Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?
I am from a small town in the North of Spain, called Llanes. After finishing my bachelor’s in Art History in Madrid I decided to pursue the Master Museum & Heritage Studies at the University of Amsterdam, which I am currently doing. I wanted to be able to research the influence of museums, especially contemporary art ones, in society and education and how museums could become a more democratic space. I thought that Amsterdam would be the perfect place to do this due to its rich cultural and artistic scene!
Can you tell something about the place where you come from?
My town is a very well-known place in Spain because of the nature around it. It is by the sea, with more than thirty beaches in the area, cliffs and surrounded with mountains, which gives a very beautiful contrast. It has also historical architectures such as the medieval walls or the defense tower, and even some cannonballs to defend the town from pirates! I recommend everyone to visit my town and have a taste of the traditional cider and the amazing food of my region!
What is your favorite activity/ the things you like to do during your free time?
I love going to museums and exhibitions, the cinema, theatre… just being aware of the cultural scene of the city when I have some free time. Since I have been living in Amsterdam from September, I also love walking or biking around, exploring the city. There is always something new to see and interesting people to meet!
What fascinates you the most about the city? About Nieuw-West?
There are a lot of things I like about Amsterdam, but I would say that the international and diverse climate it what fascinates me the most. I have had the chance to meet a lot of new people from different backgrounds and I have learnt a lot of things I did not know before. I also love biking everywhere! Something I could not do when I was living in Madrid. On the other hand, thanks to SAMA, I have been able to discover a part of the city that seems forgotten to the rest of Amsterdam but with a lot of character and potential. I strongly believe this is the real Amsterdam.
What is your relationship to street art? Art in general?
I have always been in contact with art because of my family and my town, where I could enjoy the land art works around the northern area of Spain by, for instance, Agustín Ibarrola. Due to the passions I felt for art I decided to study Art History, specializing in contemporary art. However, at the end of my bachelor I realized I did not know what was going on at the art world, since most of the artists we studied were not alive anymore. This and my reservations about the contemporary art market brought me to be more interested on activism and art where I found street art.
The most interesting part of street art for me is that there are no rules, and it is not necessary to fit into a category like other types of art. Also, how democratic it is since the street is a public space and therefore a place where people that have something to say (the artists) express themselves freely and the world take it without any type of intermediary or fixed interpretation. In my opinion, this creates a lot of opportunities to do activism without filters and in a more direct way than other types of art.
What are your responsibilities at SAMA?
My responsibilities at SAMA are mainly support the documentation process and study of the museum’s collection that Leonie Wingen is leading. As a future museologist I find this process very interesting since the collection has unique characteristics and it is a huge opportunity to work with a collection from scratch. I will also be helping in the upcoming projects for the next five months such as a new exhibition, the incrementation of VR in the documentation process, etc.
Do you have a favorite artist in the SAMA collection?
Although it is very difficult to choose just one artist, I would have to say Bastardilla. I really enjoy the way she uses colors, mixing them and adding very subtle details that always surprise me no matter how many times I have seen her works. Also, it is remarkable how she uses the public space to actively talk about important themes such as feminism.
What interests you most in the concept of SAMA?
It interests me the most the fact that everything that SAMA does, has a very important social aspect. It is not about making a profit but about bringing paint and color to new West and offering a cultural space for the community. On another note, the fact that the collection is outdoors and that some of the artworks are gone, or damage, makes the collection in constant movement. This is what happens to street art, and I find its ephemeral characteristic very interesting. Definitely, these make SAMA a different museum from any other.
Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?
I would have to say Smile, by Stinkfish. I really like the energetic colors and the fact that the person portrayed does not need to smile but irradiates colors and energy. It brights your day!