Recreating an Unknown World Made of Known Elements | Interview with Sebastian Martinez Fadic

Skrevet av | 6. januar 2022

The World Wide Kitsch Competition for classical figurative painting aims at placing humanistic painting in the spotlight. For the seventh annual, the competition received more applications than ever before, but it also had the most strict jury it has ever had. Only twenty-one painters reached the final round and after a tough decision, the jury selected two paintings for the Landscape and Portrait awards respectively. 

One of them being “The Pond at Sunset” by Sebastian Martinez Fadic, a symbolist painter from Santiago, Chile, who has been teaching drawing and painting workshops for the past ten years.

His painting won the Landscape Award for the 2021 edition of the competition which has been hosted at since 2015.

«Moonlight» by Sebastian Martinez Fadic

Ancestral wisdom and forgotten knowledge

– Congratulations, Mr. Martinez! Your thoughts on winning the Landscape Award?

– Thank you so much! I’m glad to have been selected among the finalists.

– In a few words, what are you aiming at in your work?

– To achieve a representation that is as close as possible to the landscape where the fantasies that captivate my imagination develop, says Martinez.

– Your painting “The Pond at Sunset” — what is it about?

– It’s about worshiping nature.

In recent years, Martinez’ works have become more narrative, insisting on the description of a wooded, humid, cold and dark landscape. In his own words, he says that the human figure in his paintings “is present in the form of female spirits, bearers of the flame of ancestral wisdom and forgotten knowledge”.

The winner painting in the World Wide Kitsch competition: «The Pond by Sunset» by Sebastian Martinez Fadic.

Black Metal and Wagner

Among his favorite contemporary painters are Molly Judd, Santiago Caruso, Sebastián Salvo, Odd Nerdrum and Agostino Arrivabene.

Inspired by earlier painters such as Aert van der Neer and Ferdinand Keller, Martinez works his way into the canvases in his studio, listening to classical music by Wagnerian composers and a fair dose of black metal. 

– Is classical music and black metal a divine combination?

– I would not speak of divinity, but of a similar atmosphere. Being able to work while listening to music with a dark atmosphere immerses me more intensely in the act of painting, he says.

Sebastian Martinez Fadic’s studio in Chile. Photo: Private.

Beyond Naturalism

– As a kitsch-painter, how do you reach beyond a strictly naturalistic representation?

– I think that, in representing a landscape, the key is to allow oneself to compose based on the forms that nature grants, in search of a deeper story. It not only satisfies the desire to successfully imitate, but it also allows for recreating something in particular. If one limits oneself only to a naturalistic representation, the narrative possibilities of painting are more limited. In the act of composing freely with the elements of the landscape, the painter faces a greater challenge. Recreating an unknown world made of known elements.

– How is the situation for classical figurative painting where you live?

– I think it is similar to other parts of the world. If the objective when painting like this is to obtain fame, fortune and recognition, the disappointment can be very great. If the goal is personal satisfaction, the development of spirituality and paying tribute to a way of painting that one deeply admires, the situation is ideal since one can paint as one pleases.

«Worship» by Sebastian Martinez Fadic.
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