Julio Anaya Cabanding channels his personal concerns and experiences through his vast knowledge and love for the medium of painting and materializing it through impeccable conceptual and technical ability. ‘Past and Present’ comments on the relentless passage of time, its impact, and the constant change have been explained by classical philosophy through the concepts of the “past”, the “present”, and the “future”. It is their linear interchange that generates the unstoppable stream we all experience as life, an ongoing process which we had a chance to reexamine to great extent in the past year and a half of the global pandemic.
We connected with Julio Anaya Cabanding in anticipation of his museum exhibition at MOAH Cedar to discuss this moment, an art movement he’d like to live in, and a dream collaboration.
What was the most challenging piece in this exhibition, and why?
The sculpture. I didn’t know if it would work, because I had never done anything like it. So it was the last piece I did, if it worked that would go to the exhibition otherwise it would not go, and it worked. I am very happy with the result.
What do you think art historians centuries from now will say about this art movement?
Some would say that we have not invented anything new. Everything we do has its origin in history. The artist uses what exists, changes it, transforms it, exaggerates or minimizes it, decontextualizes or appropriates it. And yes, the result may be something new, but the origin, the seed, is previous.
If you had a time machine and could travel to any point in art history, what movement would you travel to, and who would you want to hang out with?
buf.. I would go to many places. I would love to visit Ancient Greece, Italian Renaissance, Spanish and dutch Baroque, French impressionism, Montmartre in 1900 and go to a party at Andy Warhol’s The Factory in the 60s, for example
What is an obscure fact or something unique about the local culture of where you grew up?
I grew up in a neighborhood in Torremolinos called Bajondillo. If I had to say something, it is a very famous town on the Costa del Sol from the 70s, the first luxury hotel in the world was opened here and it was the main tourist destination of the celebrities of the moment. Lots of parties, sun and beach bars. Today Torremolinos wants to continue living from those times, but that tourism and those times will never return. So we could say that I grew up in that decadence
When did you start working with cardboard? What inspired that choice of medium for your work? Do you have criteria for the cardboard you select?
I use the cardboard depending on the painting that I am going to make. The reason why I use cardboard is because I was making interventions in abandoned places and one day after painting a picture I took the plasterboard with me so later I thought of objects from those places that I could use as a medium and cardboard is one of the most, they abound and I like them a lot because they show the passage of time and deterioration.
What does a day in the studio look like? Do you have any pre-studio rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?
Now I have my study at home. So a normal day would be to get out of bed, do some exercise and stretching, eat breakfast, clean the house and go to the study. In the studio I have to paint with the window closed because otherwise I am distracted. I’m so distracted. And I usually put music on the speakers, lectures or some documentary.
If you could collaborate with any artists (from any artistic medium, i.e, film, music, writing etc.), who would it be? And what would you make?
With many. With film director Paolo Sorrentino or Quentin Tarantino, as singer Jay Z, Method Man … and as many artists. And I couldn’t tell you what I would do. I would have to see and study it
Do you remember the first piece of street art you created? What did you make, and where was the piece located?
Of course. I remember like it was yesterday. It was a painting of Monet’s water lilies and it was in Malaga. It already disappeared, a graffiti artist painted on it
Does having an exhibition at a museum feel different than showing work at a gallery?
Yes, the museum has a historical burden that the gallery does not have and the artist feels greater respect or responsibility when working there. Not in the gallery, the white space allows you to experiment freely, in the museum it is more difficult.