Entrevista completa aquí.
Full Interview in English translated (see at the bottom of this post).
(Click here for seeing the interview layout with photos)
Iker Garcia is Art and Creativity
"Traveling to London at the age of 21 with a backpack and the money from my first expo gave me the batteries"
Aupa Iker, how is the year going?
Kaixo! With many changes and new projects : ) We want to know who Iker G B is, what you do and what your hobbies are. I was born in 1979 in Donosti. I am a painter and spend my time drawing or painting in my studio, preparing exhibitions, commissioning and collaborating nationally, UK and Germany. I returned to the water in 2019, after living in London for almost two decades and without any surfing... Before traveling to the UK and starting my degree, I did a lot of bodyboarding but above all I have good friends and experiences. Now I fight with learning to surf hahahahaha! (someday... I tell myself: )))) Why did you start with art? I have liked drawing since I was little and I fell in love with painting while studying Fine Arts in Bilbao. I made the risky decision to dedicate myself to painting, following, yes, in the footsteps of my grandfather Marcelino García Asiáin (painter) and my aitona Joxe Mari Barrenechea (engraver). At home there were books by Edward Hopper or Vixente Ameztoi, for example, movie posters and also since I was little I have seen friends of my grandparents dedicated to painting, comics or movies, making the world of art closer.
What artists are references for you? Especially in the world of Surfing like Swan Stussy?
Many...Yan Pei Ming, Magrite, Picasso, El Roto, Bacon, Hopper, Calder, Oliver Schmitten, Ellen Sheidlin,... I take advantage of your interview to pay homage to Raskis (Asier Elcoribe) with his paintings of waves and landscapes full of colour. He gave me a photo of a Zurriola painting that I took with me to the many places where I lived in London and as a window to another place and times lived. What current do you follow when creating your works? I don't follow currents, but I am inspired and I like many artists who do not necessarily have a direct influence on my work, and that includes other expressions besides drawing and painting such as sculpture, architecture or design.
We know that you emigrated to London from txiki, was that where you realized that art was for you?
Traveling to London at the age of 21 with a backpack and the money from my first expo revitalized me. London is amazing on a cultural level and living there has motivated me a lot, I have met incredible people, creative and non-creative. I went for a year and stayed for 17...I worked in bars and restaurants, sold T-shirts with my drawings...To have more space and be able to paint, I turned a factory into a home with three friends and to top it off I founded and directed The Vyner Studio, where I have curated exhibitions and organized many events, quite an experience. Do you think surfing and art can go hand in hand? I believe that surfing feeds creativity and I believe that it is no coincidence that there are good photographers, cartoonists, designers, video makers, etc.
What current do you follow when creating your works?
I have found inspiration in urban scenes of East London, the world of emotions, criticism of a dystopian world and even more abstract concepts such as the transformation of energy that occurs in places and people as a consequence of experiences, almost nothing hahahahaha! The latter was the inspiration for the installation I did in Denmark last summer.
It's colder in England than here in the water... Can you recommend any spots for if one day it occurs to us to go to Great Britain?
(poker face)... I confess that I wanted to go to Newquay more than once but my only contact with the sea during the years in the UK was the random bath in Gros when I came and some getaway to Cantabria or the Canary Islands, where my friends did who hit bodyboarding or surfing hard, c'est la vie!
Before making works of art, you started printing t-shirts and selling them Where did you sell them and why did you start with this?
The first time was in 2002 for the cocktail bar where I worked in Hoxton, they asked me to design some t-shirts for the baristas. Then I sold t-shirts with my drawings in Spitalfields Market and over the years it has evolved to more elaborate garments in stores like Public Beware or Junky in London, Ninety Degrees, Ocher, Laskurain to mention a few. I have customized special editions for expos, unique garments and some entire look. I enjoy creating portable art and I like collaborating...a collaboration with handbag designer Naiara Elgarresta will be available soon.
Tell us about an experience you remember fondly in the water!
Lanzarote 1998 and entering La Santa with local friends. I have great memories of multiple baths in Gros with stars of my generation like Txerrita, Jon Peña, David Ruiz, Yon Rojo, Asier Martinez, Allan Missing, Beñat Sarasketa, Xiker, Norman Landa or Paul Zabalo to name a few!
Are you more of surfing alone or with friends?
With friends when we can!
Have you collaborated with any brand within the surfing industry?
Yes, with Illusions Surfboards painting a gorgeous twinfin made by the great Iñigo Idigoras for the Denak Ohana expo at Okendo Gallery. I enjoyed and learned a lot from working on color and composition in a three-dimensional format that I imagine in motion. I loved watching a shaper work in his workshop surrounded by foams, resins, colors...
Where can we go to see some of your works?
Currently in Ormolú Gallery (Pamplona), Acanto Gallery (Almería) and Pure Evil (London). On June 1 the expo ends as a Guest Artist in Ormolú and on June 10 Cabezas also opens in Ormolu. I hadn't exhibited for a while due to the pandemic, and last summer I resumed exhibiting in Denmark and then at the Focus Art Fair at Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.
Thank you very much Iker for allowing us these minutes with you! We hope that everything goes well and see you in the water!
Thank you very much for this initiative and for taking an interest in what I do...see you in the water and keep fighting!