Ángel Moyano Rivas has quickly become a rising star on Artfinder, with his playful and colourful abstract paintings capturing everybody’s attention. From 11” naive portraits to larger-than-life expressive abstracts - and combining this with an almost street art quality - it's no wonder Ángel's work translates to such a wide audience. By introducing elements of his meditative practice into his work, his spirit is injected into every piece, leaving viewers happy, peaceful and inspired all at once.
Artfinder's lead curator, Alice, has dubbed Ángel as one to watch in 2019, so we nabbed some time with this eccentric artist to see what really inspires those daring portraits and abstracts.
What made you decide to become a full-time artist?
I have always had an interest in art but I never thought I was a good artist. I dedicated myself to many things, especially to travel (I visited about 45 countries). I bought things in India and sold them in Spain, I played music in the street, I restored old bicycles and I even had an online and physical store of classic bicycles. I was always good with business, but there came a point where I had to decide whether to dedicate myself to business or to give art a chance. Giving art a chance was one of the best decisions I've made in my life.
So you mentioned in your bio that you are a vegan. How does being a vegan influence your artwork?
Since I am vegan, my art has more natural elements, like animals and flowers, and messages of respect, love and care for nature. It also gives me more strength to try to convey and share this message of respect for nature so that more people see and feel the importance of my art.
Can you tell us more about those natural elements in your artwork?
Yes, there are always more and more. I live in Córdoba in the south of Spain in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is a city rich in art and culture with three world heritage sites, but I miss the contact with nature so I like to fill the studio of animals, flowers and suns. It helps me connect with nature while transmitting the message of respect for nature.
You also said you are a meditating artist in addition to being a painter. Does that affect your art?
I practice vipassana meditation, and totally, yes! It helps me work with my conscience and especially to not let myself be carried away by emotions. The process flows better so I can enjoy it more and stay fresher, more cheerful, relaxed and motivated; basically doing an interior job while I work.
Before my paintings were darker, denser and with many layers, now every time they become more luminous, happy and bright.
So then how important is the idea of peace to your art?
It is very important! There is a lot of work to be done to achieve world peace, and until peace does not cease to be just a utopia, all efforts to achieve have to be little. If each person uses their skills daily to bring a little more light and peace to this world, it would be wonderful.
Tell us more about your expressive art. Why do you choose to use bright colours and this illustrative style?
I honestly do not feel that I personally make the choice of colours or motives. But I observe and value expressive art, which is innocent, fun and fresh. I have fun and play during the creative process and I almost become a spectator more than an artist.
I do not want to put too much thought into my art, only what is necessary, and it is true that each time the colours become more luminous. There is already too much darkness in the clothes and the architecture of the cities, so it's better to use something like luminous colour that transmits joy.
You’ve posted a few videos of yourself dancing and expressing energy in front of your artwork. How has that become part of your creative process?
Haha good question! During the creative process, there are moments of great fluidity where I feel very strong emotions of joy, expansion and peace, and painting is not enough to share this energy of happiness. My body begins to feel the music and I enjoy that moment of freedom, and it’s a moment to share some joy and laughter with others.
Can you describe where you create your artwork?
My studio is located in a building where my whole family on my mother’s side lives. It is the last floor of the building, an attic that has never been inhabited and was always used to accumulate junk. The best thing about it is I have direct access to the roof and the large amount of sunlight it receives.
What role has Artfinder played in your career as an artist? Why did you join?
I started selling small drawings on the street to tourists and after a few months, a tourist from the Netherlands told me I should sell online at Artfinder. I did not give it much importance but months later, I decided to try it and, although at the beginning I did not have much success, the sales arrived little by little and now Artfinder is my main channel of sales, for which I am very grateful.
What’s next for you? Any exciting plans coming up?
Next, I would like to take up art with recycled materials, sculpture, lamps and, above all, use more natural materials, such as natural pigments and land art. I also have a project that I hope to make some day, one that involves combining children on the street and art. The goal is to continue to combine my skills and my heart to help others to live with dignity.