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Jose Garcia y Mas

When did you start to be interested in art? Why did you choose to draw?

I was quite small, let’s say around six or seven, when my parents first became aware of my interest in art, so they sent me to evening classes.

Do you remember your first artwork, what was it like?

  I remember my first artwork very well, in evening school I did some charcoal drawings of ancient Greek heads, in fact I still have them.

What are your favourite topics and why? Is there anything you would not depict

My favourite topics are political ones, I love to document, especially in an ironical or even satirical way, whatever happens in the world, no matter whether this be global policy, cultural or literary themes. I don’t depict anything „below the belt“, if you know what I mean…

How education has influenced your creativity and changed your professional way?

  I don’t think education influences creativity, you are either creative or you are not, what education can do, however, is broaden one's mind, education is a technical basis to whatever one does with one’s creativity.

From which authors do you get inspiration?

  In my early years I used to copy the classical painters in museums, I did a lot of Renoirs which, actually, sold better than what I do today! Also, I have always been a great fan of Picasso, Dalí and René Magritte. My recent political themes come from newspaper articles and magazines, besides, I get inspirations from my wife, who is also my press officer and who read English literature, my favourite authors thus being Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Bertolt Brecht… also, while I’m painting, I usually listen to classical music, tango or jazz, so some of my themes come from those areas: Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, Grieg, Mozart, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Astor Piazolla, Igor Stravinsky … to name just a few…

What, do you think is the place of visual arts in today's life? Do you think art can influence the public life?

Visual arts could play an important role influencing public life; this only works, though, if basic education, like kindergardens and schools, is well organized by the government.

Do you think that nationality has its place in art?

If you mean by this that an Aborigine or an Indian paints something out of their culture, I should say so, yes it has, but if you mean by this that I was born in Spain and that I now live in Germany, I’d say no, for me this doesn’t have any meaning at all, as I don’t paint in that way.

Which books are you reading lately?

I don’t read books, have never done so and certainly don’t have the time now. Like I said above, I read magazines and newspapers.

  Are there any artworks you are working on at the moment?

  I’m constanly working on something… I’ve recently published an illustrated book „Political Painting“ and I have an exhibition coming up for which I’ve just finished an oil painting of the American actress Gabourey „Gabby“ Sidibe. It’s a homage to Bertolt Brecht’s „Threepenny Opera“ called „Do you see the moon over Soho?“

How do you see your future?

In the near future I hope to exhibit in one of the really big museums !!

Would you say in one sentence what is the art for you?

Art, for me, is first and foremost to reflect our world through an ironical filter, thus documenting social wrongs and other human abuses.

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