The Artist's Gaze: Jaime Valero
What compels you to the specific women you choose to paint?
Since most of my pieces are somehow “portraits”, at first, what I look for in the model is that particular face that better fits in the project I am working on. I think the right face, will definitely change the whole concept of the painting.
Latter on, it is equally important the way she connects with me during the photo shooting. That is the moment when I need her to feel comfortable and show herself natural and spontaneous in the pictures. If this connection does not flow the images will not suggest the idea I am looking for.
When do you know you have made a significant connection to your subject and what does that feel or look like from your perspective?
I perfectly know while I am taking the pictures. I can immediately see if they look like I expected, if she is feeling comfortable and if that is reflecting on the images. Both, faces and poses will change dramatically if this connection happens. When you get this during the shooting, everything comes out easy and intense.
Tell us about a strong reaction you have received to your work and the impact you sense it has made on the subject, viewer or the greater cultural landscape.
When I got the BMW Painting Prize in 2003 I read about the way the jury had felt the anguish and suffer in the woman on the water of my piece. They even commented on the similarities to the classic “Ofelia” by Millet, drowning in the water. But when I painted that piece I could feel the model´s peacefulness. She actually posed so well that I could get that sense of quietness and the way she connected with what I wanted. To me it was a magic moment of connection between the model and the environment, the water. But obviously the viewers got a very different message from the piece.
web de Jaime Valero
Water, Light and Movement # 3 / Agua, Luz y Movimiento # 3
Vídeo comentado de este tercer Retrato de Gran Formato,
con especial atención a la primera mancha. Retrato Número 5, Óleo sobre tabla, 118x144 cm.