Bran Sólo paints contemporary melancholy

Bran Sólo defines himself as a “Good person, painter, illustrator, designer and photographer, as well as many other things I never wanted to be“. Living and working in Barcelona, he is currently exploring the relationship between science and art, which he regards as part of him. Meanwhile, in his Mediterranean colored paintings he is interested in the graphic study of other subjects such as masculinity within a new feminist reality and consciousness, where a man can be a man on his own terms. Other prominent themes in Bran Sólo’s work are contemporary sadness and loneliness in his inexpressive, slightly melancholy, dark portraits of faces. However, ultimately, also affection, admiration, connection, protection and commitment are recurring themes and inspirational motives for the symbology that appears in his works.

I read about this place that you describe in your work, where does it come from? Do you think it is put together through different inspirations? Or is it a place from your unconscious and dreams?

The place I speak of is about real life as I see it. It is my reality because of my vision problem. I see like that, and that has made me think and feel differently. It makes me be different.

Your eyes are giving you a distorted kaleidoscopic vision. Do you think this affects your style of painting? How can such a handicap also be an asset sometimes?

It changes everything completely. It is very difficult for me to draw lines, although I do it and it is what I enjoy most. I can’t continue a line if I lift the pencil, or close a circle, or fill in a form. I need special lighting to be able to see fairly well, and that’s how I always work. The faces in my portraits are wider, with eyes separated, big ears … in part, they are a simplification of the sum of distortions I perceive when I look at a person. Some of my works show those double lines, and those kaleidoscopic games, although in the future I hope to be able to make a complete series in which I can explain graphically how exactly my reality is.

The color blue features a lot in your work. What does this color signify for you?

It is home, the place I belong, and where I will go back someday. It’s a perfect and infinite place that I’m in love with, and they are in love with me and accept me as I am. It is the sea.

How important is painting in creating your world?

It is the only way I can express myself and reflect on what I feel or what has happened to me recently. I have always felt different, perhaps as a form of protection: I did not want to be like others because others were harmful and dangerous to me. And now, locked in my different world, the only way to connect with the outside is through these reflections in a mirror, which are my works.

You “paint to never die”. How do you think art transcends time? What other reasons are there for you to paint and how can art affect change?

Art speaks of the present time, and sometimes it does so with the same elements that were used in the past and will endure so that others can understand it in the future. Art is words, of a language that we have created together, and nobody invents anything, we only compose sentences and apply some temporal jargon.  Being like that, as a message, it is a powerful tool for me because of its visual impact to reach others, and transmit messages that the spoken or written language cannot contain.

When I’m not around, my words will still be there, and there will be those who can understand them in different ways in the future.

(from UTOPIA issue)