'The Concept Comes like a Flash' with Gonzalo Garcia Callegari

'The Concept Comes like a Flash' with Gonzalo Garcia Callegari

January 23, 2019

Gonzalo Garcia-Callegari was born 1971 in Lima, Perú, he is a visual artist specialized in painting. After practicing at different private studios (and studying at the Psychology School for several years), he entered the Art School of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in 1992 (Lima) and graduated in 1997, majoring in Painting.

Peruvian artist, Gonzalo Garcia-Callegari at a recent exhibition of his works


Over the intervening years he has exhibited his work on both a local and national level. Gonzalo is currently working on three series at once: “Circo Beat”, “Peruanismos Vol. 3” and “Canción Animal”, which will be displayed in the coming years.

What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?

My introduction to the art world was through comic books. Since I was 5 or 6 I've been collecting them, and that's really where I found out about drawing, colours, the human figure, etc

How would you describe your own personal style?

For the most part it is mainly figurative, however, I am exploring other elements into my work, having recently created a series of work that is animal based. 

"Peruanismos Series No.12", Gonzalo Garcia Callegari,  2016


What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?

I view every day as a new challenge. Being an artist puts you in a position where you always have creative problems to overcome. This is a blessing of sorts as it forces you to master your craft and remain open to new possibilities and as a result I see myself always evolving, striving to find new ways of creating art. 

What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?

As an artist you are highly aware of your environment, constantly processing ideas and concepts, so in a way everything around me inspires me, but not just my physical environment, I am also highly influenced by the  Internet, music, movies, comics, books, etc.

Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?

A couple of teachers during art school were very influential.

"Peruanismos Series No.4", Gonzalo Garcia Callegari,  2016


When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?

Right now I'm more concentrated on acrylic, pencil, canvas and paper.

When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?

I really don't know, there's a certain feeling, like magnet to steel.

Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?

The concept comes like a flash, it only lasts a few seconds. The execution could take many, many months, or even years.

Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?

I am a big believer in approaching my work with discipline. In order to achieve the results I want I work in my studio Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, rain or shine. In the end skill is gained through practice.

"Peruanismos Series No.1", Gonzalo Garcia Callegari,  2016


When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?

I work in several pieces at the same time.

How has your art evolved to be where it is today?

At the beginning my work was very academic, and now, 20 years later, it's very personal. It is probably a natural transition that may have come about as a result of finding my own voice through years of practice.

Which of your artworks are you most proud off?

None in particular, I'm more proud of the whole process.

Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?

I admire many living artists but I don't have a favorite.

"Peruanismos Series No.1", Gonzalo Garcia Callegari,  2014


If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?

Personally, I think I would choose the Renaissance period. It was a time of great cultural exploration right across the board, art, music and science. And it's influence is still evident in today's world. 

What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?

Technology has moved at such a rate over the last twenty years that the amount of information these days can be overwhelming. Everything is at our finger tips, yet we have to find a way to block out the noise in order to get our work done. 

What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?

Work, work, work. Of course you have to apply yourself and learn, soaking up as much information as you can. But in the end all the knowledge and ideas lead to nothing unless you put yourself in a position to be creative and execute your ideas. 

"Peruanismos Series No.1", Gonzalo Garcia Callegari,  2014


We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?

Quite the opposite.  I can't work in a piece for more than 5 or 6 weeks.

Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?

I create for myself, as a way of expressing myself, with no particular agenda.

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm working in a series about animals and another one that has to do with politics in my country.

"Peruanismos Series No.6", Gonzalo Garcia Callegari,  2016


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