I began my artistic endeavours in 1977 through photography, when I used the camera as a tool to explore Hull, a new reality for me. Although this is not strictly true, as I wrote poetry and short science fiction stories before that, including a play when still a school, which won a national award.
I think of myself as a visual artist, a practitioner of oil painting, photography, painting and photography installations.
I originally trained as an architect, in Hull and in Valparaíso. This background has raised a few eyebrows in the British bespoke Fine Arts education system. Chile did not have a tradition of Fine Arts schools at university level during the sixties and seventies, although there were private academies, so that an architectural education was also an entry point for artists, designers and film makers. This was a marvellous beginning for an artist, as I finally went into practising the visual arts with my eyes wide open and looking intensely to the outside world.
I grew up in an environment were known Chilean and Cuban painters, photographers and film makers were usual visitors to my family home. The smell of turpentine from those years is still lingering in my nose. This also instilled a respect and, to a great extent, fear to painting, in particular to oil painting, fear to failure. This attitude was reinforced after my visit in 1969, in Santiago of Chile, to New York MOMA’s touring exhibition “From Cézanne to Miró”, when I first saw in the flesh some of the great works of the first part of 20th century painting.
During one night in the early 90s that I fully went into oils after drinking nearly a full bottle of red wine, the remains of this fear scattered all around me.