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Carles and my existentialist projection of a generation

November 3, 2015

Carles in “The Fall – Waiter”, oil on linen, 65x85cm

ENGLISH: Carles is not in reality a waiter, but I thought that his situation could describe well the feeling of a generation of people that have lost their dreams in Spain, a country trapped in a deep economical crisis. Carles has university and post-graduate studies but there is no job available and he wanders from one temporary job to another. Not wanting to leave his city Valencia and emigrate, he knows that it is going to be difficult to find what he wants. I painted him dressed as a waiter because that is a typical job that many people with university studies take temporarily in order to earn a living before finding a job more appropriate for their expertise. Carles is very expressive, and he has been already the subject of 4 paintings of mine, all dealing with existentialist feelings. In reality Carles is a very lively and cheerful person, always ready to laugh and have fun, but it is me who cannot help seeing in his situation and in that of many other friends who live in Spain, the shadow of a generation with shattered hopes.

ESPAÑOL: Carles en realidad no es un camarero, pero he pensado que su situación podría describir la manera de sentir de una generación de jóvenes que ha perdido sus sueños en España, un pais atrapado en una profunda crisis económica. Carles tiene estudios universitarios y de postgrado, pero no hay trabajo disponible, así que tiene que pasar de un trabajo temporal a otro. No querendo dejar Valencia, su ciudad, y emigrar, él sabe que será dificil encontrar lo que quiere. Lo pinté vestido de camarero porque ese es el típico trabajo que muchos con estudios universitarios hacen temporáneamente para salir adelante antes de encontrar un trabajo más apropiado a sus estudios. Carles es muy expresivo y un perfecto actor, de hecho ha sido ya el protagonista de 4 cuadros míos, todos con una cuña de tipo existencialista. En realidad Carles es un chico lleno de vida y con mucho espíritu, siempre va bromeando y riendo, mientras soy yo quién vé en su situación y en la de muchos otros amigos españoles, la sombra de una generación con esperanzas rotas.

michele del campo, the abandonment, 89x130cm

“The Abandonmet”, oil on linen, 130x89cm

michele del campo-night-thinker,-60X120cm

“Night Thinker”, oil on linen, 60x120cm

Michele-Del-Campo,-the figh,-160x400cm-MIKE

“The Fight”, oil on linen, diptych, 170x400cm

The Fall – Lady with Flowers

October 28, 2015
michele del campo, The Fall - Lady with Flowers

The Fall – Lady with Flowers, oil on linen, 65x85cm

ENGLISH:  Another one of my paintings for “The Fall” project, Lady with Flowers takes inspiration from the burden of a life experience of an elderly lady. She falls while carrying flowers, and the delicate flowers end up scattered on the floor. The focus of interest of the painting is on her face, perhaps not hurt by the fall in itself but by the weight of that burden, which suddenly, in the shock of the fall, acquires all its clarity like a revelation. With big thanks to Helen, a very dear friend, for kindly posing for me.

ESPAÑOL: Otra obra de mi serie “La Caida”, Mujer con flores toma inspiración del peso de la experiencia de vida de una mujer anciana. Ella cae mientras lleva unas flores y estas, bonitas y delicadas, terminan espargidas por el suelo. El foco de interés del cuadro, como en todos los de la serie, es la cara. Su expresión quizás no es de dolor por la caida en si misma si no de asombro por el repentino shock de la caida, tras la cual adquiere consciencia de ese peso de su existencia, como si hubiera tenido una revelación. Con un gran agradecimiento a mi querida amiga Helen por haber posado para mi.


My sketch from the imagination, and the original photos that I used to build up the image. I added the sunglasses and the black bag too.

The Fall – Skater

October 27, 2015
michele del campo, the fall- the skater, 65x85cm

“The Fall – The Skater”, oil on canvas, 65x85cm

The Fall

26th October – 7th November 2015

Artist’s talk & Q&A: Wed 4 November 6 to 8pm

Westminster Reference Library
35 St Martin’s Street Wc2H 7HP
020 7641 5250

ENGLISH: Today is the Private View of my solo exhibition “The Fall”, at the Westminster Reference Library. In a series of posts I would like to share with you the process for some of the paintings on show. This is “The Skater”. I saw this young guy falling over while skating in Barcelona and I wanted to portray him suspended in that moment when he is thinking, not yet ready to get up. I asked him if he could pretend to “fall again” for some photos and he kindly agreed, while his friend was waiting for him. In the painting I changed the colour of the T-shirt from black to red, in order for him to stand out, and the letters on it, substituting “Roma”, clearly a touristic souvenir piece of clothing, for “Rebel”. This introduced a new concept and an association of ideas. I then built up the whole environment based on various photos and my imagination.

ESPAÑOL: Hoy se inaugura mi exposición individual “La Caida”, en la Westminster Reference Library. En una serie de capítulos, iré compartiendo mi proceso de creación de estas imágenes. Este cuadro es “The Skater”. Vi a este chico en Barcelona caerse del monopatín y, tras levantarse y seguir patinando, le pedí si podía posar para unas fotos fingiendo de caerse de nuevo. Fue muy amable y posó para mi, mientras su amigo le esperaba. En el cuadro cambié el color de su camiseta, de negro a rojo, para destacar más. También cambié las letras, de “Roma” a “Rebel” (rebelde), y eso para introducir un nuevo concepto y una asociación de ideas. Luego construí todo el ambiente basándome en varias fotos y en la imaginación.

skater, process

The original photos that I used to create the image for The Skater

New 3-day Workshop in my studio

October 12, 2015

13-15 November 2015

10-5pm daily

It will be my last workshop of the year. Places are limited and it is now possible to buy tickets. The workshop is in my studio, in The Chocolate Factory, North London (N22 6XJ), and there will be morning demonstrations and afternoon practice for participants. I will demonstrate on the students canvases when it will be useful for a better understanding of the technique and the use of materials. For all the information and to buy your ticket, please  click here.


A special Solo Exhibition

October 11, 2015
michele del campo, The fall-the waiter, 65x85cm

“The Fall – The Waiter”, oil on linen, 65x85cm

26 October – 7 November 2015

PRIVATE VIEW and drinks reception:
Tues 27 Oct, 6-8pm

ARTIST’S TALK & Q&A, Wed 4 November, 6pm

ENGLISH: We have all experienced at some time or other, how a sudden traumatic event such as an accident, a loss, or the unexpected striking of an illness, appear to stop the inexorability of time and create a vacuum for reflection and self-analysis. People run around, sticking to their daily routine, not stopping for a minute to take a different course of action that may potentially change their life as that is a threat to their stability.

In my project, I introduce a series of random people from different walks of life who after a fall of no major consequences find themselves briefly suspended in time. Their fall may be caused by a slight distraction, by rushing around or other mundane circumstance, but the sudden shock to their system this causes, and consequent interruption of routine activity, prompt these individuals to reassess matters and might even reveal deeper truths about their own lives.

The peculiarity is that I portray no trace of surprise in their face. These people accept their impotence against life events, their inner world being tormented by bigger preoccupations. Their actual physical fall is just a symptom, a manifestation of a more important fall, perhaps a failure in their existence, their hopes and dreams. Interrupted in their daily work or leisure, they are in no hurry to get up and go on. They remain suspended in their thoughts, taking their time to confront for once, their existential burden.

This project also takes inspiration from my real-life encounters. The nurse, for example, is a real nurse. I thought of painting her when she told me about the difficulties of coping with her massive workload during her long, stressful shifts in A&E. Moreover she works in the Resuscitation Room, dealing daily with shattered life and death. Another example is the girl with a crutch, she used to pose for me as a model. She had an accident and is now forced to walk with a crutch, having to deal with constant pain. One day she told me that once she ran as fast as her crutch would allow and managed to get on the train just before the door shut. She did not fall that time, but I chose to paint her fall to show the way she must feel, forced by circumstances to review her life from a completely new, limited perspective”.

michele del campo, The Fall-Girl with Crutch, 65x85cm

“The Fall – Girl with Crutch”, oil on linen, 65x85cm

ESPAÑOL: Todos hemos tenido experiencia, alguna vez, de como un evento traumático como un accidente, una pérdida o una inesperada enfermedad, parece parar la inesorabilidad del tiempo y crear un vacío para la reflexión y el auto-analisis. La gente corre metida en su rutina cotidiana, sin parar un minuto para cambiar el curso de sus acciones, porque a veces las decisiones radicales son un peligro para su estabilidad.

En mi proyecto he pintado una serie de personajes casuales, de varias profesiones y condiciones sociales, los cuales, tras una caida sin importancia, se encuentra, brevemente suspendidos en el tiempo. Su caida puede deberse a una ligera distracción, por las prisas u otras razones banales, pero el shock improviso que provoca a su sistema y la consecuente interrupción de sus actividades, les motiva a reconsiderar sus problemas y quizás revelar realidades más profundas sobre sus vidas.

La peculiaridad de mis retratos es que no hay sorpresa en sus caras. Esta gente acepta su impotencia contra los eventos de la vida, su mundo interior está tormentado por problemas más grandes que la caida. Su caida física es solamente un síntoma, una manifestación de una caida más importante, quizás un fracaso en su vida, de sus sueños y esperanzas. Interrumpidos en sus trabajos cotidianos o en su tiempo libre, ellos no tienen prisa por levantarse y seguir. Se quedan suspendidos en sus pensamientos, tomándose tiempo para enfrentarse de una vez a su carga existencial.

Este proyecto también toma inspiración de encuentro en la vida real. Por ejemplo, la enfermera es una enfermera en la realidad. Decidí pintarla cuando me contó de las dificultades a las que tiene que hacer frente para salir adelante con su enorme carga de trabajo y sus horarios larguísimos en urgencias. Además ella trabaja en la sala reanimación, enfrentándose a diario con vidas destrozadas o muertes. Otro ejemplo es la chica con muleta. Ella posaba para mi como modelo y, tras un accidente de esquí, ahora tiene que caminar constantemente con la ayuda de una muleta y tiene que hacer frente siempre al dolor agudo de su pierna al cual no parece que haya remedio. Un día me contó que caminó lo más rápido posible con su muleta para llegar a cojer un tren importante y llegó justo antes del cierre de la puerta. Ella no cayó, pero decidí pintarla así para mostrar la manera en la que se tiene que sentir, obligada por las circunstancias a revisar su vida desde una perspectiva completamente nueva, y limitada.

michele del campo,The Fall-The elderly lady

“The Fall – The Elderly Lady”, oil on linen, 65x85cm

michele del campo, detail of The Fall-The elderly lady

detail of “The Fall – The Elderly Lady”

michele del campo, the fall-the waiter-detail

Detail of “The Fall – The Waiter”

"The Fall", oil on linen, 105x180cm

“The Fall – Lady with Bicycle”, oil on linen, 105x180cm

Workshops in Cass Art

October 8, 2015

I am very happy to have been invited to give 2 oil painting workshops at Cass Art Islington (30 Oct) and Cass Art Hampstead (1 Nov). Colours and materials will be kindly provided by Winsor and Newton, the entry fee is just £10 and places are limited. The workshops last 2 hours and I will tell participants how I create the impression of strong light alla prima and how I mix colours for shadows and for light. Hints on how to use the properties of trasparency vs opacity to achieve the effects of light, and how to mix clean colours on the palette and how to apply them for maximum vibrancy on the canvas.

Clic on this image to get more info and book your place for my 30 October workshop in Cass Art Islington, 2-4pm:

cass art islington workshop michele del campo

Clic on this image to get more info and book your place for my 1 November workshop in Cass Art Hampstead, 11-1pm

cass art hampstead workshop michele del campo

Life drawing sessions in my studio

September 15, 2015

Life drawing in my new studio in Wood Green

ENGLISH: Since I left my studio in central Soho, I quit organizing life drawing sessions. However I always liked the nice atmosphere that was created by the weekly gatherings, with other artists, old and new friends interested in practising and improving their drawing skills. We would invite always different models of all races, dancers, performing artists, contortionists, pregnant women, twins and couples, and we would often end up in one of the pubs nearby to socialize afterwards. Last weekend, during a night out with some of those old friends who used to draw with me in my sessions, they gave me the idea of resuming the classes, and I thought that it was a wonderful idea. Anyone who is interested in taking part is very welcome, until places are full.

These are the details of my sessions:

Tuesdays, 7-9pm, please RSVP by email or whatsapp with your name if you are coming.

Entry fee: £10

The Chocolate Factory, Studio 9, Unit B104, Clarendon Road, N22 6XJ London

Tel/Whatsapp: 07853538527


Life drawing with a dancing model in my old studio in Soho


Life drawing with nude model in my old Soho studio


Life drawing with theatre in my old Soho studio


Life drawing with twins models in my old Soho studio

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