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Meet Yamil Picco, our 2023 artist contest winner

Meet Yamil Picco, our 2023 artist contest winner

This year, we celebrate ten years of Artfinder as a marketplace. In partnership with our friends at Cass Art, our newest artist competition, 'A Decade of Art on Artfinder' celebrates the amazing artwork that's been created by our artist community over the years. Here, our artists were given the opportunity to submit what they thought was their best artwork of the past decade and following a series of votes by our artist community, internal team and the public, Yamil Picco took first prize. Today, we speak to Yamil to discover the inspiration and creativity behind his work and why he picked Destinos Desvanecidos as his entry.

Could you start by introducing yourself to our community?

Hello everyone, I am Yamil Picco, a visual artist born in 1985 in a small town called Villa de las Rosas, in Córdoba, Argentina. From a young age, I discovered my passion for art and visual expression, and I have dedicated a significant part of my life to developing and exploring different ways of manifesting my creativity. My artistic work draws inspiration from the beauty that surrounds me, as well as my personal experiences and deepest emotions. I enjoy venturing into different techniques and styles, ranging from landscape painting to the representation of the human figure, both in oil and mixed media. In each artwork, I aim to convey a unique and evocative narrative.

Every piece I create is a form of communication. My goal is to evoke emotions, provoke reflections, and establish connections with those who appreciate and are drawn to art. I sincerely appreciate your time and support. I am thrilled to be part of this community and to continue growing as an artist alongside all of you.

What has been your artist journey?

Since my childhood, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in an environment filled with art, surrounded by paintings and brushes, thanks to my parents who were also visual artists. This early immersion sparked in me an innate passion for painting, becoming an essential and rooted part of my life.

As I grew up, I discovered my deepest form of expression that has guided me throughout my artistic journey. Over the years, I have tirelessly sought to enrich my skills through participation in various drawing and painting academies and workshops. I have had the privilege of studying under the guidance of Maestro Claudio Bogino and Maestro Ariel Martínez Archina, two renowned artists from Córdoba, Argentina. Additionally, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge at the School of Arts of the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities at the National University of Córdoba, as well as at the Luis Tessandori Provincial School of Fine Arts in Villa Dolores, Córdoba, where I obtained my degree as an Art Teacher in Visual Arts in 2012.

In terms of my exhibition history, I have been able to showcase my work in various national and international venues. My artworks have been part of collective exhibitions, such as the one held at the Caravaggio County Museum in Catania, Italy, in 2022/23, and the Cerrito Art Gallery in Córdoba, Argentina, in 2019. I currently have a permanent exhibition in my own art gallery, known as La Casa de los Cuadros, in Villa de las Rosas, Córdoba, Argentina, from 2005 to the present.

How would you describe your art?

I enjoy exploring a wide variety of techniques and representations. I divide my work into different forms of expression, focusing on realistic and impressionistic landscapes, the human figure, and surrealism. When painting, my aim is to reflect the lights and shadows intensely, creating striking contrasts and highlighting bursts of light. Some of my creations are approached realistically, seeking to capture even the smallest detail. On other occasions, I adopt a more impressionistic approach, capturing the essence of the scene.

Additionally, in certain cases, I combine these two techniques, leaving incomplete areas where the drawing and construction of the artwork are evident, allowing the viewer to complete it with their own mental interpretation.

I primarily depict mountains, rivers,and locations from my province and Argentina, along with the characters that inhabit them. I seek to convey their beauty and essence. When it comes to the human figure, I am interested in ensuring that each character I portray can convey their life and surroundings. Through strokes and details, I aim to reflect their story and their connection with the world they are immersed in. Some of these representations focus on a single character, highlighting simplicity without adding many elements. In other instances, I immerse them in a more surreal environment, leaving open-ended messages that appeal to the viewer's subjectivity. Each figure becomes a living testimony of life itself, inviting the viewer to explore and discover the hidden stories and emotions within each being.

Can you tell us more about your creative process, how do you go about creating a painting?

For the creation, I rely on photographs I take of each place I visit and people I portray. I'm not one to make preliminary sketches on paper; instead, I assemble the composition and idea in my mind and then bring it to life on the canvas. I work in various formats, from small to medium and large. As for the techniques I employ, I primarily work with oil, although I also experiment with mixed media on occasion.

How did you select this artwork and can you tell us more about its meaning?

I chose this artwork for its emotional impact and technical resolution. It is inspired by a photograph I captured during my recent trip to the province of Jujuy, Argentina, specifically in the town of Humahuaca. While walking through the market with my camera, I noticed a man in the distance accompanied by several dogs following him. The scene deeply impacted me, and I decided to capture it in my artwork. This image represents solitude, the connection between humans and animals, and also evokes a sense of transience and loss. The title Fading Destinations reflects the idea that each character and every moment in life has its own story and destiny, but over time, everything fades and transforms.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced as an artist?

My greatest challenge has been finding my artistic style. From the beginning, I have experimented with various techniques and forms of expression. However, discovering my artistic identity has been a challenging process. Finding my personal imprint involves exploring my interests, emotions, and experiences, and then translating them into my artworks. It has required self-reflection, different approaches, and taking risks by stepping out of my comfort zone. Dealing with the uncertainty and instability of the art world has also been a challenge. The search for opportunities, promoting my work, and building a following have required perseverance, dedication, and an open mindset to adapt to the changes and challenges of the art market.

Do you have some final words for our community?

I would like to thank Artfinder for providing this space, allowing us to showcase our work to the world, to those who follow us, and to all the artists who are part of this community. Here, we have the opportunity to connect and enrich our perspective by exploring various forms of expression. In challenging times, art becomes a source of relief and emotional connection, allowing us to find beauty and meaning in our lives. Let us continue to value and support all forms of expression, as they possess an inspiring, uplifting and unifying power for our community. Thank you all for being part of this platform and contributing to the construction of a better world for everyone.

Cover image via Yamil Picco

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