Colour Box Studio member, Ferney Caro was chosen by Sarah Hayes of A Gallery in Preston as the winning exhibitor at our annual members and volunteers exhibition, Throw Up Your Art. We sat down with Ferney to chat about his artistic background, creative process and what it means to be a painter.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born 33 years ago in Colombia. I got my Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts there. I am now studying English in Melbourne. With a cup of coffee in my hand, I am loving this colourful Melbourne panorama.
Has art been a part of your life from a young age, or is it something you’ve started more recently?
As far as I remember, art was the only subject in school that I didn’t flunk. Art has been a part of me every day. It has given me the ability to solve problems in creative ways, sometimes without many resources. My professional artistic practice started about a year ago.
In the art academy, you can choose subjects in line with what you eventually want to follow as artistic practice in your life. Nobody told me that though, so I did subjects just to complete credits and get my degree. At the time, the teachers were were teaching a strongly career-focused curriculum. During art school, I did some paintings, video art pieces, a couple of installations, some land art and a performance, but I did a lot of just to try to impress the teachers. But it was hard to find a concrete theme in any of this. All I knew was that I felt really fascinated by art.
In the end, I realised I felt closer to painting than any other medium… but if you’re not incredibly awesome, it’s hard to find success as a painter. At least that’s what you think as an art student in the third world. I didn’t see room for me. It’s such a sad thing, isn’t it?
I got the degree in 2013, but I was working a lot, simply trying to survive and start a new life. I had no time for art. Then last year, I became serious about it again. I don’t know why I suddenly took painting seriously again, but I think moving to Melbourne has something to do with it. I believe that every person has their rhythm and this is my time to go for it!
What’s your creative process like for your art works, eg. do you start with a firm idea of the end result in mind? How many drafts do you go through?
As for the medium itself, I don’t know why I’m attracted to painting in particular. I think it has something to do with my development as an artist. In my first year of painting, I discovered myself. I mean, I found my brushstrokes changed at every painting. They improved, at least I hope so. I was able to look for my language and perfect it.
At the beginning, I used to paint animals because I think they deserve to be painted. I still like the image of them in their natural environments hunting, running or jumping. I like incorporating the idea of movement and capturing people’s attention, as well as actually making the composition on the canvas.
Now, some paintings start from a theme and then I find an image which links to it. In that case, I choose the range of colours before I start painting. Most of my artworks try to define what painting actually is. When you see my paintings, I am telling you what painting is for me. That’s why I insist on colours, layers, movement and tensions in the compositions.
What do you find rewarding about your current work? Is there a particular project that you’ve enjoyed?
It’s so rewarding when you finish the artwork after multiple drafts. It’s a feeling that lets me know that I’ve done well.
Whose creative work do you like at the moment?
I like the artworks of Simon Birch, Benjamin Garcia, Cesar Biojo, Francoise Nielly, Antony Micallef, among others.
Can you tell us why you focus so much on bold, vibrant colours in your work?
Painting is like music: Every painter is playing some genre. Mine is some kind of neo-electro-jazz. It’s dance music. I want to wake you up, make your senses rise up, and slap the boredom out of you. That’s why I use a lot of colour.
What are your upcoming future projects?
I am preparing some big scale paintings for a project at Knox City Council. The artworks take the patterns and colours of aboriginal Australian art and transfer them into my pictorial language.
Where can our readers find you online?