one to watch
The art of being present with Ana Dévora
Ana Devora is an artist based in Madrid and graduated in Fine Arts from the Complutense University of Madrid. Ana is an established visual artist who has worked in film, photography, and painting. Her fine art paintings are rooted in a fascination with what the human eye does not normally see, what is hidden in a person’s psyche. She has exhibited her work internationally, including at the Caja Blanca in New York, the Museo Neomudéjar in Madrid, and La Casa Encendida in Madrid.
Tell us who you are and what you do. What is your past? what is your thought?
I am a multidisciplinary artist based in Madrid, Spain. I use a variety of media and techniques, such as painting, sculpture, video, and photography, matching the narrative of each project. I create the specific artwork and then connect it to build site-specific installations, even if each piece also works on its own. As a child, I remember drawing and painting while watching cartoons on TV. I graduated in Fine Arts at the UCM Madrid; While I was studying, I started working as an artist assistant for Marinella Senatore. After a few years abroad in New York, I started a master’s degree in cinematography at the Shotaccademy in Rome and a postgraduate course at the Global Cinematography Institute in Los Angeles. I worked as a cinematographer, camera operator, editor and production designer for some feature films and short films.
But something inside me knew that it was time to continue my artistic projects, so I did residencies and art projects in Brazil, Peru, Italy and Argentina. My work has been exhibited at La Neomudéjar Museum, Madrid, Conde Duque Madrid, Cerquone Gallery, White Box NY, La Casa Encendida Madrid, LACDA Los Angeles, LIFE FRAMER and Officine Fotografiche Rome.
What is your work trying to say? What are the main themes you pursue in your work? Can you share an example of a job that demonstrates this?
I use images from the digital world to create visual metaphors and tell stories about the human experience and our relationship with nature and technology. My art projects talk about how we receive and process information through our brain, how we create habits and inspire motivation in an age saturated with screens, data, news and images.
How do you expect viewers to respond to your works? What do you want them to feel?
My purpose as an artist is to invite the viewer to look beyond, through the free interpretation of my works, to provoke questions that allow the viewer to free themselves from the various installed beliefs that limit us.
In order to do that, I use a variety of media and techniques such as painting, sculpture, video, photography, sound, and 3D to then create experiences through immersive installations, in which the individual, their entire ensemble, and space work. communicate with the public. The glitch effect, microchips and noisy vertical boards are part of my creative imagination.
How do you comment on your work on current social and political issues?
My work is set in the present moment, a time of seemingly accurate information overload increased by social media and TV commercials vying for our attention, creating unrealistic desires and aspirations, fostering competition and comparison with others. instead of personal and emotional growth it promotes self-development and enhances connection with others. In short, the world around us shapes our reality and thoughts, even unconsciously creating our personalities and desires. In this case, political positions do not matter; the information arrives biased according to our tastes just like our phones.
Can you explain your process to create a work from start to finish?
In the case of my paintings, I present my ideas, typically in dreams. I then start with a sketch in photoshop, where I draw it proportionally to the canvas using it as a reference. Once I have the image clear in my mind, I start adding layers of paint to the canvas. My process is divided into several layers of acrylic paint – each canvas can have 4-8 layers. I use tape to cover the parts I like on each layer and after all these processes I remove all the tape to reveal the final image. Some paintings are abstract, simulating chips or slates, and some have figurative images distorted by glitch effects.
Even if I create each canvas separately, I always think about how I would display them all in the space, what lights and colors would make the experience more immersive for the viewer.
Who are your biggest influences and why?
My biggest influences are life experiences and the world around me. That means it can be a trip, a sunset, a conversation or a specific situation that inspires me to create. I like the films of David Lynch and Emir Kusturica, and I like the artists Olafur Eliasson, Zóbel, Pollock, Tacita Dean and Paul McCarthy. An influence could even be a random video clip or a commercial… I love a well lit environment in movies, bars or museums. Materiality and light are very important to me.
What are some of your favorite experiences as an artist?
One of the best moments as an artist is when you are alone in front of the work and you feel totally finished and happy with how it is. Other memorable moments occur when I select how the artwork will be displayed in the space for an installation. I put the specific lights to illuminate all the pieces together, and I can observe the conversation between them and within the space. That moment is so special that I can feel it in my bones. That means that the project is finally ready to be visited by the public.
What was the best advice you were given as an artist?
The best advice I’ve been given is not to compare myself to others; compare myself to my previous version of myself and watch personal and professional growth from there because we each have our own time.
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