Into the blue with Bran Sólo spanish artist – Exclusive interview for Pineapple.
Could we start with some background information about you?
First of all, I’m a person who tries to be a good person. The rest is just hobbies. I am Bran Sólo and I am an illustrator and plastic artist among many other things that I never wanted to be. I was born in Spain and I moved from city to city in this country almost every year. Bran is just the name I chose for myself when I was a kid. I liked mine, but I didn’t understand that there were millions of people who called themselves like me, so I changed it. As a child I said that I wanted to be a portrait painter in the “Plaza Bohemia” of La Manga del Mar Menor, where I spent the summer. I painted landscapes and still lifes and wanted to be a great artist. Then, perhaps the environment convinced me that art cannot be used for living and I studied computer science. I worked for seven years as a programmer in a windowless office, for large and medium sized businesses and public service, and I was disappointed. One day I left everything, eventhough I had it all. I chose not to have anything, which is what I have now. Now it happens to be that I’m happier.
Where are you finding ideas for your work?
Most of the time my drawings are, if not autobiographical, representative of my own emotional state and my surroundings at the time of making them. That’s why they are usually men, discontented, lonely, or dreamers. They are shipwrecked, victims, bandits, gypsies and impossible beings, deformed, or rather, shaped by their own emotions.
The first guy who I fell in love with, had the same ears (tagged) like the guys in your paintings. Is there any hidden story why you paint ears like that?
Haha. I had those ears when I was a kid. I wasn’t the most popular kid in my classroom, in fact, I was a little fat and very shy, so everyone else was messing with me and my ears, among other things. They used to call me a faggot then. They knew it and I didn’t, apparently. Over time, years, I had to learn to love myself, to accept myself, and to stand up again and again. This has made me strong, but above all it has made me attentive and kind to others. Then I grew up, and everything was put in place with a lot of dedication and sport, haha. I may miss being the ugly kid in the classroom, and those big ears that nobody liked. I like them now.
What part is your favorite part of a man?
Aside from the ears, which is obvious, perhaps it’s strange but the part I like most in a man, what it can make the difference between disinterest (physical) or hopeless desire, is the nape of the neck. A strong neck is a sign of a strong man, which is what I like. Hairy tits help too.
What does the color blue mean to you?
Blue is the sea. During a series of works, I tried to portray the perfect man for me. I drew and blurred many bodies, lean, muscular, tanned in the sun, pale, strong… none of them seemed to me to be the perfect man. In fact, it seemed that no man could be perfect. However, I’ve always been in love with the sea, which I think is a perfect element. It was then that I began to integrate this color, and eliminate all physical form in the bodies of my characters, to replace it with a flat blue, big and void, like the sea.
Can you tell the story behind your tarrot card series?
The Tarot of Laguna came as a project to finish my studies at the Art School of Murcia, where I studied art after leaving my life as a computer programmer at the age of 27. In adolescence I had some flirting with esotericism, wicca, divination… actually all that happened was that I had remarkable observation capabilities, and I was able to predict and analyze accurately, which later served me in my career as a database analyst, and also now as an artist. I guessed the future through tarot, even saw the aura (whose explanation I got a few years ago, when I discovered that a retinal damage conditions my way of seeing) and that led me to investigate a lot about the world of esotericism. When I had to choose a project to show my style, I chose to do the Tarot of Laguna, and base it on the fundamentals of psychoanalysis, to create a useful tool for personal development. I was rated with the highest score of my promotion for it, and I still have it on sale in a second edition, for all those who dare to try it.
How do people respond to your work?
My lemma is “I paint to never die”, as a declaration of transcendance. However, there are some who have written me e-mails to tell me that what I do is not painting, that I rather dedicate myself to something else. Others, however, fall in love with the stories behind my drawings, and thank me for dedicating myself to this and encourage me to continue painting. I don’t know if they cause love or hate, but in both cases I am satisfied.
What do you think of art schools? Do you think painting or any other kind of art is something that we can learn?
I think we can learn to paint, of course, but the most important thing is to have a subjective analytical vision, and know how to transmit your ideas to others through art. This can be learned, too, but not in schools.
Is there any living artist who you admire?
Today, there are not many artists worth admiring. Most copy others, without investigating at all, more concerned with fame and money than with their own work. There are a few exceptions, which I admire. David Hockney is alive and always will be, and Emilio Villalba has my attention all the time. As illustrators, Daniel El Dibujo has always had me in love, in every sense, and all my colleagues of the Paloma Negra collective deserve my admiration.
What project are you working on now? Have you got any big plan for 2018?
I’m preparing an editorial project, possibly for next winter, and a lot of projects and collaborations that I’m going to show little by little. I’m in the middle of a project to create a somewhat different artistic collective. You already have some information atwww.palomanegra.es
What is your motto that you live by?
I always say,”Nothing’s that big of a deal.” That reassures me. It makes me step on the brake and see things from the outside. It helps me move on, maybe because I give too much importance to everything. Don’t apply it to yourself if everything doesn’t matter anymore and you need to take stimulants to make life fun. For me, more than anything else, what really motivates me is love. Nothing matters except that. I just want that. I’m here to love someone. Nothing else.
Rojo como los labios de quien yo sé
Romance del Emplazado
A tus pies
La cena fría
El hombre del faro
Shipwreck myself in you
Find Bran: www.tienda.bransolo.com/gb www.bransolo.com @bransolo