Where do you currently reside and paint? I live in Mexico City, with my wife and two little sons where I have an atelier. But I work everywhere in the bus, in the cafeteria, on the streets. I always bring a notebook and a pen.
What’s made you decide to paint? One day I realized that when I was painting the time flew in a different way to me… All my attention was focused on my work and I could paint for hours without taking a break. I also realized that by painting I forget my problems and my fears. The most important thing was the canvas, the paper in front of me and the different decisions that I had to take for creating it, that gave me peace and it was impossible to get it in another place or situation. So I have become addicted to this feeling. Painting is a personal act of salvation.
Did you study art or is it inherent? I studied visual arts at the most prestigious art school in Mexico, La Esmeralda, but my experience at the school was not a good one. I didn’t fit in with its rules and bureaucracy. I learned to be an artist from the streets, my friends and people that crossed my path, and by studying my favorite artists.
Do you remember the first piece of art that captured your imagination? El David of Miguel Ángel, I remembered that I was a child when saw his work on the cover of a magazine. I couldn’t believe its realism, his muscles, the veins in his arms, the pupils of his eyes. I got crazy imagining how a man could make this work on a piece of stone such a long time ago, in fact I still can’t understand.
One word to describe Enrique Pichardo? Obsessive-compulsive
Are you trying to send a message through your art or is it purely for inspiration? I don’t believe in inspiration. I believe in working obsessively and creating quantity rather than perfection. My paintings definitely have a message but at the same time it is a mystery to me. When I am working on a painting, little by little it gives me the chance to discover it. My work is very ludic, emulates the freedom we had when playing as a child, but at the same time it proposes a way to get it back. Maybe the message of my work is just to think that it’s never too late to do whatever you love or are passionate about, that you only have one life and should focus on what you do best. What makes you happy and what makes you give light to others.
What makes you decide a painting is finished? When I arrive at a point that I’m afraid to add or take things off which could make it a mess.
How do you choose the colors in your paintings? I don’t think a lot about colors, just play with them. In a way it is based on my fascination in the modern advertising in which different colors are used. Also because I’m Mexican and colors are a big part of our daily lives. In our celebrations and folklore.
What kind of art hangs on the walls of your home? Despite being a lover and obsessive about art I’m not a collector. My home is very minimalist. I have a table, 4 colorful chairs and beds. I have 5 paintings on the walls which are mine. These were gifts to my wife for her kindness to live with a crazy like me.
What influences you as an artist? Everything. My real training was studying the works of my favorite artists and to steal everything I could. After imitating the work of my idols for some time, I finally decided to leave them and created my own style by taking their influences. I love the work of Picasso, Miró, Klee, Matisse, Chagall, Modigliani, Basquiat, Calder, Lam , Tamayo, Kandinsky, Karel Appel, Dubbufet, the abstract expressionists mostly, de Kooning, Gorky and Rothko. The African arts and the aboriginal Australian arts, the advertisings, the street art that we find on the wall of the cities.
Where do you see yourself as an artist in 20 years? In Mexico, living a peaceful life with a lot of fine quality paintings. Becoming such a popular artist in which people believe and buy my work very often. Not to forget a big family and lots of friends.
Do you listen to music whilst creating, if so what genre? I love to paint by listening to music; In fact the music interferes actively in my work, if it has an accelerated rhythm, I accelerate my strokes if this is a relaxing one I feel relaxed as well. I work better with a happy and noisy music. I love tropical music, cumbia, salsa the jazz, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s rock, the electronic and classic one. Currently I like Reggaeton and the American pop music which is for the young people but it makes me feel good.
If you could have dinner with three artists living or dead, who would be at your table? The egocentric Picasso, Van Gogh to know his alleged madness and passion and Marcel Duchamp who started the conceptual art.
Three things you can’t live without in your studio? Music, camera and my loved ones.
Do you have a place/person or thing that you visit for inspiration? When I was young I used to visit several museum and galleries. After seeing the artist’s works I came back home with much energy and new ideas. Today, I use the internet for looking the works of several artists that inspire me and of course my family.
Anything else you’d like to mention? I want to thank you for this interview It is something we need as an artist. So our work can connect with more people. It is always important to promote the arts because it is the perfect way to save a sick society, to inject fresh ideas, revolutionary spirits and beliefs that help build a better world.
you can purchase Enrique’s work in the BUY section.