01.07.2020 - 31.12.2020
Carlos Herraiz is a Spanish painter and photographer, born in Barcelona in 1995, known for his large-scale abstract paintings, that are influenced by the process of aging and the signature of the elements.
The son and grandson of artists, Herraiz naturally became drawn to art in childhood, and often spent time drawing with his father, or in school. He began his formal training at the age of 18, when he went to study at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh.
Deeply interested in the human condition, Herraiz spent time delivering art-therapy workshops in hospitals, and working with people dealing with mental health, deepened his empathy with people who are going through hardships.
Initially his paintings were largely figurative, and though he has gone on to explore abstraction as well, these elements of humanity remain in all of his works. His works now range from the figurative to the abstract, with many falling somewhere in between. His paintings often feature just-visible fragmented figures that blend and blur almost to the point of disappearing into flattened, abstract backgrounds.
The exploration of emotion and humanity through abstract painting calls to mind the works of abstract expressionists, particularly Mark Rothko. Herraiz himself cites Rothko’s work as inspiring to him, along with that of other modernists, including Francis Bacon, Robert Motherwell, Antoni Tàpies, and Edvard Munch. Herraiz states that he has “been increasingly interested in the time and space between past and the present – and the impact that has on things.” This interest is visible in his work and in his process, as he combines theories of abstract expressionism from the past with contemporary interests and techniques.
This interest in the passing of time has inspired explorations of the physical results of time, as well. Speaking of aged, discarded objects, he says, “I am seduced by the way an objects change over time as a consequence of exposure to natural elements and processes such as humidity, sunlight, water and insects; how they end up carrying a long history that you can feel when you hold them in your hands.” Herraiz’ paintings are exposed to similar processes of aging, as he leaves painted canvases in the ocean or buries them, letting the elements decide the appearance of the work. “By letting the painting become a consequence of the process,” Herraiz says “it carries the traces and memory of that time spent among the elements. I am very excited to experiment with other materials, expand the possibilities that painting can offer, and open up to explore these ideas with photography, installation or sculpture.”
Herraiz has spent the past several years studying at the Glasgow School of Art and Barcelona Academy of Art, and completed a residency in Kavala, Greece. He has held three solo exhibitions in Barcelona, and participated in group exhibitions in Barcelona, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. He received the Spoon Prize at the Leith School of Art, and was nominated for the Richard Ford Award. He will be joining SomoS to continue his artistic career, initially as part of SomoS’ new Virtual Residency, and eventually here in Berlin once travel is made possible.
Carlos Herraiz Homepage