My name is José Antonio Sorolla , I was born into a family of extraordinary craftsmen who have passed their craft and skills from one generation to another. In my case it was not different. The family business was of making pottery and painting it. At 11 years old I had my first contact with the brush and, when school studies let me, I used to go to the family workshop to paint. Gradually I learnt the secrets of this ancestral work. During this time I began to make pieces of more responsibility, and I did it for a few years, until one day I discovered oil painting. I do not know if I did right or wrong, but I did not paint pottery ever again.
I will introduce you to a very quick tour of my work. I will say I started to paint paintings in a totally self-taught, simply supported by a couple of books that I revise over and over again. During those learning years, I painted figurative art and I bought art magazines to know about all the artistic trends of the moment. Those years I acted like a sponge, I watched the best of the artist I liked and then I digested it and created my own work.
Soon I became interested in the material painting ( maybe due to the fact I grew up in contact with the clay) and I began to include in my paintings in the tables all kinds of materials: straw, paper, hessian, leftover from paint cans etc. These years coincide with the expressionist series, where I improvised for the first time I faced the canvas not knowing very well the final result.
Little by little abstraction was emerging in my work, I used hessian material of different thickness which I punched and put some strings through of different sizes. When I look back to some of the photographs of those years I cannot understand how I could move around the workshop with so many things around.
Later I painted “from life”, I considered to be a very important stage in my career because I learnt very much technically and two series which I believe to be very interesting were born “The Artist’s studio” and “Still life”. To perform the first one I used to set theatrical scenes and as I always paint several works at the same time I had different sets in my workshop and that was were chaotic. Especially when people came to see me they had to be careful with my display.
In “Still life” I nearly always painted fruits, I got very stressed by those series as I had the aimed to finish the painting before the fruit went off and taking them in and out of the fridge. I used lots of material in all my paintings to the point I could not move large ones myself. I used to make the paint in large quantities, stirring in huge containers and lying the paintings on the floor and dealing with brooms and other tools as normal brushes were too small to work with.
It has never been easy to talk about my painting, but you can watch my work over the years and we can see different styles: figurative, expressionism, abstraction, new figuration, etc. It must be my eclectic nature. I have always wanted to paint every style “I have always like to drink from different fountains” ( as we say in Spanish). However, as one critic said the stages were released without abrupt changes, there is a smooth transition, they are chained ,where one painting leads to another and the next one. At first glance nothing has been forced. Just when things got easy, or after a long time painting the same series, I got bored and I needed a change. That feeling is still in me nowadays.
I am currently in a figurative period, I would define as very contemporary. I use the photography because the issues I face require it. For example, It is quite complicated to have 4 people staring at a reservoir while I am painting. My way of working is very simple. I sometimes find images that catch my attention and I start to explore all the possibilities from there. Another times I paint people I catch by random in situations I like and without their knowledge, I always try to keep naturalness in the scene.
To sum up, I would say I am again at the beginning of another series. This time is portrait or close ups of people in specific situations, for example readers who fall asleep or empty writers, without any ideas. Every beginning is difficult but I have a good feeling and I think I will be able to take advantage of it and be successful, at least I hope so.