Painter, set designer and performer, Gonzalo Borondo is one of the most interesting names in the contemporary art scene. Born in Valladolid in north-western Spain, he creates works mainly of Land Urban and Public art around the world from France to India to Italy. His works made of sensations and sign secrete within them the desire to revive painting through innovative analogical processes interwoven with multiple themes, multiple materials and multiple supports to erect a new, inclusive and free image.
In addition to the desire to “modernize” the image, Borondo aims at creating relationships, physical and tangible links with the place and the communities that inhabits them, where the artist’s creative self becomes a bridge between people and space. Moved by his primary interest in public art, his creations are accompanied by a great expressionist vein which, paraphrasing the famous playwright Antonin Artaud, alludes to “a real rendering that is not a representation, but is life itself in what is unrepresentable”.
Similarly, all forms of language that include gesture, movement, light and speech are found on the same level. However, it is difficult to attempt to synthesize his complex poetics from Enviromental experiences to the series of Installations, in fact in each of these the viewer is allowed to glimpse a hammering dichotomy: sacred and profane, visible and invisible, ratio and psyche. Close to Soutine’s blood over the years of digital experimentation, Borondo’s works are stories of sound and vision: his are “images beyond logic”.
Ilaria Ferretti: I was particularly surprised to read and to find in your biography the fact that you are “the son of a psychiatrist and a restorer of religious art”. So I was wondering if and to what extent your origins had affected your way of making art. I am thinking of Non Plus Ultra, a work that you proposed in Rome where the sacredness of the crucified man and the presence of the profane aspect created by the fragility of the chosen material merged.
Gonzalo Borondo: It works like for wine: the laying on the bottom remains. Then you can build on top, but the first layer, the unconscious sediment, sooner or later re-merges. It is the first layer on which you begin to build yourself as a person, inevitably as an artist the references that belong to you more deeply come out.
Ilaria Ferretti: When you are commissioned a site specific work, how much does the pre-established place influence the final rendering of your work? Do you think first of the work of art and the message you want to convey or the place where you will have to work?
Gonzalo Borondo: My art works on dialogue, and the main interlocutor of this dialogue is space. This determines most of my actions, of my conceptual and aesthetic choices.
Ilaria Ferretti: Most of your production takes root in peripheral or little-known urban contexts and sometimes even difficult and in a state of abandonment. I also think of Kassovitz’s film La Haine and the numerous discrepancies between the suburbs and the city center. How important is it for you to give a message of “territorial redevelopment”, what does it mean for you to make art in a difficult place and context?
Gonzalo Borondo: I don’t choose to make art in difficult places, I choose to interact with interesting places that convey something to me… Whether it’s the temple in the center of a middle-class city or a flea market in the suburbs. I only care about intervening in places where life flows, quivering places, so that the work can continue to dialogue even after me, alone, with the life that happens there.
Ilaria Ferretti: In an interview with Edoardo Tresoldi a certain connection emerged between you. Are there any aspects and elements that you believe can bring you together?
Gonzalo Borondo: Yes, many, we are great friends. Above all, we have a similar concept in perceiving the dialogue with the territory and the dichotomy between man and nature, even if, formally, we develop the concepts in a very different way.
Gonzalo Borondo, Insurrecta, Segovia (SP), 2020, ph. Roberto Conte
Gonzalo Borondo, Non Plus Ultra, Roma (IT), 2018, ph. Roberto Conte
Gonzalo Borondo, Merci, Bordeaux (FR), 2019, ph. Roberto Conte
Gonzalo Borondo, Matiére Noire, Marsiglia (FR), 2017, ph. Roberto Conte
I think of art and life as if they were “open works”: ready for a thousand interpretations. I am a curator (born in 1998) but also a student of the master’s degree course in Visual Arts, with a focus on Semiotics of the visible and the contemporary. I have reviewed national and international exhibitions for Artslife, Juliet Art Magazine, Artuu, TravelOnArt, Youmanist and I have been involved in curating exhibitions, events, drafting creative content and cultural mediation for Monocromo Contemporary Art Gallery in Rome, Vie di Fuga Project (Marche Region), Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, MAST Foundation (BO), Abbey of Roti (MC), Rocca Roveresca of Senigallia, Cantieri della Civiltà Marinara (FM).