ENTREPRENEUR AND EXPERT IN PERFORMING ARTS
Paula Mariscal, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and in Theater Direction. Her background in the field of dramatic Arts led her to work with renowned names such as theater director Carles Alfaro. Later on, Paula carried out her own projects in this field, in which she made her debut as an actress and as a theater director. Born into a family of artists, her uncle is the internationally recognized artist Javier Mariscal, Paula’s passion for Art runs through her veins and has always accompanied her both in her personal and in her professional life.
Her motivation and entrepreneurship also led her to start a family business: Palo Alto Market. A space in Barcelona for young creators to show and share their passion for music, crafts, fashion, among other arts. According to Paula, the key elements for their business success have been hard work and fun in the workplace. Today she transmits to us some of her energy by sharing her perspective on contemporary art and by presenting her personal selection of works created by Artig Gallery’s emerging artists.
"Being born in a family of artists makes having original works of art at home a common thing. I found it difficult to understand the surprise of my classmates when they entered in my living room and saw the walls filled with original works by the creator of Cobi instead of posters. But when I grew up, I could see that I was privileged. My family took me to IVAM (the Valencian Institute of Modern Art), where I ‘met’ Picasso, Rothko, Calder, Bauhaus, Andy Warhol, Basquiat and many more. For me, art was something natural, something that is part of anyone's life. As I got older, I discovered that not everyone had lived as close to art as I did. I was growing, and art was still there, on my walls, in my trips, in my school projects, etc. When I had to choose a profession, I realized how much each and every one of the artists I’ve met helped me.
From my perspective, art are expressions of the world and expressions of beauty (understanding the latter in the broadest possible sense). When I started working as a theater assistant director, I had a creator in front of me, he was constructing his piece, and I understood that my job was to complete his piece, to reach the horizons he had marked. I do not think I would have been able to understand in such an intuitive and natural way what the director was doing or what I could contribute in that place, if I had not lived so close to art.
Art and Design are two worlds that can not be separated in my family. It goes so hand in hand that when the academies ask the ‘eternal question’, I simply laugh. But let's continue with the narration: when Palo Alto Market crossed my path, I realized again how much those artists and those paintings, seen with the eyes of a girl, had taught me. Somehow, we had to become curators (not of a museum, but of a market) and at that point, you have to trust your criteria. It's the only thing you have, and it's something that has been forged with everything you've seen, read, felt or lived. But why can your criteria prevail over the criteria of another person? I came back to find the answer in art, indeed, there are infinite principles and possibilities to choose from; but without a criterion, without a person making decisions, there would be no exhibitions, there would be no art, and Palo Alto Market would not exist. It’s all about marking a horizon and going for it. We built a leitmotiv and all decisions revolved around it; we wanted to be an emerging initiative platform with young creators; we wanted to be a benchmark for new consumer habits and to address the trends that are guiding the future.After three years working tirelessly in that direction, we can say that we have achieved it and the satisfaction is enormous.
Perhaps the most complicated part comes when you want to place yourself among a family of creators. At that moment the baggage makes it seem unachievable; the referents are so many and much admired. There is them and there is you. However, it is difficult to see where, or how, these two groups could touch each other. So, in my latest adventure, this time as the director of a play, I have gone back to Them, always to Them. I went to the IVAM, when I was a child, holding my mother's hand, and we got into the work of James Turrell (Part of the exhibition 'The emergence of abstraction') and after 10 minutes observing that light box, the security woman, turned on the flashlight, pointed at Turrel's light box, and the work disappeared before our eyes.
We discovered the trick of a magician, the architectural exercise behind the work of Turrell was now before us. The woman turned off the lantern again and the work reappeared. Everything is an illusion and the viewer has to be willing to play. The creator puts the ingredients, proposes a way of looking, but in the end it is necessary that the spectator returns that gaze back to the work of art, that accepts the challenge, the game, the wink.
If I had to give some advice to an emerging artist, I would say that, for me, creativity and the way to express oneself artistically have no written rules and therefore have no limits. Everyone, individually, makes his or her own journey. If you also want your art to become your business, the options to reach your goal become infinite. Beware of those who dare to give you instructions. How many artists do we know who have broken all the market rules and managed to turn their art into a successful profession?!
I entitled my selection of works LOOK AT ME. Four ways of seeing the world, fragility and strength in the hands of four women. Two illustrators and two photographers. Where are they and where do they go?
I was inspired by the concept of 'tangle'. The body invites you to become entangled in it, it becomes entangled with itself, or with another body... Who cares? It only matters the opportunity to get lost, to conceive the body as an infinite territory, as an open journey. Lines, skin, passable backs invite us to explore the connection between landscapes and bodies:
Backs that look like roads
Roads that look like genitals
Genitals hidden between the legs
The combination of bodies and landscapes in this curation offers a contemporary feminine look in which fragility and strength complement each other. I also wanted to reinforce the link between these artists. Their themes and styles, when put together, dialogue with each other and interact in a single discourse, creating infinite connections between them. The light draws on the skin of Martina Matencio’s women, in the same way that Carla Cascales draws her silhouettes with her blue pencil. The colour spots by Marie Tooth remind us of Martina Matencio's strokes of light. And Sara Janini's motives breathe the suspicious innocence of Martina Matencio, just as the black and white of Marie Tooth’s work brings us back to the black and white of Janini's photography. It is all a game of mirrors and reflections. Four artists show their way of perceiving reality and capturing the beauty of a landscape or a body. Each work speaks by itself but, when put all together, they form narrations in which different concepts such as sensuality, beauty, femininity, sex, intimacy and nostalgia come into play."