Little presentation does Sergio Mora need at this point. He is an illustrator, he makes comic, video and performance, and every once in a while he becomes a showman. Sergio Mora’s paintings are lysergic, magic, fun and explosive. Its captivating universe is populated by scenes and characters that a priori could seem disconnected. We have interviewed him on the occasion of his recent visit to Art Madrid, where he was representing the children’s Plom Gallery…
I’m interested in doing things that move people but how my work is percieved is something that doesn’t depend on me.
You’ve just been to Art Madrid with the Kidult Generation exhibition for the Plom Gallery. Is your art more intended for children than it is for adults?
My art is not intended for just one target. I work on projects I find interesting regardless of whether they are for children or adults. I’ve done from children’s books to erotic works… The Kidult Generation exhibition in Art Madrid aims to open new ways and combat prejudice.
Although you’re known mainly for your illustrations, you’ve also made comic, videos and performance. In fact, you’re among the few contemporary illustrators we can easily recognize. Are you a potential showman?
Not at all, I’m shy and not a good enough speaker to be a showman. But I like doing different things to avoid getting stuck. In fact, right now I’m more focused on painting and illustration and I no longer feel the need to make videos or performance.
Right know you’re working on a project with Philippe Starck’s and Bruno Borrione’s studio for two new José Andrés restaurants in Miami and New York. You’re becoming a more international artist despite the good reviews you’ve always had here.
Well, I think being international and successful at home are compatible. It’s all about growing and getting better at what you do. The world is very big and there’re many possible paths, and a lot to learn and experiment with. The project with Starck and Borrione is like a dream. Being able to work with them is an amazing experience.
Are you working on any exhibitions in Spain?
Right now I’m focusing on Starck’s and Borrione’s project. It’s a huge thing and I hope we can see some of it in the summer. I’m also working on an exhibition in Madrid for 2017, but I can’t say anything about it at the moment.
How do you see art today?
I started 20 years ago, and although there was no economic crisis, it was also very difficult. As an illustrator people would tell me I was too artistic, and as an artist that I was too much of an illustrator. I’ve always been there in the middle, so I had to create my own context with a lot of effort and perseverance. Now there’s a boom of illustration spurred by social media, but there’s a good and a bad side to it.
Is it hard to live in Barcelona and wanting to live off art?
In the career of any artist, as well as that of any worker, there are always ups and downs. I go to my studio every day and try to focus on my work, my partner and my family and on learning new things and getting better and better.
Your favourite hotspots?
I really like where I live, in the Santa Caterina area. I think it’s Barcelona’s most beautiful place. It’s like a small town, with many cultures and lots of life. At the moment there aren’t so many tourists as in other areas. I love the Mundial bar (Plaza Sant Agusti Vell, 1), where you can enjoy seafood for quite affordable prices; En Aparté (C/Lluís el Piadós, 2) and its wonderful breakfasts; Blitz in Urquinaona, where they play great music at breakfast; or the El Andorra (Sant Pere Més Alt, 74) for a snack…
Also famous was your cover art for Love of Lesbian in 2005. How did this collaboration come up?
Santi contacted me and asked me to make the illustration for the new Love of Lesbian album and for his next novel. The album was recently published. Santi is still working on his book, but it’ll be out soon. We’ve been seeing each other a lot because they rehearse in the same building where I have my studio.
What kind of music do you listen to at home?
I like old music more and more, but I’m open. It also depends on the moment. Here are some songs I usually listen to while working…
You never thought you’d end up…
Getting up every day at 7am to attend yoga class