I’m a huge fan of Carolina Echeverri’s art and of the inspiring lady herself – she’s one of the coolest people I’ve never met (in person, yet!). US art magazine Juxtapoz is also a big fan, making one of Carolina’s photographs ‘Pic of the Day’ at Juxtapoz mag online. She has also worked with many of my favourite bands and friends’ bands such as The Bronx, Bad Religion, Tiger Army, Devotchka and more as the Head of Marketing & PR at Epitaph/Anti Records in Europe. She recently left the world of Epitaph to move to Denmark, her days are now filled with managing Dutch quintet Alamo Race Track and the Danish painter SCRMN as well as focusing on her beloved art.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 31-year-old Colombian expatriate who lived and worked in Amsterdam submerged in a world full of the best musicians and artists one could hope to work with. This last June I decided to run away with the Danish circus and I now awake every morning in lovely Copenhagen, next to the man I love, still spending every awaken hour of my day with my hands in the art mud, either as a music manager, a painter’s manager or on my own art and photography.
When did you start down the creative path?
This is always an interesting question, and I would like an answer that I’ve always been on the creative path, and so are most of us. When it was a conscious decision to make art versus an intuitive need? I’d say very early teens. It took years after settling in the Netherlands before I could get my head around to sitting and grabbing materials again. For years I kept all art inside my home, for inner purposes and myself only, but it was only a few years back – influenced by my man – that I decided to make my art a formal débutant.
Do you have any ‘official’ qualifications? Do you think having formal training is important to what you do?
[Laughs] I am afraid I don’t, I actually have an International Business degree. I know, doesn’t sound very art nor punk, but good warriors fight from the inside. I think my vote goes to the party whose beliefs include that craftsmanship can be taught, but artists are born.
What makes your artistic style different?
It’s my style on the basis that it’s my own sentiments, needs, expressions and memories collaged in techniques (sometimes straight forward ones, sometimes mutated and hybridized to fit my demands). I find it a bit difficult to say it’s different as the context of different can be rather skewed. Different from whose? People out there? But who ARE these people? Do you know all these people? Do I know all these people? These artists? It’s hard to say when we know so very little about the world we live in. I am of the belief that the bits we do know we recycle to our own manner, they make imprints in our brain and they come out slightly changed from our hands and mouths. Can things be then the same? Or the opposite, can they ever be really different? …… it’s a very tough question. A good question. What do you think?
What do you do to nurture your creativity?
Live, every day at a time pretty much. For me it’s important to spend enough time by myself to listen internally to what’s going on inside, which I find hard to do in this day and age. Silence awakes the soul sometimes as much a music does, so both are basic creative engines for me.
Going to exhibitions and museums also really gets my head and heart going; I get extremely inspired by staring at other people’s great works of art. Hammershøi, Nadar, Bellmer, Kahlo, Ray, Botero, etc, etc….
What’s your favourite thing you’ve created so far?
There isn’t just one, I really like the “Cowboys, Egyptians and Us” and “Klamperborgvej” photos, but I also love the Memento Mori I transfer collage. At the same time I must admit I am always more excited about the stuff I’m cooking in my head more than the ones that are already hanging.
Is your art inspired by music?
As I said before they are creative engines, I need them as sun and water, but my inspiration doesn’t come for music per se, it’s a mood setter. THE moodsetter.
What do you listen to while creating your pieces?
Usually music that can strongly swing my emotions. A lot of Tom Waits, a lot! The Cramps, Nick Cave, (The/El) Bronx, Wilco, Son House, Whitmore, Califone, Face To Face, Sparklehorse, DeVotchKa, Tiger Army, Alamo Race Track, Sage Francis, Social D and sometimes, if the day is right some Chopin every once in a while…
Who do you look up to in the creative world and what is it about them that appeals to you?
Botero for me is a great inspiration, it might be a countryman thing, but he can like no other painter alive for me do beautiful images, highlighting sarcastically the message and still be romantic, political, satirist and dark, even when the images are so colored. As a famous artist (Now that Twombly has passed I think he is in the Top 4 best-selling living artists today..) he has given a lot to his country, in unaccountable forms, he is very much Colombian in his passion and humbleness.
As a photographer I think Ray and Nadar are right at the top, with both expression and experimentation. Musicians, all the above, I love and look up to, I respect them for many different reasons but I think if you read the names you know the common thread that carries them all….it’s an unforgiving honesty in their art, a fighters approach and relentless talent in their specific fields, as different as they may be.
What motivates you to do what you do?
Pure need of expression, it needs to leave my body and be itself before I drown in it. Or the need to captivate something so beautiful my head will never comprehend enough in its greatness to be able to duplicate in memory.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a museum exhibition of my European cemeteries pictures in Medellin Colombia (where my paternal family is from). There cemeteries are also national patrimony displaying one’s art, history and culture, my aim is to show the 19th century European counterparts to the people in lovely Medellin.
I also just got asked to do a project, a “still life” to be broadcasted in a cultural, political and technological local TV show in Amsterdam. I’ll be recreating it to be broadcasted live and discussed in their program. It’s very exciting as it’s a great Colombian video artist living in the Netherlands who asked me, Raul Marroquin, feel free to look him up!
For more of Carolina’s art!