Jorge Abbad, Spanish Painter

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Madrid has welcomed TIAC once more to host a painting Master Workshop held by the Living Master Antonio López García and his pupil and assistant Jorge Abbad. The workshop is currently running at El Instante Fundación and it'll be on until the April the 7th 2018.

We took the chance to talk to Jorge Abbad to know more about him and his passion for painting. Without any further ado, read this beautiful interview.  

Who is Jorge Abbad?

Jorge Abbad is a Representational Spanish Painter.

How, when and why did your love for art begin?

I think I’ve always liked Art, I used to draw a lot even at early age. There is a specific experience that stroke me when I was a child though,which made me understand my love and passion for Art. When I was 7 years old I saw The Triumph of Bacchus by Diego Velázquez. The face of the drunken man staring straight to the viewer made me undestand I wanted to be a painter. The experience of acknowledging that someone had the skill to reproduce such a strong human expression on a canvas touched me in such a special way that I remember myself calling my mom’s attention to it and telling myself “this is incredible”. 

Where did you study?

I studied at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, but my real training as a painter came with Antonio López García. What he taught me during the workshops is impossible to find at the university. It is an extraordinary learning process seeing an expert painting step by step, because you get the chance to observe and study his method, which makes you understand much better his work of art. In addition, you get in touch not only with abstract side of creation, but also with the concrete aspects of the logistics of the process of starting a project. I think we need more real artists as teachers in the Universities, because the exchange you get with someone who is on the field will really enrich your learning. Antonio is the person I had admired the most since the beginning, and I’ve learned everything from him. It is thanks to him that my journey as a painter started. 

 Antonio, study on wood 2017

 Antonio, study on wood 2017

Why painting? What makes this particular medium special to you?

I don’t mythify painting, I think it is just a way to express myself. I like it because is my medium, it makes me feel a personal connection with the Matter and the world. I don’t think painting is better than other medium though, what really matters is the artist, his deepness, his message. Painting is just a language, I love it because I find it a miracle that you can create incredible things with few materials, bringing to life a whole world of emotions in a bi-dimensional space by just gradating color. 

Which have been the most satisfying moments of your career?

The most satisfying moment of my career is the one that is about to come! I think one must keep on moving forward and looking to the next step without exulting too much at the achieved. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the successful moments, but one must keep on climbing the mountain. 

The biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge to me is running out of challenges. I always put myself in a position of voluntary struggle, that's my way of keeping motivated. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

I think inspiration comes from what is happening within our soul. We are influenced by a series of experiences and places which trigger emotions and thoughts that, I believe, are our “spiritual environment”. I think the most important thing is to be honest with inspiration, and don’t lose yourself in the banal. We must follow what our inner voice is asking us to materialize. For example, I get inspired by the mountains because my heart is called by them.

Antonio, oil on canvas 2015

Antonio, oil on canvas 2015

How is your creative process? What do you enjoy most? What less?

The process of creating a painting is like the evolution of life itself. It starts with an idea that is born within yourself and strikes you powerfully, then it grows up with strength but suddenly you start facing problems, and that’s an interesting part of the process. I enjoy the problem-solving phase because it leads you to the research of answers. To me it doesn’t matter if the final result is not perfect, but the effort of researching is fundamental. Problems can be technical, you may struggle with pigments that sink into the canvas or with a specific part of the life model or a still life, which are really important to your project, that you’re not capable to capture as you would wish, so you keep on pushing yourself to get better. Eventually there is a moment when you feel the energy of the project decreases little by little until and there's nothing else to do. I love every step. 

What is your research and what message do you wish to share with the observer? 

My dreams, ideas, and desires are my personal focus, which I interpret through reality. Representational art sends a clear message, which is “I’m looking at this subject/object that has a meaning for me”. Our method is based on observing and copying reality, therefore the message will come after the meaning and the emotions we put into that reality we've decided to observe, and to which, for some emotional reason, we're drawn to. I think emotions build the painting up because they are the ones to lead you to decide where the focus is. 

You've chosen representational art, why? What is the importance of keeping it alive and passing it on to the next generations?

As a kid, when I saw the face of the drunken man in Velàzquez Triumph of Bacchus, it seemed incredible to me that it could be possible to strip away a smile from someone and put it into a bi-dimensional support. Reality can provide us with great things, and it is amazing that we are able to borrow a piece of it to place it on a canvas. 

I’m not sure about the importance of passing representational art on to the next generation, but I feel it is important not to underestimate it just because it's something that seems to belong to the past. I think figurative art still has lots to say and regardless of the opinion of the rest of the world, if someone feels he or she have to follow a representational path, they should. I feel I have to do this.

Trying to imagine a parallel reality, who would you be without Art?

I would be a mountain climber! I’ve tried to combine both passions! 


If you knew that with you Art you have the power to make a change, what would you change?

 I don’t think you could do big changes with Art because it's not its purpose. A politician could maybe change something, Art is only a witness that nourishes people’s soul. That’s enough for me. 

What message would you give to the future generations?

I’m the future generation! 

I would say being an artist is a difficult journey, but if you feel in your heart you want to engage it, then you should with no hesitation. Someone once said to me "If this is not meant to be your path, life will strike you and will take you somewhere else".

You must risk. We have only one life and we must live it the way we want.

If you fall, you stand up, you don’t give up and you find your way. 

Natalia, oil on canvas 2014

Natalia, oil on canvas 2014


To know more about Jorge, visit his website

Anna Rosa Paladino