Guillermo Turell. Portrait photography and interview by BARTE.
There are no half measures when it comes to Guillermo Turell work, love it or hate it, he always breaths life is into his art.
Formidable Magazine. What was your first creative impulse?
Guillermo Turell. Since I was very little I loved drawing, my dad taught me. I was always known in school as the boy who could draw, I was very shy but my drawings gave me an identity. It was a way of bringing to life, materializing all the things I loved. My dreams and fantasies.
F.M. How would you define your work?
G.T. I’ve always loved exploring the idea of mixing masculine and feminine characteristics. My work is very androgynous and very dark at times. I am also fascinated by beauty, what I find beautiful and what society thinks its beautiful. Nudity and sexuality are a big part of my work as well as religion and religious imagery and symbols. I love looking at old Hollywood icons, although my main source of inspiration is nature.
F.M. Inspirational artists?
G.T. I love Salvador Dali, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Diego Velazquez, Jeff Koons, Rick Owens or Marina Abramović.
FM. What in you is in every illustration?
G.T. My insecurities and my obsessions. The search for perfection which is always a lost battle.
F:M. How is a day in the life of Guillermo Turell?
G.T. I wake up and meditate for twenty minutes. I think meditation is the key for everything. Calming the mind, healing and being more creative. Then I start illustrating, usually at home, and won’t stop till my illustrations or whatever I’m doing make sense to me. It can be very frustrating at times, I have realized that the best way of expressing myself is through video art.
F.M. What film is your life like?
G.T. Yentl and Black Swan.
F.M. What’s in your play list?
G.T. I’ve loved Barbra Streisand, since I was very little. I also love listening to Maria Callas and Tibetan sounds.
F.M. Best and worst night out?
G.T. I’ve had so many fun nights out. Specially in London, where anything can happen. I would let myself go to the music and meet the most fascinating and strangest people you could ever meet. The worst night out was probably also in London, one night I couldn’t stop crying, it felt like I would never stop so my friends sent me home in a cab.
F.M. What do you love and hate about Madrid?
G.T.What I love about Madrid is how cozy it is to me. I was born here, so in Madrid is where I truly feel at home. I have so many wonderful memories here. I also love the museums, and I love the city center which is almost like a small town. What I hate is the lack of nature. I think that it is so important to go back to nature to get inspired. I miss the sea. I also don’t like how sometimes people can be very close minded.
F.M. Our motto is “A life less ordinary”, what makes life less ordinary?
G.T. I think life can never be ordinary if we truly live in the moment. Because life is not ordinary, even If we try. The fact that we are all going to die one day is magical, What happens after we die?, Where do we go?, What are we doing here? Is death the end of everything?