The first thing that jumps out at you in the house-atelier of Carmen Lopez King (Puente Genil, 1973) is the library. Each of you put your own books on random shelves. Mostly it arranges them by topics. Maybe by authors. But today’s interlocutor organizes them by color. On the left, those with white or cream backs. Then the yellows, ochres, and reds. Later blue, turquoise and green. There is not the slightest doubt: we are in the house of an artist.
-Organizing a library by color is a statement of principles.
– It was crazy. my friend Sebastian of the Deed, who was a librarian, was going to kill me. But look: I need peace. And I need my white house and my colorful books.
As you can see, logic does not apply to everyone. And that of Carmen López Rey began to take shape when she was very young, when she accompanied her father, archaeologist, to museums or archaeological sites. “I grew up watching my dad shoot pieces. And what has always caught my attention the most are Iberian sculptures».
Carmen Lopez wanted to be a sculptor. At the age of 14, he first set foot on Mateo Inuria School of Arts. When he graduated, he enrolled at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Granada, where he combined majors in painting and sculpture simultaneously and with excellent grades.
But his true passion crumbled between his hands. Oil was considerably cheaper than marble, a forge or a workshop large enough to hold large carvings. Primarily about a young woman who has just returned from the University of Granada to a family home with five siblings. She is a teacher of plastic arts since the age of 25 and for as many years he has been painting parts of Cordoba’s historical heritage, his other great hobby. In recent years she has focused on portraiture and her latest collection titled “Sororidad. We Are One”, pays tribute to 24 women who changed history.
– You said the following: “Art and heritage have haunted me since my birth.” Have they caught up with him yet?
-I do not think so. When they catch up with me, what do I do? I still have lots to do. Now I am working on forgotten women of Al Andalus. If he leaves, perhaps he will go with the Cervantes Institute through Morocco. There are 14 Andalusian profiles: seven from Granada and seven from Cordoba.
-Do I draw or live?
– It’s that if I don’t paint, I don’t live. Actually in the summerthat I draw less, I end up mentally regular.
-Carmen Lopez Rey is more of a teacher or more of an artist?
– “Fifty fifty”. to give Lessons it’s a way of making art. This is a way to spread it. I try to get kids to create art.
– More than 30 solo and collective exhibitions in his career. Exposure is undressing?
-More than stripping, it opens in the channel. I can undress me, although less and less. She is better dressed [se ríe socarronamente]. In addition to exposure, it involves tremendous physical wear and tear.
-And are you uncomfortable opening up in the channel?
-After that I felt dizzy. When I see people looking at me pictures.
-She feels examined.
-Of course. are exhibiting a work to whom you have devoted all the hours of the world. When I start a project, I get so caught up that it’s hard to do other things.
-What do you mean by drawing?
– I always wanted to convey a “here I am”. Wear and tear 20 years work heritage. And it is something to be treasured, admired, respected and boasted about. And I am very puffed up with my historical heritage. When I worked in Ávila, at first they laughed at the way I spoke. There was a crash. Who are you to laugh at my accent? Then they almost even came to my wedding. Our way of being Andalusian has always touched me very much.
-Your latest exhibition is entitled «Sorority. We are one.” Is drawing a feminist weapon?
-Of course. Actually, on paint it has been a weapon throughout history for everything. A political, religious and also praise weapon for some emperor.
– What are you shooting at with your gun?
-Actually, I don’t shoot. I rather am peaceful. I don’t like to take pictures, but I like to convey that calmness in my paintings. I try to make these women convey calmness.
What’s left for equality?
– We have years left. And never give one step back. Don’t just focus on politics. We can all achieve equality from our areas. Starting from the family, where the sense of equality must be taught, one goes through educational centers. In Spain we are light years ahead of other countries in terms of equality.
– You said: “Women are the natural heritage of the world.” And the men?
Men always have been. I don’t want to be branded a feminist bigot. No. The greatest people in my life are men. My father or my husband. Also Women. I’m not against men, far from it. But I am for a woman to have the same opportunities as a man. And in the art world we still don’t have them. Many times I wanted to give myself a male name.
-One of his artistic milestones was the pictorial decoration of the Mother and Child Hospital in Cordoba. Is a colorful life a better life?
– It’s scientifically proven. I’m not saying that. When we were given the Andalusian flag for this project, it was because it was shown to be a shelter for children and relatives have this decoration for the hospital. I was 80 days in a row and it was horrible to be in those corridors. Humanization in hospitals was non-existent. And this came as a result.
There are projects that are born out of pain. Such is the case with the pictorial decoration of Hospital for Mothers and Children in Córdoba. It all started on Christmas Day 2013. Carmen Lopez had a complicated birth and her daughter was born weighing just 700 grams. It was December 29th. The baby spent 39 days in the intensive care unit and as many days in the hospital. On March 7, 2014, the girl finally came home weighing 2.2 kilograms. As a sign of gratitude, the artist offered to decorate the children’s corner and fill its walls with color. He advertised a project on the networks that worked like a hurricane. Hundreds of associates and companies responded to the call in an unprecedented humanitarian action. Colors to alegrArte was released in June 2015.
-Next stop: Art 3F International Autumn Show in Paris. What piece of Carmen Lopez will the French recognize?
– My part of sisterhood. The feminist part of me. I take a photo with a gallery from Pamplona, Míchel Menéndez, who takes 15 other artists.
– You also appear in the catalog «120 artists of the Spanish panorama» by Francis Arroyo. How’s your ego?
– I’m doing very well. My Aunt Marie always said it’s good to have someone by your side who won’t let you lose yours grapple. And I always try to never forget it.
-For the artist Julia Hidalgo, «the canvas is a battlefield». And for you?
– A canvas evokes extreme respect for me. What he captures there, for better or worse, will be unique. I never repeat a painting. Not even similar. I feel that this is a work that will be unique in the world.
“Every time I stand under the Sistine Chapel I get Stendhal Syndrome”
Carmen Lopez King
-Do you know the pain of the blank canvas?
-Every time I face one.
-Which exhibition did the Hyksos take?
-I am very classic and I put myself under every time Sistine Chapel I’m getting Stendhal syndrome. Michelangelo fascinates me.
– There is nothing new under the sun in painting.
-I do not think.
– Not even Carmen Lopez.
-Of course not. Please.
– You also stated: «I was looking for the non-existent». Did you find it?
-Sometimes. In very few works. For example, in «Words to the Dreams of Entalabatar», a horizontal painting that I made on the facade of Al-Hakam II. I have always tried to find the soul of the passage of time.