Alvaro Ledesma in 15 Questions

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Who is Alvaro Ledesma; sculptor, composer, painter, photographer ??

Everyone and none. Alvaro Ledesma is a person like anyone else, with the particularity to be also an artist.

How and when did you discover yourself into the artistic works?

The disciplines I´m working in have been added through the time, sometimes in a circumstantial way, by curiosity or simply looking for new lines of expression.

Sculpture is the base of all of them, because it was my father who introduced me in his craft as blacksmith, although the starting point is literature. Painting came through the drawings needed to develop some sculptures. But also because I needed to create out of my daily working space, away from the tools, machines, noise and materials.

Next, one of the sculptures studies of the transformation, movement and narration developed my interest for video-art and musical composition. This drove me to the stages where I took part into poetry recitals, plays and spectacles and getting in touch with writers, actors, designers, dancers, musicians, acrobats, filmmakers, painters and photographers. Naturally, these experiences enriched and open widely my expressions of creativity. Eventually, photography came, in which I sum up my entire vital trajectory, both personal and artistic.

How do you describe the place that you work & live in?

I was born in Rentería (Basque Country, 1975), where I have my study at present. I am living in Lezo and I work in Oiartzun. All these villages are around Pasajes Port, pretty close to San Sebastian and France.

I am the son of Castilian emigrants farmers (from Salamanca & Burgos) who moved to San Sebastian as the result of the Industrial development in some areas. My mother began to work as a domestic servant, making embroidery as well, and my father was working in different jobs related to metallurgy until they moved to Rentería to set up their own brazier´s shop in Oiartzun.

Meanwhile, the political, cultural and social differences lived in the Basque Country prolonged a conflict still present, but suffocated by the new concerns which are common to their inhabitants.

Nowadays, this land doesn´t know whether it is green or grey.

Whom are you influenced by?

My introduction into the artistic creation is late (around 2004), like my interest to the fine arts. Before that, being a student I expressed myself writing letters. Distinctly, It was since I started to work in my father´s workshop that an unconscious escape was forging through sculpture.

As any others autodidact sculptors, we are influenced by the first things we see. The environment and basque art defined my first steps, being Jorge Oteiza who reached me with more strength. Their works demonstrated me that ironworks were capable to transmit thoughts above their practical and functional usage.

From this time I didn´t stop in the idea of materialize my sentiments trough any material, shape or artistic discipline.

What do people say about your works?

As the time passed, the works obtain the artist´s personality. People used to perceive a determined duality, and a straight transmission of contradictory emotions between pain and beauty.

There are some people who find a really dramatic and theatrical aspect in some of them. Some others perceive a moving line between the limits of reasoning and sentiment.

Anyway, it is about what I live as a human being.

What is your biggest desire for your job & life ?

Although are not to make a living, I have found my way of life in the artistic expression, so I only want to continue. My concerns turn around my personal life, the vicissitudes as an individual I must confront and the lack of time to create. I am not interested to get high, but I would like my work do.

What kind of music impress to you?

Without any doubt the classical contemporary music. From Claude Debussy´s magic to Ramon Lazkano´s intriguing orchestrations.

Which instruments do you play?

My heart is piano. My soul violin. Also, both rescued me late. They were waiting for me, but I couldn´t find them till I was 31, so I am not a virtuoso. Nevertheless, they let me explore their innards in order to know mines. They tell me and I speak with them. Viola and cello are also friends.

Who was your childhood hero?

If I ever had one I can´t remember.

How do you make a ‘best friend’ description?

Better friend? I suppose that one based on mutual trust and are shared either good as bad moments.

Who are your the first three favourite writers?

I can´t concentrate and evade me into lecture since many years, but in my memory remains, among others, the company of Fiodor Dostoievski, Oscar Wilde or Victor Hugo.

Which are your the first three favorite movies?

In the same manner happens with cinema, although sometimes I discover wonders like Andrei Tarkovsky films. Lars von Trier´s Dancer in the Dark, that impressed me so much, as well as the thrilling David Lynch´s The Elephant Man

An unforgettable moment for you until this age?

There are so many…

In an artistic level, when I was capable to materialize my imam sculptures or the first time I sat down in front of a piano.

Which are your favourite cities in the world?

I would like to travel more. I only know some European cities. It is hard to choose because everything I see I found something valuable so I enjoy like a child in every new place I stop by.

What does İstanbul mean for you?

A door, maybe. Opened, closed, or gyratory. Also, a metaphor of my own work. A division. Ends. Magnets. Nearness and distance. Contradiction and duality.

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