Venezuelan ceramicist Mariana Monteagudo has been creating her “race of hybrid characters” for more than 10 years. She sums up her philosophy quite profoundly: “Any art that is true to human nature will survive.”
Are you happy as an artist right now?
I think my work is just beyond happiness, I just don’t see myself doing anything else. It is the meaning of my daily life, and as life itself, sometimes you feel happy and sometimes you feel sad. All the aspects of my life complete the ultimate meaning of my work.
Is this a time of growth for you?
Absolutely, the growth goes side by side with age, so I believe the artist’s work just gets better and better through time. The life experiences add new material for the artist.
The recession can still be felt everywhere, but you are still creating wonderful work. How have you been affected?
As I said before, every experience adds something to my creative process. I cannot pinpoint exactly how it changed me, but I am certain that the strong feeling of uncertainty that comes along any crisis will reflect somehow in my new creations. I try to be always permeable to the collective unconsciousness.
Have economic conditions made you pull back? Are you moving forward? Are you treading water, remaining in place?
I believe that any artist knows that the income from artwork is not constant or month-by-month; it depends of how many exhibitions you manage to do. So my strategy has been to take care of my expenses but always to invest in my work.
Is making art working out? Do you need to have a day job?
I’ve been working on my pieces since 1999, little by little my name has been placed in the art scene, and the prices of my sculptures have been rising through the years. It is working out just fine for my economical needs. But if I needed to take a complementary job, I would do it as an expanding experience for me, not precisely to earn money.
What do you think of the art world right now?
I have a strong position about the art of today. I think the art has become too fast and too easy. Almost everyone with a little bit of skill and ambition can make a name in the galleries. But they don’t last. The work becomes just an occurrence and after a while, the enthusiasm fade away. Only the artist that works persistently, and continuously reflects upon his/her work is the one that will last and be remembered.
Who or what do you really admire in the art world right now?
The endless media possibilities of the artists with strong sponsorship.
Who do you think will survive?
The artist that really connects emotionally with his/her work.
I believe that everything that touches the deepest human feelings and emotions is universal. Any art that is true to human nature will survive.