I love art, especially art that come from the soul. One day I came across Esteban’s paintings and fell in love. I got a chance to sit down and talk with Esteban about where his inspiration comes from for his paintings.
Can you tell us a little about Esteban Briones.
I think you can sum me up as a really strange human. I am in my forties, I started my professional life as a software and telecommunication engineer. However, the career I love started 8 years ago at the Fine Arts Faculty of Valencia, Spain.
I have traveled all over the world, and I still feel like there are more crazy things ahead to do. I also believe that magic, unicorns, and technology can live together with all the kindness of human beings.
Where do you get your inspiration for your art?
I know it may sound typical, but my inspiration comes from life and personal experiences. People, situations, and emotions can trigger something within me that tries to get out in the shape of something. These ideas sometimes become an obsession, I can’t stop thinking about them at all until I find a way to express them.
I use the body of a man as a support to express something related to male emotions. I believe that today we can express and talk about anything. We’re not ashamed of talking about sex, for example, but we’re embarrassed if we talk about feelings. We don’t want to show ourselves so vulnerable and opposite to the traditional masculinity concept.
Can you tell us a little about your first solo exhibition “Diluting Masculinity in Emotions?”
My first solo exhibition means a lot to me, not just professionally but also personally. When I started painting, I just did what I felt like, without any real purpose. Teachers and colleagues at the Fine Arts Faculty didn’t really like what I did, but I didn’t care because it was just a way to express myself. But last year I met several new friends that helped me to believe in myself and once I collected all my pieces together I realized that I was talking about emotions, from the pain or loneliness or other angles. Zygmunt Bauman said that we don’t really have solid concepts in our society, everything has been liquefied and a wide range of meanings can be used for the same concept. Masculinity is one of them, but I feel that if we add emotions to this equation, we still try to think of it as a dual concept. So my first solo exhibition is like a big first step for me, saying “I’m here to stay. I’m here, expressing the emotions that you probably don’t want to see in public.” I’m aware that I could be more popular if I show more nudity or romantic themes, but there’s already enough artists that do that.
Is the artwork in your exhibit an inner expression of you?
All of them, even if I start something not related to myself. For example ‘Inner world/outer world” started as a project for a friend of mine. He’s Gemini and I tried to express his duality through this work, an inner soft delicate soul and outer happy and strong social body. But I’m also Gemini, so at the end, I felt that I was painting both of us. One of the things that I realized over the years is that if I know the man I’m painting and have any personal relationship with him, I not only paint him faster and better, but I also enjoy it more and it’s like my (happy/sad) feelings move my brushes. My first works, such us ‘Absence’ shows the pain and loneliness that I felt years ago and even now that makes them so special and still a part of me.
What was one of your biggest obstacles in life?
My biggest obstacle in life is myself. I’m my worst critic. Just like Peter Pan, a simple happy feeling can make me fly. But I’m the first one to think too much and make it difficult. I have to say that during the last year I found a way to let myself go, enjoy myself through my paintings, and really experience life.
Are you working on any projects currently?
Yes! I should live in several dimensions at the same time to develop all the ideas that come to my mind. I’m working on a new set of paintings based on couples. Limbic Resonance is the first one, but I have two more I’m about to finish soon. I’m also trying to start a new set of sculptures based on my painting ‘Inner World, Outer World’. And I’m finally preparing my third solo exhibition for October.