Bahrain Confidential explores the mind of award-winning artist and animator, Yuri Pinzon.
What motivates you to get up in the morning?
I’m a runaway. I get up knowing that every moment of the day is solely up to me. I have to keep myself alive, fed, and I have to keep my practice as well. I realise that creating your life is a crushing responsibility if you no longer have excuses like ‘you’re doing this for your family’ or ‘this is what’s expected of you’. I get up in the morning to go to work in the studio and go home still exhilarated with the possibilities of the art in my life. I get up to gather experiences, to meet new people, be they artists, musicians, or whoever they are. I get up sometimes just to get through the day. Sometimes, I don’t get up at all. What really motivates me in the end is knowing I can create artworks that are extremely true to me, that sometimes have no purpose but just to express myself. If these works entertain or inspire others, that’s great. But I live for the joy of creation and that’s it.
Which artwork do you most identify yourself with?
Imagine walking into a gallery that’s hosted by some familiar artists that you know. Right away, you can tell whose is whose and also some pieces stand out because you can’t tell who made it. These are the pieces I hate. Because if your friends can’t recognise you through your work, then your work isn’t faithful to you and you’re probably trying to deceive some people or imitate other people. Art that I identify with is authentic and true to the artist. I identify with people, and that’s how I get to know them and appreciate them. You can identify with differences and similarities and this extends to the art that they produce. I just like to keep it that simple, because art doesn’t need to be excessive to be effective, just true to itself.
What really motivates me in the end is knowing I can create artworks that are extremely true to me, that sometimes have no purpose but just to express myself.
What does art mean to you?
Art is both my passion and profession. There are kids in their childhood that stick to their desks amongst the ruckus of recess and simply draw. These kids get labelled as artists and grow up unwittingly fulfilling their self-prophecy, often, this hobby becomes a passion and if they’re lucky it becomes a profession. However, art for me isn’t just this. It’s become a looking glass through which I see the world and it sees me. It’s my translator. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to cope with confusing feelings, talk about issues I feel close to, or even communicate support and interest with others. Art is my therapy, and at the same time it’s feeding me. I’m eternally grateful to have it.
What do you aim to communicate through your art?
Art that’s meant to communicate should just communicate the artist’s voice. Any other aim, such as to scandalise or hype a topic is expecting a certain reaction from an audience. Yes, there are very experienced and intelligent artists that can do this but it can also take away from the experience of receiving an unexpected reaction. Simply communicating your point of view takes away the pressures of expectation and complications and lets your art’s reception be more organic and fun.
Can you describe your artistic process? How do you know when an artwork is finished?
I’m a big admirer of Warhol. He’s like a flash in his studio. I aim to be like him and sometimes I do the practices that he does. Simple ideas, simple objects, but viewed a few steps backwards. I love mixing representational scenes and expressionistic characters as well to somehow try to convey how I view a certain person or place. I usually work as soon as I feel the idea in my head, and I try to materialise it in this world as soon as I can. I’m afraid if I let time pass by, the idea will disappear or become deformed and I’ll lose interest. I know the artwork is finished if I’m tired or if the work itself feels tired.
Art is both my passion and profession… It’s become a looking glass through which I see the world and it sees me.
Which part of Bahrain is your favourite and why?
Bahrain is a dazzling place and I love the fact that art is thriving and living in the communities of Adliya. It really gives me hope when I hear about neighborhoods actively supporting exhibits and festivals and opening up galleries for artists and art-lovers alike. I’ve always been a fan of the Middle East and, with great care, often try to show this interest in my work through little details and motifs that I’ve picked up from this beautiful place.
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