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Automatism: The concept integrating all movement in works by William Pineda
William Pineda, Dynamic Quijote, 2011. Oil on canvas.

MONTERREY.- Under the theme name “My Hurt Planet” the artist William Pineda presents to us his most recent collection that since November 4th is being carried out at Plaza Fiesta San Agustin in San Pedro Garza Garcia, NL, Mexico. It will remain there until the 18th of this same month to later move on to Washington. In the exhibition there are numerous pieces that have never been seen before where the Colombian artist seeks to create a consciousness among the spectators highlighting the importance of the conservation of our mother nature.

William Pineda is internationally known for his use of expressionism and abstract surrealism, and for the manner in which he uses automatism in its purest form. His unique and particular style generates great movement through the strokes of a spatula void of any thought of control or reason, and exempt of any aesthetic or moral preoccupations.

During the event, which is in Aisle 3, William Pineda shared in an exclusive interview with Art Daily various details of his start in the art world and how he has evolved.

“I don’t like reproductions,” he said, “I have never liked when a photo is taken, and then the artist paints from it what is in it - I like to make my own creations and movement!”

Throughout history and up until not long ago it was only the elite that participated in the development and creation of art, but William Pineda was born with talent in his genes as his father was also a respected painter and jeweler in Colombia.

William Pineda was born in Charalà (Santander), Colombia in 1957 where he lived with his mother and siblings without the presence of his father being that he abandoned the family when the artist was still very young.

Upon asking him how his true awakening for painting began William Pineda said that a sad experience was what brought upon him the desire to turn his feelings into art.
“I decided to paint when I was 11 years old, the summer after my horse ‘Cimarron’ was killed by a stray bullet.”

That bitter experience commenced what has resulted in numerous paintings in what would become his favorite theme ‘equestrians’ (though he has painted many other genres in the 3,000 pieces that comprise his repertoire) which include depictions of stampeding mustangs, Quixotes on horseback, Kentucky Derbies and a very recurring theme in his work – Polo which can be seen in “Minimal Stampede” (2010, Spatula, Oil on Canvas); “Don Quijote” (2010, Spatula, Oil on Canvas); “Kentucky Derby” (2012, Spatula, Oil on Canvas); and “Polo” (2011, Spatula, Oil on Canvas).

In this last piece, one can see a generous quantity of details in navy blue, William Pineda’s favorite color, as well as in the piece “Perpetual Movement” (2009, Spatula, Oil on Canvas).

“My favorite color is navy blue, and my favorite time to paint is at four o’clock in the morning. I wake up at about one or two, but it isn’t until that time, when the roosters start to crow,” another recurring genre in his works, “that I like to start!”

A couple of years later, at about the age of 13, William Pineda narrated that one of his works that depicted the Monserrate Mountain in Bogota with the Santa Cruz Benedictine Monastery and cable car in the background was written up about in an article in the newspaper ‘El Tiempo’ in Bogota. The article resulted in a cousin’s inviting William Pineda to live with him so that Pineda could work in his studio and have the opportunity to study painting more formally.

“In the studio, I used to prepare the canvases by painting them with white zinc, and sometimes even with egg whites! I also made paints using pigments and linseed oil, and I put and ordered the paints onto the palette for Hermes Pinto, my cousin.”

“At that time, in addition to working, I read a lot. I read books about Picasso, and another one that contained letters written by Van Gogh - and I felt filled with his sense of being! From those books I learned about how they handled the spatula.”

“Also, at that time when I was between 13 and 17 years old, I felt an attraction for sculpting, and I would gather junk which I later welded into the shapes of fighting roosters and abstract designs.”

A few years later, the artist said that he studied at the Facultad de Artes in the National University of Bogota for three semesters where he had the good fortune to meet and study with the great abstract sculptor Jorge Negret Dueñas (Popayan 1920 – Bogota 2012).

“After my adolescence, when I made sculptures with junk, around when I was 26 or 27 years old I took up sculpting once again, but now in clay - and one particular sculpture of two grandparents, elderly in age and holding hands in a very abstract form, is the piece that I have most liked of all of those that I have created,” he answered upon being asked which of his sculpted pieces did he most like.

William Pineda stated that when he was about 21 or 22 years old he decided to dedicate his life to art, but it wasn’t until he was almost 27 and had the opportunity to carry out his exhibition at the Luis Angel Arango Library in the city of Bucaramanga that he felt ‘acknowledged as a painter’.

“I used to go the library and look at the mural painted by Jorge Mantilla Caballero, a well-known visual artist in Santander, and one day while visiting the mural I saw an exhibition there and said to myself, ‘I am going to be here one day too!’ The very next day there was an article in the ‘Vanguaria Liberal Newspaper’ about a project that Governor Jorge Sedano Gonzalez was establishing named “New Roadways for Peace” to pave over certain paths where the guerilla used to travel by in an attempt to strive for peace, and I thought it was a great coincidence that I should have within my works a piece titled ‘Roadways for Peace’. I took the rolled-up canvas to be framed, and then to offer it to the governor as fast as I could, and he asked, ‘What can I do for you?’ And I answered, ‘I want to have an exhibition at the the Luis Angel Arango Library!’”

Since then, the master of automatism has exhibited works in dozens of individual events such as: 1990 - FIAC, Grand Palais, Paris, France; 1993 - Carrera and Carrera Jewelers, Madrid, Spain; 2001 - Colombian Embassy in Berne, Switzerland; 2004 - Valanty Gallery, San José, Costa Rica; 2005 - Puerta de Alcalá Gallery, Madrid, Spain; 2009 - Donald Trump Tower, Panama, Panama; 2010 - Art Basel, Miami, Florida; 2011 - San Diego Art Show, San Diego, California, USA; and 2014 – MAC, Santiago, Chile; as well as many collective ones including: 2002 - The International Visual Arts Summit, Manaus, Brazil; 2006 - The Happy Valley Race at the Hippodrome, Hong Kong; and in 2006 at the Asian Productions Arts Gallery in Singapore, Asia
William Pineda has sold many of his paintings to a variety of clients. Some works include an equestrian theme to the one-time presidential candidate for Colombia Alvaro Gomez Hurtado; an abstract flower arrangement for the wife of the onetime president of the Supreme Court in Colombia Jorge Anìbal Gòmez; and two interesting themes of a Quixote on horseback, and a cubism-styled musician to one of the founding partners of the Colombia Solidarity Bridge between Mexico and the USA, AA Ing. Javier Eduardo Careaga Diaz.

With regards to homages, William Pineda recanted that one time in 1998 he felt the desire to pay one to the great Colombian bullfighter Julio César Rincón Ramírez who had just come out of the ‘Puerta Grande’ in the Las Ventas bullring in Madrid on three separate occasions.

“I made a total of 16 paintings of him focusing upon the three distinct parts called ‘tercios’ beginning from when the bull comes out of the bull pen and Rincón was waiting for it bent on one knee in his ‘suit of lights’ (traje de luces) embroidered with silver and gold threads and with his cape which is a ‘Veronica’. It was a spectacular painting with the bull in mid-air, and the bullfighter waiting for the remarkable creature. The other paintings reflected the different parts of the bullfight with the flagmen (banderilleros) holding the colorful lances (banderillas) the ‘naturales’ which is when there is no sword under the cape, and what I least like – when he killed the bull. Julio César personally autographed each one of my paintings, and shortly afterwards, while still at the event, a man, supposedly Rincón’s uncle, arrived and said that he wanted all of them. I trusted the man because it was Rincón’s uncle and let him take all of the pieces. However afterwards he never paid for them or appeared again - I even received death threats when I tried to get them back.”

William Pineda has also won a plethora of distinctions including: a live homage on RCN television carried out by the legendary news broadcaster Fernando González Pacheco in Colombia in 1991; Winner of the Fine Arts Contest organized by Codensa in Bogota, Colombia in 2000; the Golden Palette Contest at the International Salon for Fine Arts in Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2003; the opportunity to make a donation to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2004; First Prize in the Door to Door Gallery Auction in Alicante, Spain in 2005, and the honor of selling a piece to the Bill Gates Foundation in 2007 titled “The Crows of Justice”(Spatula, Oil on Canvas).

In addition, William Pineda was given an award by President Alvaro Uribe Velez for a piece that now conforms part of the private collection of the Casa de Nariño in Bogota which is official home for each president elect.

However, upon asking William Pineda which transaction involving one of his pieces has made him feel the most satisfaction for being recognized as an artist, he answered that it was the one with the figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero Angulo.
“Fernando Botero. When the master artist Botero chose and paid for one of my paintings, I felt I had ‘made it’ as an artist!”

It is noteworthy to mention that William Pineda also is the owner of a Botero painting in his personal collection which was a gift made many years back.

Much of William Pineda’s work is characterized by strong political and social reproach, and his works fuse together abstract and figurative elements as a means to rebel against the modernist purisms. However, in his work no denial is perceived towards figure itself, but rather to figuration which is considered narrative and literal, and Pineda works upon an aesthetic revolution by combining it with the reality of movement - As can be seen in the case of his painting “Holocaust of the Palace of Justice in Bogota”, (1987, Spatula, Oil on Canvas) and “The Process 8000”, (1987, Spatula, Oil on Canvas) which allude to the events that occurred during the former Colombian presidencies of Belisario Betancur Cuartas and Ernesto Samper Pizano.

To conclude, Art Daily asked William Pineda which of all the paintings that he has made is the one that he has most loved of the thousands that he has created, and he answered, “The Bahia de las Animas” (1994, acrylic on Archis). This is the one painting that I have most loved, because it was a piece that I made on water-color paper - first by brush and then with the spatula. It was praised very much by all who saw it, and many said that perhaps it is my ‘Master Piece’.”

The painting now belongs to the president of an important television channel in Miami, Florida.

William Pineda's Miami studio is located at 18422 NE, 24 Court, North Miami Beach FL 33160. PH: 305 709 8377.

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