All the animals I've painted always have a relationship with man. I have been told that part of the knowledge of the human anatomy comes from animals.
Expression without culture is flat. Many artists come out of art school and start doing things that don't last. They are audacious because of ignorance. They are irresponsible.
All my life, my girlfriends are always skinny. Beauty in art has nothing to do with beauty in reality. Why do you like primitive art? Because there is beauty in the deformity. Sometimes paintings that people consider realistic are not at all. Raphael figures look realistic, but in real life, they were deformed.
The only duty an artist has is in the quality of the art. There is no moral obligation to denounce. An artist confronted with a tremendous injustice sometimes feels inclined to say something. Denouncing the situation is the artist's choice.
In the '60s, I did many satirical portraits of dictators.
I have seen Colonial churches since I was very small, Colonial painting and polychrome sculpture. And that was all I saw. There was not a single modern painting in any museum, not a Picasso, not a Braque, not a Chagall. The museums had Colombian painters from the eighteenth century and, of course, I saw Pre-Columbian art. That was my exposure.
Art is always an exaggeration in some sense; in color, in form, even in theme, etc... but it has always been this way. It is the same with the nature of some works by Giotto or Massacio, or the color of life as expressed by Van Gogh.
Bullfights have so much color. Not just the matador but also the bull, the arena, and the public. It's all very festive.
Nobody ever told me, 'Art is this.' This was good luck in a way because I would have had to spend half of my life forgetting everything that I had been told, which is what happens with most students in schools of fine arts.
Art should be an oasis: a place or refuge from the hardness of life.
Before anything else, I started painting bulls and matadors. That was my initiation to paint.
An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.
I was drawing a mandolin, and I made the sound hole very small, which made the mandolin look gigantic. I saw that making the details small made the form monumental. So in my figures, the eyes, the mouth are all small, and the exterior form is huge.
There's nothing more superficial to do than to paint a beautiful woman. The most beautiful portraits in art were of ugly women. If you paint Brigitte Bardot, it's a disaster. Sunsets, you have to stay away from sunsets. You paint a sunset, you are in great danger.
My work is a self-portrait of my mind, a prism of my convictions.
I had wanted to be a sculptor throughout life, but to do so, I had to stop painting.
Sketching is almost everything. It is the painter's identity, his style, his conviction, and then color is just a gift to the drawing.
In a photo, you just do a click, but in art you have to put in so much energy. This concentration of energy and attention says something that other media cannot say.