Juan de la Rica – Bilbao, España

Gudari, 2014 - Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm

Gudari, 2014 – Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm

Briefly describe the work you do. 

My most recent paintings have been developed from small digital collages, which work as sketches in my creative process. In this way, I single out my iconographic references, ranging from Art History to comics, through film stills, press photographs, consumer products, family albums or other images found on the internet. Through these iconic confrontations I intend to explore various pictorial codes and the way they relate to each other.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I have always recognized myself unable to narrate in Time. Maybe that’s why I have dedicated myself to narrate in Space.

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

Until 2013 I had always worked in a shared studio. Now, I am on my own. I don’t like to get up very early, so I usually get to the studio around 11 am. I paint without interruption until 6 or 7 pm, some days even later, so I have to skip lunch. 

Indoor training, 2015 - Oil on canvas, 180 x 114 cm

Indoor training, 2015 – Oil on canvas, 180 x 114 cm

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Red tape, tax arrangements… I always thought artists were much more happy-go-lucky individuals…

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

Any time is a good time to make some art. And there is always lots of work to do.

Red peppers, 2015 - Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm

Red peppers, 2015 – Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm

How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

I think I’m a much more carefree person now. Before, when I was starting a painting, I meditated things too much. Now I try to think as less as possible. How is it the same? Well, i guess it’s still me who does the painting.

How have people such as writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

Just let me say three names: Honoré de Balzac, Alfred Hitchcock, Alex Katz, and Harry Nilsson.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I know nothing about gardening, but I think it could be a nice job. I do not rule being a gardener in a future. Or, at least, to have a garden.


Juan de la Rica - HeadshotJuan de la Rica (b. 1979) is a Spanish painter based in Bilbao. He received his BFA from the University of the Basque Country in 2007. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Thames & Hudson book ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’.

Juan de la Rica - At work


All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 


About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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