Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.
Ara Méndez Murillo (Córdoba, 1997) is a visual artist based in Brussels. She began her studies at the University of Seville (ES), obtaining a bachelor diploma in Fine Arts. Afterwards, she deepened her pictorial practice at the painting department of La Cambre, in Brussels, where she graduated in 2022.
Having studied classical music and fields such as drawing, sculpture and engraving, her practice now focuses on painting, where she develops the dialectic between purely pictorial elements, such as colour or the application of matter, and the meanings of the image represented.
Ara Méndez Murillo recently did a residency at BilbaoArte.
Imagine an intruder who grasps a conversation in a language she does not understand. A message that is being sent, in front of her, to an invisible interlocutor. She cannot understand the content of the message, but she feels its importance. Before it disappears, she takes note to pass it on, in case someone else might understand it.
Thus, I see the world as being populated by visual messages with connotations that go beyond the primary meaning of the objects that produce them. A light that changes the appearance of a place, a particular arrangement of elements in space, a gesture that surprises us, transforms known things into unusual. I feel myself to be a witness to these phenomena, which I usually capture in photographs. Afterwards, I choose painting as a medium to recreate them, knowing that the aspects that are specific to this technique, such as composition, colour or the application of the material can help me to derealise them, reinforcing in this way the impressions felt.
My project is therefore the fruit of a life experience, of a dialogue with things. I start from images, sketches, texts and sensations that I develop and make concrete in paintings. After this initial stage, the pictorial approach is abstracted. The painting becomes a challenge in which each colour, with its weight, texture and arrangement, has to find a way to relate to the others. Finally, in an ensemble strongly governed by geometry, the tension between colour and composition brings the image to life, fixing in time and with even greater force the ephemeral sensation that served as a starting point.