Meet the artist // Carlos Asensio

Carlos Asensio is from Castellón, a small city in Spain and he has been a resident artists at GlogauAIR from July to September 2022. This interview is the result of a conversation between Savanna Fortgang and the artist that took place during September 2022 in the residency.

Savanna: How did your artist journey begin?

Carlos: I started painting when I was very young at a small private academy close to my house growing up. My mother introduced me to it. There I received very great instruction from my teacher who was a cuban painter. He now lives in Miami, but he was my teacher and became my mentor while I was growing up. The person that showed and taught me the most about art in my childhood. I am now an art teacher, and teach students the same as my teacher taught me when I was young. 

S: What do you do as an artist? What is your process? Why do you create the art that you do – what are overarching themes in your artwork?

C: I have always liked painting. I have academy training in painting from university. I also like drawing. Most recently, I have incorporated photographic techniques into my artwork. I like doing transfers and creating this effect called the ‘glitch’ effect. I enjoy the tradition of techniques but used in a contemporary approach. I love mixed media and experimenting with different techniques and mediums.

S: What is your process? 

C: My process has changed. I used to work with oil paints, which is a slower process. In the past I did more figurative paintings, more academic. I used to paint life drawings, many times from photographs. Many years ago I discovered a magical tool called photoshop. Now, I map out my composition and make preparation sketches on photoshop. There are many changes that happen between photographs and paintings. It is almost like you need to translate between the two mediums . 

S: How has your work evolved since being here at GlogauAIR? How has GlogauAIR changed your practice?

C: Lately I have been focusing on the ‘glitch effect’ with a diptych format. I get photographs from my own archive, and I do two paintings, the first one I paint  realistically. Then I make another canvas with the glitch effect. This effect exploits the failure of a bad system. I do this effect over a photo transfer. You can see the transfer of the photograph in the background, but it looks as if it is broken or there was an error while loading the image. Almost like a technological error. I get this effect by transferring paper onto canvas with transparent latex. I express myself through this technique to share my views on the world, about society, the environment, politics, philosophy. The system is failing us and I think it is important to share my morality and have a message in my artwork. 

S: Has GlogauAIR art residency affected you or your artwork?

C: My artwork has evolved since I have been at GlogauAIR. My time in Berlin has had a big effect on my work here, and I know it will affect my work in the future. I wanted to create a new body of work here in Berlin, instead of continuing an old collection of work from Spain. I think it is important to do this at art residencies and start to create from zero. I also have gotten a lot of inspiration from the art scene in Berlin, which will impact my future works.

S: What is next for you?

C: Right now, I am focusing on the moment. I can’t think about what is going to happen in one or two years because it is so far away. I am currently working on getting my PHD which is taking up much of my time. After this residency, I go back to Spain to finish my PHD thesis. I will continue to work on my paintings, as well as teach! I teach all ages: teenagers to old people. I teach all the techniques with the method that I learned from when I was a kid. I love to pass on my knowledge to younger generations.