By Vincent Echenique (Twitter @VinceEchenique Instagram: @FFmvincent)
Starsky Brines Figurative art...
Both... or more?
"A painting is like a living being"
Far away, on the Venezuelan EastCoast and 5-driving-hours from the capital city, there might be something special about the understanding of art. It is, amongst others, hometown of Starsky Brines, son of a tailor woman, whose dream of becoming artist came true, at least, in the person of her own son. Thus, this mother contributed with dedication and support to cultivate and foster her son ́s talent, one of the shooting stars in the Latin-American contemporary art movement.
Behold! Starsky Brines takes a brief break in his atelier nearby Caracas to explain us how everything began, his achievements, opinions and the influences that played a role in his approach to making art.
Once surprised by his own success in other countries, Brines now enjoys the recognition amongst painter colleagues. But he does not hesitate to level it and his passion for art up with a simple habit of learning to deal with it. The early ages in his childhood, he says, were and are very crucial. "As usual in the case of every single artist, one just gets in touch with drawing and painting. People around me saw my early inclination for painting in particular," Starsky says with a warning accent. It did not end up with it, he also loved to sing and helping out his mother, the tailor. The surroundings were the driving force for his dedication to creating. "My mother was a tailor and she did rag dolls. It really was the beginning of everything," Brines reflects. He is also aware of the influence of that imaginary world of life in his province city, Maturin, on his current artwork.
The biggest influence on his artistic approach remains his mother though. Sharing a pastime with a tailor just gave him insights of creating. "My mom was and is the biggest influence I ́d ever had. She supported me a lot. But there was something special about that. I was with her when she was cutting textiles and making rag dolls, it was that handcraft work, the use of both hands. painting the eyes of the dolls she was making. That gave me a lot of inspiration and healthy hunger for more. I think it was decisive, not only because it was not, at any point, a confrontation of interests of her wanting me away from it, but also because she always supported me. It was for her like making her dream come true thanks to me. Her father had never allowed her to study art at the university," Brines claims.
By recalling, Brines does not forget how important his traineeship as an assistant at the great artist Jesus Soto ́s atelier was to finally enrol for the School of Arts in Caracas. "There was also something that I experienced and made me strongly consider art as a way of life. I was really lucky to work as an assistant at Jesus Soto ́s atelier. I watched how an artist really worked and achieved so many great things," Brines added.
Nevertheless, Brines does not see any similarities between what he does and Soto ́s kinetic artworks. He drew conclusions and comparisons to two ways of making art successfully. He said that he had met an artist who lived on the streets. They became friends and Brines saw that there were also painters that were successful at doing art because they were happy, but he also witnessed how rewarding and remunerative an artist ́s career could be as he watched what Soto had achieved career wise.
Starsky Brines believes in the act of making art, he had been working really hard to carefully process issues and subjects from his surroundings. His paintings are just products out of experiences and facts that affects him and that he makes new images from. TV shows, entertainment programmes for kids are also sources of inspiration for Brines, whose sense for story telling in his pictures lies with a conviction that the translation of stories into painting should not be literal, since it minimises the possibility of being open to different meanings and significances that every painting - in his opinion - must have.
By watching Brines ́ art pieces, one recognises some influences though. He admits some visual memories in his work from the Latin American figurative art, the German neoexpressionism, the Italian Transavantgard, and the COBRA group, among others. The similarities are due to the very fact of representing people, animals, and things with their dramas, struggles, happiness, bitterness and beauty of living. But Starsky Brines firmly believes in a wonderful process of painting with no scripts, plans or recipes. "It would sound overused, but painting is like a living being, It demands and asks you what it needs. One starts doing a painting and it would tell you the way to follow, how it would end," he concluded.
More information about the Artist available on www.starskybrines.com