Eduardo Anievas Cortines

Eduardo Anievas Cortines’ paintings encompass different subjects: figure, cityscapes, landscapes, abstractions, still lifes, and portraits. Central in much of Anievas’ work is the interplay between figure and background, using the figure as negative space to contextualize an abstracted, geometric background which becomes the subject of the painting. His figures are shaped by gesture, fluid lines that capture the essence of a body. His geometry sometimes suggests an environment, but is often pure abstraction that pulses with vibrant patterns and bold, saturated colors.

Born in Santander, a city on the north coast of Spain, in 1973, Anievas earned a master’s degree in fine art from the University of Fine Arts in Salamanca in 1996. He then moved to Passau, Germany and began his life as a fulltime artist, selling still lifes of flowers and fruit and painting portraits by commission. After a year in Portugal and a sojourn to China and Tibet, Eduardo moved to New York City in 1999.

Eduardo Anievas Cortines Eduardo Anievas Cortines Anievas has exhibited his work in Portugal, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria and in the United States (NYC, Rye, and Boston). In New York, where he has lived for the last 19 years, he has exhibited in galleries, cultural centers, restaurants, nightclubs, the streets of Manhattan and in his studio in LIC, where since 2011 he has been holding his Open Studio Series.

QG: What first interested you in the visual arts and painting?

EA: My father was a sculptor so I grew up with the perspective of an insider, being very familiar with the process of sculpting. So in essence it was the process which first attracted me to art—the intimacy of working with the materials, being able to use my hands to express feelings. Art for me is communicating the intimate moment and the feelings that I experience in creating something—a moment of no mind where I can see myself feeling, peeking into something that lacks conceptualization— just feeling. The very moment of painting for me must be a moment of no effort, like the Beatles song, “Let it Be.”

Untitled by Eduardo Anievas Cortines Untitled by Eduardo Anievas Cortines QG: Why did you choose Long Island City to host your open studio?

EA: I moved to LIC eight years ago. I had to leave my studio due to gentrification and I ended up finding my current studio, where I have been for the last five years. I first started doing open studios with the LIC Arts Open Festival eight years ago and since then I have been hosting my own open studios, as well as participating in the festival. The festival provides an opportunity for many artists in the area to be able to display their works outside of the mainstream channels.

I think it is very important for an artist acquire a certain independence from the art scene and to be able to interact directly with clients. I believe art should become democratized, normalized and understood as something accessible, mundane.

QG: Who are some of your greatest influences as an artist?

EA: When I was a child we had a collection of Greek mythology illustrated with paintings. I remember looking at those paintings and falling in love with the narrative. Around the same time I discovered the works of Velazquez and Goya, and those two made me fall in love with the technique, the brushstroke, the gesture (the feeling).

QG: Do you have any advice for young or up-and-coming painters/artists to share?

EA: I would advise them not to be attracted by the idea of success, fame, recognition, etc., but to be able to enjoy the process and to walk that path in a humble way. At the end of the day being an artist is just another job.

QG: What are some of your favorite things to do in Queens?

EA: I live a simple life and I like simple things. One of my favorite things to do in Queens is to go with my daughter to any playground. I get to see all these kids from different countries, colors, religions, talking in so many different languages. They are capable of interacting without any prejudices—kids don’t see races, just colors. It’s a beautiful lesson because the only reason why they don’t see division is because there is none. Seeing them play together makes me feel hopeful about their future.

This column was originated in July, 2013 by Nicollette Barsamian.

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