Now Featuring Conteleta
Print 1 of 4 in the Conteleta Print series. (Part of the Little Paper Planes Exclusive Artist Series)
We asked the mystifying internet persona Conteleta to expand upon herself and tell the world a little about WHO she is:
Behind the name Esther Miguel, a 27-year-old freelance graphic designer in Barcelona, hides her alter ego Conteleta, an artist whose creativity deals in distinct mediums of expression such as markers, pencils, clay, fabrics, Aironfix or digital mediums. A compendium of technical values that gives her work personality.
Conteleta presents herself without a formal artistic education as there is a lot of improvisation and experimentation in her work. Her pieces are not about forming ideas nor do they contain hidden messages. On the contrary! She says there is a lot of banality in what she does. Nonetheless, there is always someone who seeks to find some reason, some explanation, or a recognized form in her work but in reality it has no such undertones. It could be said that her concept is the “absence of concept.” in general, she works with balanced forms that seek an aesthetic in space.
As of right now, she does not identify much with the spanish art scene. Her pieces are influenced by her friend Google and her daily life. -” Sometimes you find yourself in contexts or objects in your daily life that are aesthetically marvelous. You just have to be attentive”- She usually creates by decontextualizing feelings and being inspired by dreamlike situations where there are no laws and everything “functions.”
As far as her artistic trajectory goes, she has collaborated in a few free magazines and in fanzines from Spain, Italy, France, Hungary and the U.K. She has also participated in various group showings in galleries in Germany, Italy and Spain.
Her first solo show was this April at Miscelänea, a multidisciplinary art space in Barcelona where Conteleta presented her Munhon series. She forms part of the well-known group of artists The Company of People.
For now this “artist” is showing much interest in textiles and finds herself concentrating on the creation of different pieces with this material. In fact, at this moment she is making a mural of fabrics for a group show in mid October at the gallery Private Space Barcelona.
Print 2 of 4 in the Conteleta Print series. (Part of the Little Paper Planes Exclusive Artist Series)
Explain the inspiration behind creating your alter persona “Conteleta.” Talk more about how you differentiate your two practices as a graphic designer and fine artist.
Conteleta was born out of necessity to hide my identity when I started showing my work on social networks. At the time my pieces weren’t that good and so I didn’t want to give my real name…hahahaha!
What happened was that my contacts kept increasing and I began doing collaborations in fanzines and magazines in which I submitted under the name Conteleta. Because it wasn’t something i had foreseen, as I began to create art for fun and everything happened so fast, I had to keep the name Conteleta since that was the name I was known for.
On the other hand, I have my profession. I am a graphic designer and it has nothing to do with Conteleta. It is true that my work tends to be less of a conventional design and more experimental. I like to avoid conventionalism. The thing is that I can’t create abstractions as Conteleta! In the future I would like to focus on the projection of books and catalogues of exhibitions and artists. It would be another way of enjoying art.
You stated there is an absence of concept in your work. Do you have any strategy or rules for yourself or it is mainly based on an intuitive practice?
My work is intuitive. I like to work fast and not spend too much time thinking about what I am doing. I simply look for an aesthetic that I like that functions compositionally.
Please elaborate on the current Spanish art scene. Do you identify with any art movements? Are there any contemporary artists you find influential?
I really can not identify with any concrete artistic movement, as I intuitively take what I like from each one and put my own seal on it.
No specific artist influences me. I imagine it’s something more in general. It’s what I see on the internet, at shows or in books. The mind unconsciously retains what is seen and in a day of inspiration releases it in an intuitive manner and in an inexact form. That is where you add your own personality to it. I suppose that the art world is full of variants of one thing.
Print 3 of 4 in the Conteleta Print series. (Part of the Little Paper Planes Exclusive Artist Series)
You seem to be trying out various materials and mediums. How do you make decisions on what materials to use for each piece? Can you talk about your new interest in textiles?
As a matter of fact, I don’t think about the materials beforehand. It’s something more accidental. I work fast and in a small space, and so the pieces sometimes are created inadvertently. Maybe I am doing things that have nothing to do with art, but I will suddenly have an idea and so I make it with what I have available at the moment. I don’t focus on one single thing. I am always thinking about the bigger picture.
You mention being inspired by “dreamlike situations,” are you every actually inspired by your dreams? Is there anyone in particular you would like to share with us?
Well, when I mentioned dreamlike situations I was referring to just that. To impossible and often times strange situations that can only be visualized in dreams or in your mind. I don’t draw inspiration from dreams but rather from the idea of unreal and intangible forms and situations that I can only imagine.
To view all her prints, www.littlepaperplanes.com
To download and read the interview in Spanish, please go here.
**We graciously thank Roberto Martinez for his super translating skills.