Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Art Space Talk: Miky Fabrega

I was introduced to the art of Miky Fabrega while attending the Collector and Press Preview for SCOPE NY07. Mr. Fabrega's work was presented by the DEAN PROJECT gallery. I decided to contact Miky for an interview.

Fabrega's body of work includes the portraits of Latino maids from his native Panama City, paired paintings and photographs and his virtual "friends" in the MYSPACE cyber community.

Mr. Fabrega has exhibited in the The Central American Biennial (El Salvador), The Cuenca Biennial (Ecuador), and The Valencia Biennial (Venezuela).

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "When I was a kid!"

Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "Yes, lots of social influence and is basicaly the main focus of my work....I am very interested in the way we as humans live among other humans....for someone comming from the third world and making art for the "first" it is very important for me to capture that reality and bring it to the work."

Q. On average, how long does it take you to create a piece?

A. "It totaly depends on the piece....sometimes they take years....sometimes just there is no way of telling."

Q. Can you share some of your philosophy about art and artistic creation?

A. "I believe that art has no limits....I believe that the IDEA is what creates the depending on your idea you can switch from Video to Watercolor with no limitations..I believe that art is alive and it is a process."

Q. What was your most important exhibition? Care to share that experience?

A. "Probably the Central American Biennal...I was representing my country in a giant museum and all of the top people in the region where there.... so I guess thats pretty cool!"

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "If I am painting in my studio I like no sound at all...and I paint in my underwear!!!!"

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "Jajaja....I think that people who like my art are the ones who want to feel challenged by art...they do not buy art simply because is a pretty picture...they like the whole idea behind gives more value to the final is a product you know!"

Q. Discuss one of your pieces.What were you thinking when you created it?

A. "Well...let's focus on the work shown at SCOPE...the two giant MAID pictures (image above): Latino maids are more than a stereotype..(just check that Movie:BABEL)....they are a social group within a social group....they are a reality inside a doesnt matter if it is in the in Panama or anywhere in America (the name of the continent is america so if i say America I mean from Canada to Argentina!!--thought you should know!!)--these people become a part of a family...they are there inside someone's reality- knowing every aspect of them but trying to keep a is a fascinating subject....I will send you more pictures of that series.

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art? If so, how did it help you as an artist? What can you tell us about the art department that you attended?

A. "Ok..I studied Marketing and adverising in college....I've done a million art courses, photo, culture, language....I've done courses in Cinema at Saint Martins in london...I've done a whole lot...but as far as choosing a major in college I would never recomend studing art...or just art...the thing is: No one can teach you art!!!--they can show you around...they can show wat works for others...but they cannot show what is going to work for you!!! you know how many people are graduating each year with art as a major...thousands!!!!! How many of those people are actually becoming real artist????? 10%???5%????---For me marketing and my knowledge in that field have hepled a that's what works for me....I belive it is a is a big have to fill it with the most amount of info available...."

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. "They choose me."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

A. "Well...up until this year it was mainly Latin America...I was in three very important Biennales in the Last year...But now everything is changing...after SCOPE we are showing in a very important Fair in Puerto Rico... I believe it is called Maco??--Then I have a show in Panama in June and then at the end of the year we are planning something big in New york and something in London with Jaguar Shoes ( a very cool group of people).....You can check out or just type Miky Fabrega in will see loads of stuff."

Q. Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

A. "I'm represented by Mateo Sariel un Latin America and DEANPROJECTS in NY etc."

Q. What trends do you see in the 'art world'?

A. "Right now??? Fairs, fairs, fairs and the role of the Internet...that has changed everything....but in essence art right now is all over the place...I travel a lot...I've been in the last 18 months to: Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennale, Armory, Basel the whole PGA tour...and you just get the feeling that everyone is trying to do their own thing...there are no clear movments."

Q. Any tips for emerging artists?

A. "Dont loose it!!!!! Don't bother the dealers/curators/ etc let the work do the talking...and once the work opens the door for you grab the opportunity by the balls!!!! You have to be very the whole slide Bank thing....White Columns, Artist Space etc...that shit works!!!!-----dont wait for something big to happen...MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Q. Has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?

A. "Yes....and it was even better!!!!!!!!---There is lots of Porn or politics in my art...because there is lots of porn and poitics in our lives...sometimes people get pissed...but that is evenr better because it proves that your work is making people least they feel it!"

Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "Not yet!!! jaja...there was a time arround 2000 that everybody was doing video and installation and I was doing painting....that was kind of a rough time because most curators where like" Why are you painting, painting is dead"....but we all know what happend so FUCK THEM!"

Q. In one sentence... why do you create art?

A. "It is the natural thing to do."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "I live and work in Panama....I spend half the time travelling but this is the place that I call is a place full of contradictions...My city looks very contemporary but it has the cultural sence of a hundred years ago...people here are a fraid of what they dont for someone to be always poking fun at our sociaty...well you can figure that out.

My country has had its share of "identity loss" first it was discovered by the spanish, then the Colobians came with Simon Bolivar, then the French came to build the canal, then the gringos came to build the canal, then George Bush senior gave power to Noriega, then 10 years later he took Noriega out, killing a couple of thosands more in the process..and the on fine day...the first day of the year 2000 everything was gone...and for the first time Panama was 100% we are struggling to get our is a fun place to live!!"

Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?

A. "If you see the MAID paintings shown in SCOPE you will notice that each of the maids has a giant Crucifix...aging...religion is the opium of society it gives them brings meaning to a life that is totally meaningless....should I go on??"

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the 'art world'?

A. "Just pay attention."

I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Miky Fabrega. Feel free to critique or discuss his work. Check out Mr. Fabrega's site: . There is a wonderful selection of paintings to observe.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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