Spanish painter Cinta Vidal Agulló creates a world of architecture, surrealism and imagination. Her works come to life like that of M.C. Escher’s famous lithographs Relativity (1953) and Another World (1947), drawing focus to various points of intersection and astounding lighting. Getting lost is one of the many perks of Cinta’s acrylic paintings. With various ways to view her pieces, the reflective symmetry alone gives viewers the feeling of floating through structures that seem to hold their own gravitational pull almost effortlessly. Her artwork gives a feeling of a community that is distant within itself; that we are too busy worrying about our own worlds to notice that there is life outside our personal spaces, not realizing we are interconnected to the world around us—as one. Cinta will be part of the Juxtaposed group show taking place at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana from April 21 to to July 2017. PRØHBTD caught up with Cinta to learn more about her art.
I saw your image Connected and Disconnected for the first time through my Facebook news feed. It took me to a neighborhood in Cuba where I stayed for a month with my mother. Does your architecture stem from pueblos and barrios in Spain specifically?
Except for some specific cases, I never copy architectures that I have seen in real life. Buildings stem from my imagination, from the interest I’ve always had in architecture and all its forms. Of course, I always tend to a kind of architecture, which is quite Mediterranean as this is the one I know most, but I like to explore new possibilities, and I always look for new references.
In your early work painting backdrops for stage productions and operas, you predominately focused on landscapes, abstract patterns and surrealism. Is that what influenced you to paint smaller scale scenography on wooden panels?
I think there was a clear influence. Theatre scenography works a lot with landscapes, light and perspective. I inherited these elements, and I always play with them. I never focus on characters but on their environment, and that is what a scenographer basically does. I am not a scenographer, but I painted many types of scenery that has influenced my own artwork.
Images (left to right): Brutal Architecture, Colorful Neighborhood, Colorful Neighbors, Contemplative Polyhedron, Escape to the Hills, Expanding Neighborhood, Holidays, Living on the Rocks, Reading Club, Room with a Views and Together Alone.
In your newer works, your use of imagination to alter the reality in which we live is extraordinary. It really embraces the idea of coexisting with a multitude of inhabitants, but possessing characteristics that set us apart. What is your message in your work?
I think we all live in the same world but inhabit it in different ways. We often share a landscape but see it from different points of view. I am passionate about the idea of being physically close to someone but mentally far. In order to show this idea, I play with the various orientations a painting can have. You will never be able to see all points of view at the same time, so you must choose which one you see upward. I think this also happens in life: All points of view are possible but we eventually choose one.
There are definitely many ways to view your paintings, especially with your use of wooden panels, where the viewer can rotate your paintings. Your community vessels appear as if they are floating away from the negative wood space. Are the panels of wood used to accentuate the color and the three-dimensional shapes of your works?
I paint on wooden panels because I like the warm and homelike feeling they provoke. I also find it interesting to work on different wooden tones and different kinds of veins. It is a world with plenty of textures. [It is] a great base to paint on, since it is a neutral background. I can play with it using lights and shades in order to highlight volumes and reinforce the three-dimensional feeling.
Your use of geometric shaping, intricate lines and lighting brings your scenic paintings to life. Does the process ever get too complex for you as an artist? As in, do you ever feel your mind is ahead of your brush or vise versa?
Every painting goes through a similar process. I first make a sketch on paper, which is based on vanishing lines. After that, I study the light in order to decide in which place I want to set the shapes. Until this point, everything is quite prepared. But intuition plays a very important role from the moment I start painting the image on wood. Forms and lights guide me, and the image progressively appears. The final result is always a surprise for me.