Miguel Angel Funez
“I drew continuously trying to surpass myself every day, it moved me to other worlds.”
I have a degree in Fine Arts, awarded as an outstanding student with honors, and a Master in Research in Art and Creation from the Complutense University of Madrid.
Since I was a child, I knew that my happiness was linked to art. I was always interested in artistic disciplines: everything that was related to artists and museums caught my attention. I still remember the emotion and the impact I felt when, as a child, I visited the Prado Museum in Madrid for the first time. I drew continuously trying to surpass myself every day, it moved me to other worlds. I had fun but at the same time it was a challenging for me. I grew up, always accompanied by drawing and painting. I began my studies for Artistic Baccalaureate to enter the University later and turn my entertainment and passion into my profession.
Why did you choose to be an artist?
It´s difficult to know exactly when and why I decided to become an artist, but I remember I was always surrounded by pencils and paint. I always had some projects on my hands. I especially loved drawing, which I learned self-taught. I don’t know the exact reason, but I never wanted to go to an academy. Instead, even though I was very young, I decided that I would study Fine Arts, a decision that my parents supported completely, and I will always be thankful for that.
What are your biggest motivations?
My work focuses on the creation of new hybrid species and impossible images, in many cases making use of popular images, almost iconic, to articulate a critical message that forms the conceptual core of my work. I feel motivated by some themes such as the invasive presence of humans in nature; the cloning of species through biotechnology; the analysis of the codes of scientific drawing, photographic language, or the comic as well as the manipulation of images.
Among my biggest influences are the Bestiaries of medieval times, the Cabinets of Curiosities of the XVI and XVII centuries, scientific drawings, also some literary works like “Metamorphoses” by Ovid, “Natural History” by Pliny or “The Book of Imaginary Beings” by Borges. The pictorial work of Hieronymus Bosch, the photography of Joel-Peter Witkin, as well as the work of the artists Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Eduardo Kac, are part of my references as well.
What’s your favorite artwork?
I don’t really think I have a favorite piece of art, I´m passionate about Art History, and it´s very difficult to choose just one. I have great sensitivity and respect for the works and artistic currents of every era, from prehistoric art and early civilizations to the present day.
How would you describe the art that you typically create?
Immersed in a world of recollected images, I rewrite their meaning into a discourse about animal extortion. From the appropriation and subsequent manipulation of diverse iconography based on the popular imagination, Mincemeat presents a sample of realities while allowing himself to be seduced by fiction. A story that not only takes into account the objects of the prodigy, but also the subjects of admiration and amazement, and even those of visceral rejection and disgust.
My paintings compose a “Horror vacui” contemporary of everything that cannot be, that exists and does not exist at the same time, that scares and seduces us, has us, and entertains us, pushing us to imagine other worlds different from our own.
“I alter them, tear them apart and then recompose them to create a personal composition, a mincemeat with reminiscent of something we already know.”
Many of my works are built out of cartoons from the collective imagination that are torn apart, manipulated, and remade to formulate a humoristic, yet nuanced, comment around the practices of biotech. A collection of animals, manipulated and torn apart, broken like only cartoons can be broken as they jump, run, and move in their childhood universes. With my method, I use cartoons like any other material, it is not a copy or representation of them, I alter them, tear them apart, and then recompose them to create a personal composition, a mincemeat with reminiscent of something we already know. I think that is where my work brings a unique point of view.
“I use cartoons like any other material, it is not a copy or representation of them, I alter them, tear them apart and then recompose them to create a personal composition, a mincemeat with reminiscent of something we already know.”
What are your upcoming shows and collaboration?
Yes, I´m preparing my first solo exhibition in South Korea, and in May I will exhibit at the PLAS Art Fair in Seoul. I will also participate in two group exhibitions in Spain, and I have several collaborations with fashion brands to create a collection of garments with my work.
For me, the next thing is always to keep working, to create all the new pieces that are born in my head before finishing the ones I have in my hands, and keep growing as an artist. I would like to continue exhibiting around the world in order to make my work reach more people, expanding my registers beyond drawing and painting for example in sculpture or fashion.
One message you would give to your fans?
I would always say: “Thank you so much”. I´m very grateful to all those people who trust my work, who buy and share my work, who comment on my social networks and write me messages of support. These are ways to help an artist continue to grow and it makes me even more constant and demanding every day. I keep in mind all the people who believe in me and have helped me to get where I´m today.