Interview with Raúl Álvarez
You have to believe in yourself and evolve with your work, not give up and think carefully about what message you want to tell or convey.
It is very important for me that both the idea and the technique are worked on and an improvement is noted, that with the passage of time the work continues to maintain its messages and few things, that it is valid.
Navigation for interview questions:
2. What are the main achievements in your life as an artist that you are proud of?
3. What was the most important for your career?
4. How would you describe art market in Europe and Spain in particular?
5. How do the artists sell their works mostly (instagram, online galleries, friends and so on)?
6. How do the artists build their career mostly (media PR, getting to know right curators, taking part regular in exhibitions and so on)?
7. What is the best strategy for the artist in Europe / Spain?
8. What artists would you call famous in Europe / Spain that inspire you?
– Tell me about yourself. What do you do in art? What media do you use to express yourself (painting, sculpture, video art and so on)? What is your art about? What is the main idea behind it – what do you want to tell the world about?
– My name is Raúl Álvarez, I have been painting since I was little and I have been dedicating myself completely to the world of art for 18 years. The medium I use to express myself is painting. My work revolves around the sea, water and the human being. I try to express feelings or sensations that are common to all of us or ideas that I have in my head on different topics and play with certain pictorial symbolisms so that the observer gets into the painting and has to think or because there are certain elements in the work.
– What are the main achievements in your life as an artist that you are proud of (your artworks being shown in some gallery, participation in some art contests or fairs and so on)?
– I have been lucky enough to have won several national painting competitions and also been selected for exhibitions. I work as an artist represented by the Ineditad gallery in Barcelona and this year I have participated for the first time in the ArtMadrid art fair, the second most important art fair in Spain after Arco. It is a job in which you have to work hard and be very active so that your work can reach the widest possible audience.
– How did you achieve that? What was the most important for your career?
– With a lot of work and effort and never giving up no matter how difficult it is. You have to believe in yourself and evolve with your work, not give up and think carefully about what message you want to tell or convey. It is very important for me that both the idea and the technique are worked on and an improvement is noted, that with the passage of time the work continues to maintain its messages and few things, that it is valid. You also have to have a little luck and that your work works, but without work and effort nothing is achieved, no one comes to look for you at home. I was also lucky to find artists with more experience who support me and advise me well to become a better artist.
– How would you describe art market in Europe and Spain in particular? Is it easy to get in for the artist who just begins his / her career? Are there any clear rules how to build a successful career, to be shown in any gallery?
I think the art world is a complicated world in general. Here in Spain the market is not very big and the big collectors bet on already established artists and making a niche at the national level is complicated, entering galleries is not easy and as in any business they look for artists whose work has projection and sales . At a local level it may be somewhat easier to find a niche, I live in a small city in Spain and it is easier to get known but being a smaller market you have no choice but to go outside and that is where things get more complicated. stuff. There are no clear rules on how to build a successful career, or at least I don’t know them. Many factors influence many of which the artist does not control, the artist can only believe in his work and continue looking for opportunities in which his work has more visibility to opt for more sales, but it is something very uncertain. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why we artists can never settle down or believe that everything is already done, we always have to be attentive and look for opportunities. The galleries are the ones that usually call the artists they are interested in to work with them. It is usual to present a dossier with your works and wait for a response from the gallery, you are not always lucky but of course you have to try.
– How do the artists sell their works mostly (instagram, online galleries, friends and so on)? All those ways are possible and valid, yes.
– In my case, I am selling in all those ways, or clients who already know my work and buy from me again. Lately Instagram works very well for me and more and more people interested in my work contact me.
– How do the artists build their career mostly (media PR, getting to know right curators, taking part regular in exhibitions and so on)? What is the most common way for building a career for the artists in Europe / Spain?
– Yes, mainly at the beginning exposing everything possible where you can and if it is possible to get it out in the media: Newspapers, television, internet… much better as promotion and visibility. It is important to have a network of contacts of both clients and gallery owners, curators, contacts in the press, etc… But it is a matter of time and work like everything.
– How do you think, what is the best strategy for the artist in Europe / Spain? For example in Russia first of all you take part in exhibitions, then send your documents (portfolio, cv, bio, artist statement) to the galleries for the open-calls (art contents), then your works are shown in the small unknown gallery after that you are taken to the big famous one. Does it work the same way in Europe / Spain?
– Yes, the procedure is the same here in Spain and Europe, at least in my case and in the artists that I know and have around. I don’t think it’s very different worldwide, there may be small differences or artists that stand out suddenly due to a series of circumstances, but they are specific cases.
– What artists would you call famous in Europe / Spain that inspire you?
– From art classics such as Velázquez, Sorolla, Caravaggio, Rubens, Miguel Angel, Leonardo, many of them I forget…to contemporary ones or those that are closer to me such as Roberto Gonzalez Fernandez, Antonio López, Golucho, Eloy Morales, Jano Muñoz, Lara Pintos, Yolanda Dorda, Ivan Franco Fraga…there are many artists who can inspire or motivate you for your work and who can influence you and today on social media you can’t stop seeing artists who make you think and who you can and you must learn!
– What are your favourite galleries in Europe / Spain?
– Well, there are many interesting ones, but the main thing is to find galleries in which your work and speech fit. I wouldn’t know how to tell you specific names because there are many that I like and that I feel are unattainable and others that I see as very difficult for mid-career artists to enter, as could be my case. I am very happy to be able to work with Ineditad and that they bet on my work. I exhibited in several galleries in Spain: Movart in Madrid, Bea Villamarin in Gijón, Federica was not stupid in Santiago de Compostela… And of course I am open to new opportunities and galleries! In Russia I don’t know the market but I’m sure there are great galleries so if anyone is interested in my work I’ll be happy to work with one.