Sideshow offstage intimate moments by Almudena Caminero
“When I wanted to visit a place that I could not go to, I painted it. For me, art became like a way of travel, a way to create those places I wanted to be in, but that I couldn’t get to. I recreated those spaces and moved into them. I spent days in front of the canvas living inside this imaginary world with its characters. It was a great way to escape from reality and explore places that I could not visit otherwise because, in some instances, they didn’t even exist.”
Almudena Caminero has always been fascinating by storytelling, and it is there where she has always found her inspiration. “Each painting usually starts with a story, a tale, or a song I hear. As I start working on the painting, I add more and more details. The more time I spent with a painting, the more details I come up with.” And it this way that the Spanish artist creates her “narrative paintings,” pictures that look like they have been taken from a movie strip, where we can feel a particular atmosphere, and a rich background story of the characters she portraits. “I want the spectator to be the one to interpret the details, to put together these pieces, and finish the story.”
Based on her cinematographic approach to art, it is no surprise that Almudena has built a solid career in the film industry. “I started painting when I was very young, and it has always been part of my life. At a point, I couldn’t picture myself in any other field. But life ended up taking me toward production design where I work now recreating the worlds that other people have in their heads.”
But Almudena has never abandoned her painting, and she is now presenting “After the Carnival is Gone,” her latest series at Cargo Project Gallery, a new art space operating on the border of the trendy art neighborhood of Bushwick and Ridgewood in New York City. “We opened Cargo Project Gallery with the idea of bringing underexposed international artists and creatives to New York,” says Kika Espejo, the founder, and director. “Almudena’s paintings are deeply engaging. She immerses the viewers in these scenes where they encounter vulnerable and intimate moments of the freak show performance aftermath. Her pictures are like a marriage between the loneliness and isolation we find in Edward Hopper’s characters and spaces, and the theatrical and freaky aesthetic of David Lynch.
The exhibition would be a one-night show which is going to be the Cargo Project Gallery regular format. “We have a program that will present a wide range of disciplines for one-night exhibitions and events, from censored Cuban photography-based artists to socially engaged illustrators from Iran, and a controversial film projection of 9/11 comedy from Spain,” Kika says. “We are looking forward to the opening of Almudena’s show and hope to engage our community in these incredible worlds that she creates.”