Juan Isasa was born in 1975. in Madrid, Spain.
Ever since his teen years, Juan had a genuine attraction to art and has been making sculptures since his early teens.
Juan lived all his school years in Spain, and has lived in several countries for different reasons:
– The Netherlands: (3 years in total) University (obtain my Bachelors’ BA in Rotterdam) and work.
– France: 2 years. Working and improving my French
– China: 8 years. Working, forming a family, and struggling with Chinese
– Indonesia: 3 years, working between KL and Jakarta
– Singapore: 3 years, working from my wife’s home country
– Spain: Returned 3 years ago
Throughout these vital experiences, I had to support myself financially, thus I could not fully dedicate myself to create art. I have been creating sculptures in all the countries I lived in because I needed to express myself through my hands. I have experienced with different materials, mainly clay. I have developed my skills and style through pure dedication. In 2008 while living in Beijing, something snapped on my mind and started working with iron wire. I visited all of Beijing’s construction materials markets in search of the elements I needed. My first “serious” artwork was FROG, a very large animal (2 meters long) with glowing eyes that took me 18 months to complete. Then came BLACK WIDOW and many others. Starting my art career in China, I had my first exhibition in Beijing, also had an exhibition in Jakarta and another one in Singapore. Meanwhile, I contacted an Art Gallery in Spain (Lucia Mendoza) with whom I’ve collaborated on several expositions, including two expositions in London )one @ the Saatchi Gallery) and one solo exhibition in Madrid. I am very grateful to Lucia. Ever since FROG, I have been pushing myself to diversify in materials used (I profusely use now materials like epoxy, polyurethane, fiberglass, polyester, silicon casting, hollow glass microspheres, etc.) and also in evolving my style. Now I am creating a series made with recycled materials, to remind me that garbage can have many uses.
My creative process starts imagining the final result. Once I have mentally decided on the shape, color, size, materials, etc. I start production directly, without needing to draw any sketch. Normally I tend to choose defying shapes, to challenge myself (it’s part of the learning journey). During the process, I might change some here or there some things, but in essence, my mental vision and the real outcome are very similar. I normally use the materials of the country I live in that moment and on certain occasions, I stock with certain materials (glass spheres from China, silks from Indonesia). For example, I have moved on from the “wire skin” of the artworks created in China to an “aluminum sheet skin” of the artworks created in Singapore.
Being a self-taught artist, and recurrently moving from country to the country makes it challenging to pursue an art career, but creating artworks is not something I want to do, is something I need to do, it’s a passion. I enjoy the diversity of this world and I try to reflect this on my art. I will keep pushing myself to become better at what I love to do.
Hello Juan, we are happy to have a passionate artist with us in this interview. How did it all start for you in the world of art? You say you are making sculptures since you were a teenager, do you remember how it all start? It started one summer when I am 13 years old, as an exchange student in Saint Louis MO, in the US.
Juan: While playing with colored plasticine I was fascinated at being able to create in 3D.
What is the process from start to final artwork, do you envision it from the beginning or is it a different process? Do you sketch a study of your subject?
Juan: Normally I envision each piece in my head, either inspired by something or just pure imagination. Over the next few days, I start imagining how to create the structure, define the materials, the color, etc. Once I have it set in my mind, I start working on it directly without any sketching.
You’ve traveled a lot and lived in Netherlands, France, China, Indonesia, Singapore, and returned to Spain. How has moving from one place to another influenced your art? And if you could choose the most inspiring place, what would it be?
Juan: I had the opportunity to travel and experience many unique moments with each destination. I enjoy traveling and living in a different country for an extended period of time. It allows me to really get to know the people and experience life from a unique perspective. These vital experiences have a deep impact on my art, influencing my inspiration, the materials I use, the shapes, the colors, etc.
What motivates you as an artist? Is it curiosity, the search for beauty, or meaning? And is there a message you are trying to give with your art?
Juan: Driven by passion and the need to express myself. I express myself with my sculptures and I pursue beauty. Beauty can be found in many different forms and each one of us sees it differently. When you connect with people aligned with your concept of beauty, it’s immensely rewarding.
Your art is very unique. What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Juan: Thank you!! I challenge myself by pushing my limits to do things I’ve never tried before, to try new materials, to continue exploring, etc. It’s part of my learning process.
How has your work developed since you began and how would you see it evolving in the future?
Juan: It has evolved, not just in techniques and materials, also in themes and conceptualization. I enjoy diversity, change, and I apply them to my personal life and to my art.
What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on the most, and why?
Juan: ÜBERRASCHUNSEI is a change in style and materials. Also is the first artwork I’ve made from a new series named Garb-Art where I use recycled materials to raise awareness on the enormous amount of garbage we are generating and disposing back into the environment. Each one of us should be creative in ways to reduce use and dispose of, and this series is my humble contribution.
Share some interesting facts about your art with us. I have an obsession with eyes. They are the soul’s windows and they are a very important part of each art piece, starting from the conceptualization phase.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Juan: Each sale I´ve made, is an immense sense of achievement and gratitude, especially when they are from different countries. That means my art language is understood and we are aligned.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
What’s next for you?
Juan: I have plenty of ideas and currently, I am exploring ways to micro-patronage to develop them, continue learning and keep developing as an artist.