We speak to Guillermo Carrion about his work, inspiration and life away from the drawing board:
You're from Madrid, have lived in NYC and Barcelona - how do the three cities inspire your work and which of them do you draw the most inspiration from?
Basically NYC has been the city that has inspired me the most. But its been a few years now that I live in Barcelona, and other elements from here are working their way into the pieces. The colors of Barcelona are very different from NYC, here its a warmer palette and the Mediterranean is very present. In NY there's a lot of black and silver on the rooftops, black and silver graffiti, rust, and thousands of florescent flyers.
Can you tell me about your association with Barnstormers?
I am a founding member of the Barnstormers. We got together in 2000. It was David Ellis' idea, and we were collaborating at the time.
Is it true that the collective was formed after a 'pilgrimage' to North Carolina - if so, what happened there?
Well, the Barnstormers weren't founded yet as so to speak when we went to North Carolina the first time.
We were welcomed after an all night drive from NYC by the local people at the public school. They had written : Cameron welcomes the Barnstormers, on the sign out front. They were waiting for us with coffee and doughnuts.
What do you get from working in a collective that you don't when working solo?
I do most of my work solo, so when I am in a collaborative position I get a breath of fresh air. It doesn't happen much in painting. Its a hermit life usually.
Your work often references graffiti do you feel there is a place in galleries for this type of art or does it become something different if taken off the streets?
Graffiti is an art form, so it deserves to get attention from the art world. Although they are like oil and water, naturally they don't mix together well. But the art world seems to be opening up to graffiti.
How did you come about creating our 3D city pieces - can you tell me the process to making these pieces?
I was painting real thick with oils back in the Nineties. And so paintings wouldn't dry for at least a year.
It got to the point where moving became almost impossible. And I wanted to get thicker.
I usually build and then paint. But I like to change up my process and keep pushing towards unknown aesthetics.
What artists would you cite as important to your own development as an artist?
There are many many artists, beginning with those that I lived and painted with Brian Belott, John Hodany, Max Fierst, the big ones are Van Gogh, Jean Dubuffet, Keith Haring, Frank Auerbach, Picasso and Philip Guston, but the list goes on!
How is your work received here in Barcelona - do you think it is a good place to be if you are an artist?
I've shown more outside of Spain. I haven't shown much here in Barcelona, so I can't really tell.
Can you tell me what you're working on next?
More 3D cities
What galleries do you rate in Barcelona and where do you like to spend your time when you are here?
There are so many galleries now. There has been a boom here lately to set up exhibition spaces and art related spaces.
I like hanging out in Gracia, which is where I had my studio for years. I like going to see bands play, a good place for that is Heliogàbal.