I got the chance to chop it up with Ignacio Basualto aka Txemy. Txemy became his name by his parents initially calling him that, then his friends then it just transformed into his artist name. He is from Spain (Canary Island/Chile) yet his work made it to the walls of the US. He has worked hard day in and day out to become an artist but why is he an artist now? "At the moment I'm a painter because I live from it." Becoming an artist was the best decision he made for himself. His talent is spilling over in his work. "Everyday I wake up wanting to create something, to paint, to explore all what I have in my head, I do what I want, but I’m responsable with my idea to search or create something new, maybe I will only create two or three great pieces during my career, but for me it’s enough." If he wasn't an artist, he sees himself as being a photographer. Prior to becoming an artist, he enjoyed being a photographer. He decided to become an artist because doing what he loves makes him happy. He can see himself being an artist for the rest of his life. His advice to aspiring artists is "to have no fear, to look, observe and try to read each art piece and understand how they are created, enjoy them and the study history of art."
What made you decide that you wanted to live your life as an artist?
Txemy: Being a painter was not in my plan, the word artist is still too big for me, I prefer to use the word painter. My first steps as a painter was working in an agency as an Art Director (web and graphic designer), a job that required all my creativity. When I got home at night wanting to paint, it was not possible, I had no ideas left and didn’t paint what I really wanted too, and another important fact was, not evolving my technique. That’s why one day, I said to myself: "I want to paint!” , so I left a very good job to start from zero, in a world I had fallen in love since i was a kid, paint.
How do you feel when you see your work in museums?
Txemy: I only had one opportunity to see my work in a museum (TEA, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes) and it was wonderful. It’s something made to be seen in many places ,the more the better, even if it’s a street, a house, a gallery, and in this case, a museum, a space dedicated to art and culture, so much better this way, it was ephemeral.
Have you ever been a part of a group exhibition? If so, what was your take on it?
Txemy: Yes, of course, it’s a very interesting action, I like my pieces to be surrounded by other good artists art works, doesn’t matter what discipline it is, but always being responsible and respectful with my work and placing the art works where they deserve to be exposed.
What was your take on being a part of Art Basel this year?
Txemy: Honestly, the key dates are my least favourite days, maybe because it becomes like a kind of circus (Wynwood, this is my Art Basel), I think Art Basel, Wynwood is more beautiful the previous days to the show, before all the public arrives, those days where the world’s biggest painters start to paint their murals.
How did you feel being a part of Juicy Art Fest in Brooklyn?
Txemy: It was an honour to be part of Juicy Art Fest with my friend/brother Iker Muro, and paint that huge mural in front of the festival.
When you’re on the high ladders making murals, what runs through your mind?
Txemy: I’m really used to that, it’s so much fun, maybe it helped spending most of my childhood climbing trees to eat their fruit. There is one experience I will never forget, a mural called "Corazón de Wynwood” in 2013 ( in the entrance of Wynwood neighbourhood, Miami) painted with a pole and a big ladder, the longest ones I’ve ever seen before and I made it. Every time I was at the very top, I prayed, asking God to help me, again and again, and it was worth it.
What’s your favorite part of being an artist?
Txemy: Freedom of doing what I want, always responsible with what I have to do to become a great artist… Being my own client, the most demanding one.
Why are you still into art?
Txemy: As I said before, it’s my life, and a part from that, everyday I have food on the table and a place to live.
What's your definition of art?
Txemy: My definition of art… is something that has to impress and strike an emotional cord, after that there is what for me is the most technical part: contribution, context, technique, artist’s maturity… but even so, it’s still relative. What I do know, is that doesn't matter how much work is put on a piece of art, as long as it makes you feel any kind of emotion.
As an artist, what inspires you?
Txemy: Other creatives, my friends, travelling, daily news, good and bad things that happen to me, as I said… everything I do is to become an artist and be able to create two or three amazing pieces, not all my works are good, but they are ways to reach that great piece, I don’t know when it will happen, or if it already did, or if I will make it, but all these experiences inspire me.
What does art bring you?
Txemy: It’s my lifestyle, my everything, and understands me know it is my life; it gives me a unique way of living, extremely privileged.
For your Sentiniento de Mujer piece, I noticed that you’re creating a piece with a poncho on. I’ll assume that you were making that piece in the rain. What drives you to not only want to create art, but willing to do it under whatever circumstance you’re in?
Txemy: Actually I am (even tho i’m not so crazy), I think I have painted in worst circumstances… Like in Brooklyn, New York two winters ago, it was the coldest and most snowing day I ever lived, taking into account I’m from Canary Island, a paradise.
Where do you see your future in art?
Txemy: Not very different as I am now, maybe because of the trajectory, the impact will be higher over the years , I’m happy with what I have now, that doesn’t mean me being a conformist person, i go for all, but step by step.
If there was on thing about the culture of art you could change, what would it be?
Txemy: The disproportionate amount of money that art moves.
Is there anything you would like to add?
“No creo que el arte se mida por cuan trabajado esté, sino por cuanto te llegue a emocionar."
I don't think you can measure art by how well "worked" it has been but rather by how much you're moved by it.
Photos provided by Txemy's site.