Tag: nostalgia

Interview with Paula Robles: “Nostalgia has shaped the way I approach aesthetics”

Uncategorized June 5, 2016

There is something magical in the internet, not only it makes us feel less alone but it has the power to connect you with people that you secretly admire and that you wish you had met in your school playground. I’ve been following Paula Robles‘s work for a while. She writes, she styles, she takes photos, and she has something difficult to describe which made me want to know her better. From her images I could deduce she loved fashion and that she had a very peculiar sensibility inspired by the ‘teen universe’ that we find in movies or books. Lately I’ve been interested in the relation between fashion and emotions, how fashion expresses certain emotions, nostalgia in particular. And Paula seemed like a perfect match for my latest concerns. I’m very grateful for her answers. I hope you enjoy them as much as I love this conversation!

Who is Paula Robles?

I studied fashion design at IED Madrid. I knew back then that I didn’t want to be a fashion designer, but I always had been fascinated by costume design and fashion, mainly by seeing it in the movies. Watching films where clothes played a central character made me eager to learn more about the subject. After studying fashion design I also studied some other fashion courses abroad. And I’m currently majoring in philosophy, which may sound odd to some, but I think that the greatest thing about fashion is that it merges with art, consumerism, social issues, and many other things. Philosophy gives you a way to think from different perspectives, and fashion is all about the perspectives.

I work as a freelance fashion stylist and also write about culture and fashion in magazines like Glamour or Vanidad. I run a small publishing company named Pettirosso Press  along with Jorge de Cascante, we publish zines and art books. Right now I’m also starting a personal project that I’m really excited about, but I’m quite supersticious so I’d rather say no more.


 What kind of emotions do you wish to communicate with your editorial stylings?

I try to create images that go beyond fashion. To achieve this images that exist in your mind, it’s necessary to share a good connection with the photographer. It’s not about showing the latest dress or trend, it’s about telling a story or at least insinuate one, as it happens in the photos of Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton or Corinne Day, the artists who made me fall in love with fashion photography. I like photographs that make you want to know more about the people in them, like wanting to read a whole novel with those characters, photographs that intrigue you. But if someone likes any of my images, that would be enough for me.

What means nostalgia to you?

It’s a feeling that I experienced during my teenage (and pre-teenage) years. I used to think about it as something bad, something that makes you suffer, but now I see it differently, I don’t think it’s bad at all. Somehow, nostalgia has shaped the way I approach aesthetics, it includes memories, stories, far beyond the material world, deep into something much more profound. I work from there, or at least I try, when I deal with the —apparently— superficial field of aesthetics.


 How did the idea for “Cast a Shadow” came up?

Cast a Shadow came up from the urge that Jorge and I had of collaborating with each other. We feel very comfortable using language and images, and making a zine seemed perfect for that. We choose to make something about plaster casts because I always felt casts were cool when I was little there was always some kid with a cast in his arm or in his leg, but it never happened to me, so I probably developed some weird survivors guilt. Jorge liked the idea, and we made it happen.

cast a shadow

 How does cinema, and particularly certain “teen films”, inspire you?

As I said, cinema had always been a constant source of inspiration for me. Teen films were a revelation when I discovered them. Most people don’t take the genre seriously, but they’re wrong, a teen film can tell any story, the possibilities are endless, you have classics such as Splendor in the Grass, apparently  bland comedies such as Pretty in Pink, or cult little-known movies such as À nos amours, somehow it covers the whole arch. I don’t know the exact reason why I’m fascinated by them, I’ve thought about it many times and I can’t find an exact answer, but I guess it has something to do with nostalgia (again). You see the film, you remember your own teen years, you think about the life you wish you had back then, or just how your life was back in the day. Also, the look and feel of the films tend to be especially original and beautiful.

As a matter of fact, one of the films that most recently made a mark on my mind is La pistola de mi hermano, a spanish flick that can be put in the genre “teen films”. It’s a perfect example of everything I like in those kinds of films: characters and dialogue that makes you think, and a combination of cinematography and music that you don’t easily forget.

 A fictional character that you would like to style

Most of the fictional characters that comes to my mind are from the movies (the main characters of The last days of disco, Geraldine Chaplin in any of her movies with Carlos Saura, Ali McGraw in Love Story, Shirley Knight in The Rain People, Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek in 3 Women or Carrie, and Isabelle Adjani in any of her 80’s films, among many many others) and one of the main reasons why I like them so much is because of the costume design of those movies, so I probably should leave that alone.

Years ago, I thought that someone should produce a remake of Clueless with Elle Fanning in the role of Alicia Silverstone; I would have loved to work on that. I also would have liked to dress Rebecca, the ghost character from the Hitchcock film.

Oh! And Esther .

Interview with Kristin Texeira: “Nostalgia is a story I’m always trying to tell”

Uncategorized March 6, 2016

Kristin Texeira is a young abstract painter originally from Massachusetts and currently based in Brooklyn. I discovered her work scrolling through Instagram and I immediately fell in love with her colors and her unique sensibility. I don’t know how I got there but sometimes the internet gives your beautiful surprises. Texeira’s work firstly reminded me to Wes Anderson’s pastel palette, but it is her combination of colors with a specific personal memory what makes her work an absolute original world. This is a sincere universe you would not want to leave and that is easily to find related to.

Her artworks can be understood as an inventory of memories. Each color matches a person, a place, a conversation, a smell, a kiss, or even childhood reminiscences. Her oil paintings in paper are proofs of what we were. Nostalgia is preserved in her imperfect geometrical pieces -but full of narrative content-, not in a sentimental way but with the aim of understanding ourselves. Kristin Texeira is turquoise, light green and pale pink. What color is your story?

I paint to provide proof—for myself and others—of existing in certain moments in time. I paint to capture, document, and preserve memories. I translate the essence of moments through color by mixing up the poetics of people and places.

(Kristin Texeira)

How much can we learn from ourselves through artworks?/ ¿Cuánto podemos aprender de nosotros mismos a través del arte?
Most of my pieces begin as free-writes. Sometimes as the mind flows I’m lost in a sea of rambles. Occasionally, however, I discover that a particular memory surfaces more often than once. This is how I know it’s important and needs to be recognized. I try to pick apart these trends and understand what the threads behind these memories are. That usually leads me to painting series.
texeira 14-20
Also, specific colors seem to find me for certain reasons. When I first started painting I would always mix a particular blue to fill in the background of self portraits or still lives. Later in my career, I did a project investigating the colors of my grandmother’s home where I spent much of my childhood. I discovered the blues of her living room matched the blue that I always subconsciously mixed. Art allows you the space for secrets of the past to seep out and surprise you.

La mayoría de mis obras empiezan de una manera libre. A veces mientras la mente fluye me pierdo en divagaciones. De todas formas, ocasionalmente, descubro que un recuerdo concreto sobresale más de una vez. Así es cómo descubro qué es lo importante y lo que merece ser señalado. Intento desmenuzar estos fenómenos y comprender cuál es el hilo que une estas memorias. Este proceso normalmente me lleva realizar series de pinturas. De la misma manera, determinados colores parecen encontrarme por alguna razón.

Cuando empecé a pintar siempre mezclaba un azul especial para rellenar el fondo de los autorretratos o naturalezas muertas que hacía. Más tarde durante mi carrera realicé un proyecto en el que investigaba los colores de la casa de mi abuela en la que pasé la mayor parte de mi infancia. Descubrí que los azules de su salón hacían juego con los azules que inconscientemente había mezclado.

El arte te abre la puerta al espacio en el que los secretos del pasado se filtran y te sorprenden.


What role plays the emotion of nostalgia in your work?/ ¿Qué papel juega la nostalgia en tu trabajo?

Nostalgia is a story I’m always trying to tell. It is at the start of each piece. It is the reason why I paint. Colors come to mind when I interact with people and places and I used these colors as markers of time. I mix colors specific to a moment to create a gateway that allows me to revisit the memory again and again.

Finding a remedy for nostalgia is my motivation to travel back in time to uncover thoughts before they collect too much dust and to shake them out onto paper. Or even to steal nostalgia from the present to stick it down on paper and save it in color before it fades.

La nostalgia es una historia que siempre estoy intentado contar. Se encuentra al comienzo de cada obra. Es la razón por la que pinto. Los colores vienen a mi mente cuando interactúo con personas y lugares, y uso esos colores como marcadores temporales. Combino colores que pertenecen a un momento concreto para crear un portal que me permita revisitar ese recuerdo una y otra vez.

Mi interés en viajar atrás en el tiempo es encontrar un remedio para la nostalgia, con el fin de sacar a la luz pensamientos antes de que cojan demasiado polvo y de sacudirlos en el papel. O incluso robar la nostalgia del presente para fijarlo al papel y salvarlo en colores antes de que se desvanezca.

If you could time travel what would you prefer: relive an old memory or discover a time you never lived? /¿Si pudieras viajar en el tiempo que preferirías: revivir un recuerdo o descubrir un tiempo que nunca has vivido?

I feel lucky enough to be able to travel back in time via paintings or old sketchbooks and I’m happy with my present place. I am curious about the idea of parallel universes though. Somedays I feel like I’m missing someone or some place and I can’t exactly explain what. I think about decisions in life that I’ve made and how when I made a choice maybe life split and now it overlaps and I still feel the strong emotions from a path that I’m not currently on. So, if I could, in some crazy way, I’d like to explore other layers in the universes of my own life.

Me siento muy afortunada de poder viajar atrás en el tiempo a través de mis pinturas y de mis viejos cuadernos, y estoy feliz con mi tiempo presente. Aun así tengo curiosidad por la idea de los universos paralelos. Algunos días siento que echo de menos a alguien o un lugar, no puedo explicar exactamente que extraño. Pienso en las decisiones que he tomado en mi vida y cómo cada vez que tomé una decisión puede que la vida se escindiera y ahora mismo se sobrepusieran esos dos caminos. Todavía siento esa emoción fuerte del camino en el que no estoy. Así que, si pudiera de alguna forma loca, me gustaría explorar las otras capas del universo de mi propia vida.


Where do you find beauty?/ ¿Dónde encuentras belleza?
 Little conversational exchanges with strangers.
Stories swapped over dinner tables.
Open spaces.
When I loose track of time.
En pequeñas conversaciones con desconocidos.
Intercambios de historias durante la cena.
En espacios abiertos.
Cuando pierdo la noción del tiempo.

A fictional character that inspires you/ Un personaje de ficción que te inspire.

Eloise Wengler. She is one of J.D. Salinger’s characters from his short story “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”. I’m not entirely sure why I love her because she is described “jaded” and “unhappy”. But, her language is so clever and sarcastic and sharp. I think mostly I feel bad for her. She married a man because of a book that she finds out he never read. And I imagine how different things would have been if she could have ended up with the boy who thought being able to touch her stomach was the most beautiful thing in the world.

Eloise Wengler. Ella es uno de los personajes del cuento de J.D. Salinger, El tío Wiggily en Connecticut. No estoy muy segura de por qué me encanta, ya que en realidad ella es descrita con los adjetivos “hastiada” e “infeliz”. Pero su forma de hablar es muy inteligente, sarcástica y aguda. Creo que principalmente me siento mal por ella. Se casó con un hombre por un libro que luego descubre que nunca se leyó. Imagino cómo de diferente hubieran sido las cosas si hubiera acabado con aquel chico que pensaba que tocar el estómago de Eloise era la cosa más bella del mundo.

“Well, wudga marry him for, then?” Mary Jane said.
“Oh, God! I don’t know. He told me he loved Jane Austen. He told me her books meant a great deal to him. That’s exactly what he said. I found out after we were married that he hadn’t even read one of her books. You know who his favourite author is?”
Mary Jane shook her head.
“L. Manning Vines. Ever hear of him?”

(J.D. Salinger)

You can follow Kristin Texeira’s work here
All images belong to the artist.

The beauty of an impossible oblivion

Uncategorized January 21, 2016




There is a negative aesthetic pleasure in the desire of forgetting something or someone you loved. We find beauty in our past memories and pain when we try to remember them, not only because we can’t reach them but because the past was better is the most dangerous motto I can think of. I’m talking about lovers, friends that are no longer friends or almonds and new food allergies.

This is the idea that the photographer and sociologist Diana Barbosa (Portugal, 1983) expresses in her small series “Oblivion always remains”. Diana tries to make beautiful the painful exercise of forgetting while capturing a number of artificial objects with a nostalgic vibe (from a typewriter to a vintage radio). These abandoned elements devoured by nature look as if they could decompose on the ground but we still see a small part of them. That little visible part of the objects resemble the old memories that remain forever with us. Even if we try to hide them or throw them away as if they were wasted objects that we no longer need, they will alway be an important part of us. This inconsistency between the organic and the artificiality works as a metaphor of this unnatural process of a deliberated forgetfulness.These photographs remembers us the complex game of dealing with our past and the necessity of keeping hurtful things far away from our present.

Not only are we what we remember but what we decide not to.

All photographs by Diana Barbosa.

Hay un placer estético negativo en el intento de querer olvidar algo o alguien que quisiste. Lo cierto es que encontramos una mezcla de belleza y dolor cuando echamos la vista atrás y miramos al pasado. No sólo porque no podemos alcanzarlo sino porque el pasado siempre fue mejor creo que es una de las frases más peligrosas que existen. Estoy hablando de olvidar a quien amaste, de los amigos que ya no son amigos, de almendras y nuevas alergias alimenticias.

Esta es la idea que la fotógrafa y socióloga Diana Barbosa (Portugal, 1983) plantea en sus pequeña serie fotográfica bajo el nombre “El olvido siempre permanece“. Diana a través de una serie de objetos artificiales con un toque vintage (desde una máquina de escribir a una radio de aire retro) busca la belleza de ese acto doloroso que es olvidar. Estos elementos abandonados y devorados por la naturaleza parece que en cualquier momento pudieran descomponerse en la tierra. Pero siempre queda un pequeño resquicio de ellos porque incluso si intentamos deshacernos de ellos como si fueran objetos que pertenecieran a la basura y que hemos dejado de necesitar, siempre serán una parte importante de nosotros. Esta tensión entre lo artificial y lo natural funciona como una metáfora de ese proceso poco natural que es el olvido voluntario. Estas fotografías nos recuerdan lo complejo que es el juego de tener que enfrentarnos a nuestro pasado y de la necesidad de mantener aquello que duele alejado de nuestro presente.

Que no somos sólo lo que recordamos sino lo que decidimos olvidar.