Meet the artist – Camila Quintero
Camila Quintero portrait

Meet the artist – Camila Quintero

 MA Visual Arts: Illustration, Camberwell College of Art, 2018

Camila Quintero is a visual artist and graphic designer from Bogota, Colombia who is based in London.

Her work references different disciplines across art, architecture, photography and design. She has established a way to work with abstract geometry by using both fluid and controlled automatism. Colour and composition are fundamental to her work.

Camila is also keen to develop works that have a 3D quality by exploring perspective, distortion and deconstruction. Her work has been selected for the UAL Collection and she is also exhibiting as part of the Flock graduates show.

 What was the inspiration behind the piece(s) in not just a shop?

The inspiration behind my work is the use of distorted and deconstructed geometry. The title of the painting is ‘Geometric Utopia’. My aim was to create an improvised composition using geometry in an unconventional way where the elements would interact, creating a sense of unrealistic spatiality and movement. The prints are part of my final project for the MA. This was the results following research based on the emotional responses that we have to our surroundings. These works establish a moment at a specific time of the day and the sensorial response we have from that.

Two pieces by Camila Quintero

How did you make the pieces in not just a shop?

 The painting was made with acrylics. I usually draw directly onto the canvas without preliminary sketches. It was inspired by methods of improvisation and controlled automatism. The prints are digital works, vectorial compositions with digital colour. For the prints, firstly I drew in my sketchbook and then transferred the line drawing into a vector, making sure that the lines are as close as the original ones. I like to keep all the original details. My colour palettes are inspired by nature and light, I normally take the colours from photographs. Photography is also a particular hobby of mine!

Who has influenced your work the most?

My works has been inspired by the modernists of the XX century, specially Kandinsky and the Bauhaus including artists such a László Moholy-Nagy and Oskar Fischinger. It also has references from different disciplines across art, architecture, photography and design.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career as an artist?

I feel the career chose me instead of me choosing the career. Before doing visual arts I studied and practiced graphic design, but this was never enough for me, so I started to create a series of artworks. This was enough to make me realise that I could take it to a different level, so I joined UAL. Studying the MA in Visual Arts Illustration at Camberwell has helped me to develop not only my personal style but also to develop the concepts behind these works. I feel more connected with my work now that I’ve had the opportunity to explore the practice through the academic process.

What do you want viewers to take away from your work?

My works are open to interpretation. I want the viewer to create their own story based on what they see. I want them to explore the different angles of the works and make their own conclusions. I want the viewer to be curious and to explore the image. Everyone sees something different when they look at my work and I like that!

Camila Quintero working in her studio

What three things are essential to your practice?

Time, space and determination…oh – and coffee!

What is the most inspiring place or exhibition you’ve been to in London?

I love the White Cube in Berdmonsey. I think it is a perfect space for exhibitions.‘Breathing colour’ by Hella Jongerious at the Design Museum this year was very interesting. But I think London in general is very inspiring itself. Also my back garden.

Camila Quintero's studio

Describe an average day in the studio.

My studio is at home. I work mostly during the weekdays. I change my routine depending on what I’ve planned to do. Planning is essential! I can spend one day painting, doing digital work or sketching. I like to focus on one piece or task until it’s finished and then start with a new one. I also spend time reading, doing some research and experimenting with new techniques. Some days I go out to see exhibitions or to get supplies that I need for work or meeting people.

How does it feel to have your work displayed in not just a shop?

It feels like an incredible achievement. I feel delighted to be able to showcase my work at UAL. I have an immense respect for the institution and I am glad to be able to share my work with other students, the staff and everyone who goes to the shop.

What sort of a person do you imagine would relate to your work?

I think anyone who is interested in modern art, architecture and design. People who are interested in colour and shapes, compositions in general and abstraction. Whoever can feel the evocative intention of the work.

Great to hear from you Camila! Take a closer look at Camila’s work at not just a shop – 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY

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