The Untitled Artists Fair took place in Chelsea in the Old Town Hall in Kings Road last May. An exciting selection of 170 artists under one roof responds to the current trend of allowing collectors and art lovers to directly talk to the artist and to benefit from a stimulating conversation and, perhaps, acquire one of their works at an affordable price. It is presented in a magnificent neoclassic Hall and the quality has been improving over the years.
With such great talent, it is difficult to choose the most exciting artists. This year has been the best ever. Antonio Pozo, a painter from Malaga based in London, exhibited exquisitely crafted portraits. Strongly influenced by German Expressionism and Soft Cubism, his works dissects the human soul with great insight, skill and originality. The sitter starts a dialogue that it is constantly fresh and direct. A rising star to closely be watched. No wonder Pozo started painting when he was ten and getting commissions when he was only 12. An early prodigy.
Ms. Nora Dinsmoor by Antonio Pozo. Courtesy the artist.
Pozo kindly invited me to his studio in Ealing for a more relaxed viewing where I was able to ask him the following questions:
1. Can you tell us why you decided to become an artist?
I became an artist in an early stage of my life. As far as I can remember I was always drawing and painting with a piece of chalk because in my bedroom I used to have a huge blackboard where I was able to create. I used to upset my mother painting on the wall instead of the right place. When I was 10 my parents enrolled me in a private Art school where I attended for 6 hours every week, learning with an oil painting's master and when I was 12 years old I started to have commissions and make living of my Art. I left it altogether when I was 21 because I decided to study industrial engineering after I realized that it was difficult to maintain a specific standard of living through my Art. It was a shock to my parents because they knew I was making a mistake leaving Arts. I then graduated and worked in the field for 8 years. That's when I became an artist again. The old flame that was always alive inside me, wanting to start again. So here I am.
2. Which artists are your main influences and why?
Being from Malaga and because my first Art book was a collection of Picasso's and my mother had a huge print of the Guernica, he obviously was a good influence on me just when I was a kid, and because I think he knew what he was doing, or maybe he didn't. But I used to also stare at paintings of geniuses like Soroya, Velazquez, Goya, Edvuard Munch, Francis Bacon, Botticelli, Monet, Vicent van Gogh, etc. What a lovely selection. Some of them for their precision, others for their colour whereas others just for their madness.
Antonio Pozo in his studio in Ealing, London. Courtesy the artist.
3. What do you bring to Painting having been brought up by the Mediterranean sea in Malaga?
What in fact inspires me the most it's the cloudy and rainy skies of London. I can paint for 12 continuous hours and be the happiest man on Earth. I know people like the Mediterranean weather of Costa del Sol and I am from Torremolinos/Malaga where the weather is always sunny and warm. Even here in London I can't work on my paintings when it's too sunny, as it gets too bright in my eyes so I have to stop. I leave the bright colours for my Artwork.
4. What is your major achievement so far?
It was last weekend when I exhibited at the Untitled Artists Fair. It was a brilliant and overwhelming experience when I saw people stopping and staring at my only three paintings exhibited on the wall of the beautiful Chelsea Old Town Hall in London. People found them very interesting when they looked at them, and I loved their reactions with one of the paintings. It was my first exhibition in London and I felt really comfortable and proud.
5. What is your next project?
I'm concentrating in a new collection, which will be meaningful and vigorous. However I moved to London at the end of 2013 and I predicted it would take roughly one year to start seeing galleries and its professionals. Luckily they're contacting me, and I'm very happy with that.
For more information or to arrange a private visit to his studio in Ealing, please go to the website www.AntonioPozo.com
Famous Carnival by Antonio Pozo. Courtesy the artist.