Interview: Gabriel Roland
Secundino, we are in your Madrid studio right now. How do you divide your work between here and your Berlin studio?
My studio here is very wide and open, so I have space to make large scale technical works. When I have an idea or look for the best solution for a painting I don’t like to be restricted by space. Also, here, I am able to work on several pieces simultaneously. After major shows, I usually move back to Berlin where I am more likely to find time to relax, to read, to experiment, to look at other shows, and to discuss ideas with colleagues. I am convinced that, to get new input and develop fresh ideas, it was a good decision for me to move to Berlin. In Madrid, on the other hand, I have a big studio and my team, so it's ideal to actually get paintings done when I already know what I want to do. And I am familiar with the city and the people in a very different way because it is my hometown.
How do the art scenes of Madrid and Berlin compare?
They are very different, but to me they are the perfect combination. Everyone knows that Berlin is one of the most exciting places in Europe to do art right now, mainly because it’s a city that's ready to satisfy the needs of artists. It's easy to find a good space to work. The city has good supply stores and fine galleries. In Madrid it’s harder to develop your career but at the same time it’s very rough, authentic, and inspiring. I was thinking about that today on my way to the studio: Madrid is such a schizophrenic place! Sometimes the city makes you happy, sometimes it gets you down. Berlin, in contrast, is a much slower city and great for working. However, when I go out I still feel like a tourist at times.
Image: Secundino Hernández in his Madrid studio
Photograph by Thierry Bal