Bubi Canal is a Spanish–born, American–based artist rocking it at expositions in New York. Combining different types of media and methods –such as photography, video and installation– he creates worlds where you can submerge in magic, dreams, or new colorful friends. These artistic portals to another view of life have been located in places like the Centre Pompidou in Paris, MATADERO in Madrid, or the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington. If you want to feel the experience, search his creations at his upcoming expositions in Malmö (April 30–June 4) and London, or don’t hesitate to search for them in New York.
Today Bubi brings us his magical work in photographies, Dreamtime –title for his artwork compilation book too–, where we can follow his personal journey through pop icons, love, fantasy, mystery and dreams, combining the prefabricated with the handmade, the familiar with the dreamlike, to create indoor and outdoor worlds for you to explore, and to feel that magic things could happen.
"I admire the work of Jim Henson and Walt Disney, who created their own universes and continue making millions of people happy”, so as Bubi Canal would like you to, enjoy your ride with his work and be happy with it!
What do you want to say with your colorful work?
My work is a projection of my interests and what is happening in my life. At the moment, I’m interested in dreams, emotions and magic. I’m an optimist and I try to express that notion in my work. I would love for my work to inspire the spectator. I feel inspired by the work of other artists.
You use a lot of toys, objects, and items from the 80s and 90s, like the E.M.I.G.L.I.O robot or Temblor among others. Does this mean the work is connected to your childhood?
I like to use found objects. I don’t see them as toys. To me, they are materials to create something new, a part of a big collage. I look at the colors, shapes, sizes and textures and how they can work next to other materials. Perhaps using them is a way to bring the spectator to my childhood, a special and important time in my life.
In these works you build characters using pieces from different objects, unified into characters, and placed inside a room. It seems you have an affinity with the human form and life itself! How do you do that? How does the process go from inspiration to final photographs?
My initial idea for the Beautiful Mystery series was to create still lifes, but in the end I create characters. I wasn’t looking for these characters, they simply emerged. I try to let my work be what it wants to be.
Tell us more about the story behind these characters and the meaning you were searching for with this project.
I took the photos in my mother-in-law’s home; my husband and I were visiting her. There was an empty room in the house and I started to work there with some objects. I usually do portraits with people and I wanted to do something more abstract. I noticed some characters were coming to life, so I went with it. The morning light coming in through a small window was so wonderful, so I took a different photo each day.
You also work with sculpture and video. Which is your favorite method for the expression of your art and why?
Right now, I feel more comfortable working with photography because it’s easier to control. Photography, video and sculpture allow me to capture everything I like. Depending on the idea, I’ll choose one medium over another. When I start to work on something, I don’t know what it’s going to be.
How was it to start as an artist in Spain and end up in NY? Any tip for beginners that you would have liked to know before you started the artist’s life?
A lot in both places—every city I’ve lived in affected my work in some way. It’s very important for an artist to live outside of your own country, in order to grow and see everything with new eyes. I would say trust your heart and keep going.
What makes a photograph unique and engaging to a viewer?
Each person is unique and will perceive from their perspective. You need to do what you love the most and see what can you contribute.