Arturo Guerrero’s life is the stuff of fairy tales–with a touch of luck and a lot of hard work. He was born in 1960 in the fabled city of Madrid and earned a degree in architecture. Then, he somehow took a left-hand turn and decided to become a painter.
Not content to remain comfortably ensconced amid familiar surroundings, he moved in 1993 with his wife, Ana Larrea, and two daughters, Blanca and Lola, to New York City, where he has been working ever since.
Guerrero rides his bike to his Brooklyn studio every morning, paints all day, and returns in the evening to “cook wonderful dinners for my family and occasionally my friends.” Guerrero says that his work “reflects how he, as a Spaniard, views life in New York.”
His work is often muted, sometimes colorful, always attractive, and frequently abstract. Despite traversing a less-traveled and risky road, he seems well on his way to living happily ever after.
Here are seven questions for Arturo Guerrero:
1. What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a series of paintings of which the main subject is the wind. As it passes through the trees or it runs over the surface of the water. Right now I’m also painting urban landscapes at twilight hours.
2. Which of your projects are you most proud of?
“The Chinese Papers,” a series I painted between 2006 and 2009 after returning from a trip to China. Painted just from memories, one painting guided me to the next in a non-stop journey during almost four years of crazy work at the studio. I’m still feeling the mental fatigue derived from it.
3. What inspires you? Where do you go for inspiration?
I go to my studio for inspiration where I try to bring out from myself all the memories that come from looking at things. This is always my working process. I have nothing in the studio, no computer, no books, no distractions, just memories. What kind of things do I look at? It´s hard to say what kind of things I have an eye for, but mostly a mix of aesthetic and sentimental feelings. Where? Anywhere.
4. What work do you most admire by another designer or artist?
Picasso’s approach to painting and his creative attitude when he was in his 20s.
5. What would be your dream project?
To build a studio with my own hands that would allow me to paint an endless painting. In the center of this studio there would be a woodstove on which I would cook for all my friends and gather them around a big table with the painting as our background.
6. What place in the world would you most like to visit?
Venice. My wife and I had planned to go 25 years ago, but we went first to Florence, and we were dumbstruck by the beauty we found in Tuscany, unable to go forth with our travel plans.
7. What one thing do you want to accomplish before you die?
To be able to speak English as I speak Spanish.