creation shows up in front of me, there is nothing as beautiful as this artwork. It really is a brilliant masterpiece.
A very interesting artist, with a strong technical sjills and dedication to both the concept and the artistic form. Through his artworks we can investigate in his soul as an artist, understand the various facets and immerse ourseves in this fantastic world.
To visit the artist's website --- www.lopezmarcos.com