It blows my mind and touches my heart
I just love what Carmen Calvo does. I have done so for many years now.
CNIO Art 2020 gave me the opportunity to meet her and like her even more.
Being with Carmen and talking with her is just as delightful as looking at her works. It is a mysterious, amazing, unique, personal, free experience.
Carmen Calvo’s work is targeted at your mind, your soul, your being… all at once. I am fishing for the right words but cannot find them. This is exactly what I have always found exciting about it: it strikes and takes all the words away.
When I look at Carmen Calvo’s work, it takes me to the place I like over all other places in the world. It is the place where the mark is hit, the place for satori – the mind-dissolving experience of enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. Carmen has been to this place before me, and I feel I can share in her joy, her rebelliousness, her playfulness, her eroticism and her pain.
As an artist, it is an experience in humility – fishing for words for what cannot be put into words, that is maybe the realm of dreams, maybe the realm of the unconscious, a place we can barely talk about but where things make sense. The same place where objects and images, signifiers and signified become sounds, sounds gather into tunes and tunes make songs.
I can picture Carmen in her amazing studio, swarming with things that asked to be rescued and were listened to. Standing on her shelves, living with her, talking to her, listening to Radio Clásica with her, learning secrets about her that only they can tell.
Can an artist be in better company than surrounded by friendly objects talking to her, loving her and finding a new life for themselves in her work?
Carmen’s work is brimming with energy and tension. It is not easy or kind. Carmen does what she has to do. She has a world and a language of her own and uses a variety of techniques: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation art…
Carmen is a multifaceted artist that eludes classification. She represented Spain at the Venice Biennale in 1997. When she turned 30, her work had been shown – and praised – in the leading art fairs and museums in Spain and the world’s most art-friendly capitals: New York, Paris, and so on.
Carmen Calvo’s work overpowers my senses, blows my mind and touches my heart. She is a woman, and she is so brave.
Amparo Garrido, Director and Curator of CNIO Art