THE ART OF MARIO SÁNCHEZ NEVADO IS EXPLOSIVE. WITH STRINGS AND VEINS OF RED AND BLUE, IT IS UNSETTLING AND DRAMATIC.
MARIE BERTELSEN | ARTICULATE #21 | OCT 2019
Nevado’s art is explosive. With strings and veins of red and blue seen in contrast with grey, dark colours, it is unsettling and dramatic. The creatures in the art are mythical and imagined. Blood and bodies are depicted more or less clearly, typically threatened or in distress. Nature is included, but in a twisted, tortured way at unease and unrest. It is not hard to hear a critical voice behind them, especially in “Betrayal” where a personified mother earth is at gunpoint.
Despite this surreal, vibrant artworks, Nevado as an artist finds the most fascinating stories to be found in his everyday life. Doing the groceries can be a grand event. Knowing where to look and knowing how to portray things makes one able to discover and present stories artistically. Even though his art seems emotionally epic, it is based on normal situations in life.
Another influence is nature, which is one of the protagonists in Nevado’s body of work. Raised in the countryside of Southern Spain and later in life having experienced the big city for over two decades has given Nevado a newfound respect and love for nature. He expresses that nature is the basis for human life, where we came from and will return to.
As for preferred media, digital art has been Nevado’s main artform for more than a decade. Before, it was analogue media. Although having a degree in Fine Arts, Nevado used the software knowledge (e.g. Photoshop) he got through working as a web designer to discover digital art. Now his art is created by combining photographs and 3D elements in order to make digital art. The advantages digital media has is it being cleaner, cheaper, faster and allows finer reproductions of artworks. However, Nevado has a soft spot for oil paint.
Drawing upon the techniques of surrealist artists at the beginning of the 20th century, Nevado is inspired by automatic writing. This process is inductive and entails using what appears to explore your thoughts and emotions.
Nevado usually starts by combining and creating things on a blank digital canvas without a pre-thought or clear idea. He explains how he follows the flow, and the image gradually gets constructed, patterns form, and meanings are created. Only then can he zoom out, read the image, and in that moment deliberately create the art. Like the automatic writing, this allows Nevado to recognize his emotional state and views.
Typically the art is in collaboration with a client, which often time is a musician or band. A big part of Nevado’s artwork is to create the covers for albums, which has been a dream since childhood. Nevado is synesthetic and therefore able to see colours while listening to the sounds. Naturally, music has a very big emotional impact and influence on Nevado. By listening to the album or reading the lyrics Nevado builds a concept himself visually. As a part of Nevado’s creative process, he writes down or sketches random ideas that come to mind in his notebook. After this, it can be translated onto the canvas. In a way a creative word cloud is created, a stream of consciousness created with associations.
The main thing in creating a good composition and art is having a clear idea or message, according to Nevado. Teaching aspiring artists all over the world, through courses and as an Adobe speaker, he found this to be is the main point, no matter the media. Passionately, he quotes Charles Bukowski when talking about art: “Find what you love and let it kill you”, and himself say: “Otherwise… what are you doing here?”. Creating an impact and moving people are usually done with a powerful message, Nevado states. Like the automatic, stream of consciousness approach to art, the emotional, unconscious thoughts if well-articulated can have a big impact on the viewer. Ideally, one has a main concept, and sub-concepts, which works as tiny element compositions. Like a good movie, it has a main plot and sub-plots related to certain characters, that in the end are tied to the main story.
Not surprisingly, given how he uses the surrealist method of automatic writing, one of Nevado’s main influences is René Magritte. As to digital artists, he mentions the illustrators, Dave McKean and Travis Smith as being a big source of inspiration. Both of which have dark, sinister atmospheres, somewhat like a dark fairy tale.
This article about MARIO SÁNCHEZ NEVADO takes part of the 5th anniversary magazine, ARTICULATE #21. Read, download or order your print version of the full publication below