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From the Magazine Parabola, Volume XIII, No. 1, February 1988. An interview with painter Paul Reyna

May 22, 2013

Question: Is struggle an element that helps bring force to a work? There needs to be a state of very alert and active receptivity in order to work as an artist, and at the same time it seems that there is an opposite movement needed in order to express that. Is there a contradiction here? Is it in the change from one to the other that the struggle comes in? Reynard: It seems to me that, on the contrary, it is very close. It is only at the moment that you are open that something is expressed. It is a rather mysterious process, because you can work and work for a long time and not find what you want. You come to a point where you seem to have exhausted all the possible means for this work, all the thoughts you have, all the emotion, in other words, you are finished. There's no more to say-- you are like a fruit that has been squeezed. And this moment is very important. It's the moment when you may open. All the necessary elements are present without any order. You are even at the point where you are ready to destroy what you have done. It is nevertheless a very precious moment, because it is then when something new may emerge, something which was in you but which you didn't know, you didn't see. And that is the real moment of expression. When I'm no longer trying to do something, I begin to feel I am led, as if my brush was just following a definite path. I am just following something which I merely initiated. At that point I am open to something which I was unable to express before when I wanted to direct it. And strangely enough the best moment, and the best result, is when I am here in front of the painting, and the hand is so to speak free. I am not imposing. At the same time it is me who paints. But it is as if I were following a kind of secret indication. I am no longer fighting. The struggle has taken place before this moment, when I was at the point of giving up. And if at that point I'm open enough, then something occurs, something completely new, something which seems to be true, something true in relation to what was within myself at that very moment.

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