Nicolás Villamizar. Portrait photography and interview by BARTE.

The Straigh-Up series by Juan Barte are part of his long term project “Live Forever”, a soul-searching project exploring the path of art through some of Madrid’s art scene key individuals. Follow Barte’s Live Forever on Instagram @Juan.barte.




Formidable Magazine: What was your first creative drive?
Nicolás Villamizar. Drawing. I have been drawing all my life, ever since a was 3 years old. My father died when I was a little child, the only memories I have of him are watching him drawing, all the time. I suppose it’s a way of keeping him alive.

F.M. Is there a defining moment that made you realize art was your thing?
N.V. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Picasso’s Les Amies, it changed my live and the way I saw the world. I began studying Picasso’s work and I discovered Les démoiselles d’Avignon…the BIG idea behind that painting made me realize what I wanted to be as an artist.

F.M. How would you define your work?
N.V. Chaotic, intimate, fun and sarcastic. But also absurd and misbehaving.

F.M. Inspirational artists?
N.V. Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring, Cy Twombly, COBRA, David Shrigley.

F.M. Would you say your studio setting influences your work?
N.V. I believe it’s the context, your personal situation that defines the essence of your work. I’ve always tried to paint with the materials I have found around me, it’s my way of painting that somehow creates the environment where I paint. Now I am thinking bigger, so I need a bigger studio.

F.M. Is the studio just a place for production or also inspiration is inherent to the studio space?
N.V. Ideas come ant and everywhere and they come without any warning, the studio is the place where creativity gets shaped, where the ideas become reality.

FM. Did you have a plan for the studio layout, or did it grow organically?
N.V. Very few things have been planned in my life, my art is for me a way to scape from routine, from the boring side of life, therefore it has to be organic, spontaneous… so as for the studio is exactly the same way.

F.M. How is a day in the life of Nicolás Villamizar?
N.V. I wake up very early, between 6 and 8. I make coffee and I drink it while I draw a little sketch. This is religion for me, I need to do it to continue with my day. Then I take my bicycle and I go to the office. During the day I think about big paintings and big projects, I dream a lot, I draw sketches and I try to discover new songs or new bands that I don’t know, and then I listen to the same bands I listen everyday. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I don’t, but I am always drawing, always. I also spend a lot of hours searching for references, or seeing the work of artist I fancy. When it’s getting dark I take my bike and ride back home. I cook with Sabrina, we talk, we watch movies and we dream about paintings, murals, cinema, Lisbon and all the good things in life.

F.M. Best and worst night out?
N.V. In a good restaurant, drinking a nice wine with Sabrina in Lisbon. The night you realize you have no dreams.

F.M. What do you love and hate about Madrid?
N.V. Its sunlight. Traffic.

F.M. What’s in your play list?
N.V. Lots of classics, a little bit of everything, Metal, Rock, Jazz, newer classic music… I love Chet baker, Elliott Smith, Black Sabbath, Olafur Arnalds…

F.M. Our motto is “A life less ordinary”, what makes life less ordinary?
N.V. Try to Do whatever you want to do all the time. And off course, Nachos, tacos and burritos.