Claudia C. Forero is an artist from Bogotá, Colombia, whose paintings have been exhibited internationally. Claudia’s artwork aims to paint the natural world in a way that symbolizes it as being divine and scared. Claudia’s art is fugitive, suggestive, expressive, and colorful. She is fascinated by colors, textures, scents, and the natural world and these interests show in her work.

Claudia discussed her artwork and inspirations via an exclusive interview on September 6, 2018.

Artwork, exhibitions, and Mint Art Haus

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get first in creating artwork and why nature is such a major source of inspiration for you?

Claudio Forero (CF): Since I was a girl I felt the need to create and express the world around me in drawings and paintings. I spent my study and recreation time between a Catholic school of nuns in the city of Bogotá and living in the countryside with color pencils and notebooks.

But it was only when I was 20 years old and after a tortuous path denying my artistic vocation – at an engineering school – when I was able to take a step forward that brought me to professional training in the field of art.

This decision became a real jump into emptiness as I was facing a completely unknown world, which included strenuous workdays and the constant questioning of my ability or my talent to persist in this life project and take it to a safe harbor.

During this training process that took me several years, I experienced different means and techniques, having acquired a real taste for Painting and its capacity to evoke in colors and texture my surrounding world.

Guided by Colombian and Latin American masters such as Lorenzo Jaramillo and Luis Felipe Noé (Nueva Figuración Argentina) I discovered by means of their comments in class that my vocation was Painting, doing it with total conviction.

Experimenting with means and techniques led me to my interest in finding a theme that would identify me and fit into my character, my way of seeing the world and, of course, my immediate reality.

At that time (the decade of the ninety’s) my country was undergoing the fierce struggle of a frightened society in constant war against large drug cartels in Colombia.

Bombs daily exploded in Bogotá and the interest of artists to express this reality in art led me to produce expressionist paintings where the human figure was only a fragment or a memory, but in the end, always resulted in honoring nature as the creative source.

Producing art without a direct reference to violence and war, and its consequences: death, suffering, and destruction, became an even stronger need for me. Also, this art was the product of a natural, heavenly environment (Colombian colorful and exuberant forests); thus, it also became clearer that nature and the human being inscribed within it are topics that must be approached from a historic-artistic perspective, even in the 21st century.

MM: How did you settle on your unique style and what do you hope people feel when they look at your creations?

CF: This is a great question which makes you rather restless when you are an artist. How can you reach a unique and personal style, fully identifiable? I will start by saying it is a lifelong process intimately linked to the type of human being you are, to your personality and the way of doing and perceiving things. And attaining it without effort but with an absolute conscience may be a path full of doubts.

I will also say that I have an expressionist, figurative style that as years have gone by has decanted and calmed down becoming stronger and less ethereal.

In the beginning, the public perceived it as abstract, maybe because the figure in the painting was not easily identified, even some of my teachers adventured to predict a path to abstraction.

However, arriving to the fact that people saw it as I did took half of my life. Only in the exhibit presented in NYC in June 2017, during the opening evening, comments of a Jamaican boy not more than 25 years old – registered in the film industry – on loving trees and feeling identified with what my paintings transmitted, made me understand it had not been an unsuccessful path.

MM: How did you go about diving into the professional art world and getting your pieces exhibited so widely?

CF: The professional world of art is certainly full of challenges. In a changing world and with a strong influence of technology, the internet was the opening key to a more extensive audience, although to be able to draw attention and make a difference is another story. It is also like throwing a bottle into the sea with a message inside, waiting someone may pick it up on the other side.

And this was how it practically happened…The greatest satisfaction I may have other than painting is seeing the works in front of the spectators by themselves in realities foreign to mine.

This is all it’s worth.

From this feedback between the works, the spectator and the artist result, in general, new creation perspectives in every way.

MM: You are now represented by a gallery and artists organization called Mint Art Haus, so how did that partnership occur?

CF: I received several offers after my exhibition in NYC and discovered in time that many offers were massively done to a number of artists, and at the same time with the only purpose of catching gullible people wanting to appear in any way. So, I decided to answer to each of them, and the truth is I received few direct responses.

On the other hand, difficulties in transporting works from one country to the other, customs controls and transfer costs led me to make the decision of participating only in digital platforms for a two-year period (and to my surprise, it works rather well!).

Mint Art Haus arrived as a fresh and new option, totally accessible and with a project towards the future; however, what really led me to make the decision was their disposal to resolve requirements without delay, always attentive and cordial and eager to help.

Consequently, I participated for the first time in the NYC Fair of 2018, in digital format. This was a completely new experience for me, which has unchained a series of questions on where to direct my work in the future.

Mediums, styles, and artistic career

MM: How difficult is it for you to advertise/market your work and handle communications like social media, etc.?

CF: It is rather difficult and not easy from a Latin American country to connect with a larger audience. It requires a great deal of time and cares to make the correct decisions and relate with the adequate persons. There are all types of circuits in the world of art, and how the market operates.

Knowing to introduce oneself in the correct circuit, according to the type of artist you are, implies a great challenge. Behind the apparent access facility to social networks, you find complex levels of all type, which, in my opinion, must be left to the experts.

MM: Which new mediums and styles do you hope to take on in the future?

CF: I will definitively seek options in digital art, without leaving aside Painting as the greater source of inspiration. Use of technology is, without doubt, the door of entry to the unknown worlds of Art.

MM: What are your biggest dreams for the future of your artistic career and relationship with Art Haus?

CF: As an artist, and leaving aside the spirit of figuration, I miss attaining recognition in my country and abroad. To raise my personal bet to other levels and other audiences… and of course, I dream with the perfect collector! I hope Art Haus will be the launching platform for this personal project and that our relationship lasts for many years.

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