ArtBlitz LA’s Jamie Samuel caught up with Spanish artist Domingo Zapata to discuss his ongoing projects in New York and his future exhibitions in Los Angeles. Originally from Mallora, Spain, Zapata received his education in Great Britain and the United States. After studying political science and art, he found a way to fulfill his passion of painting—something that he does for a minimum of 14 hours a day. Growing up in Mallorca, Zapata inherited his creativity and artistic skills from his parents, a custom tailor and automotive painter. Over the years he has occupied studios in New York, Los Angeles, Venice, and Wynwood. However, he maintains his home studio in Gramercy Park, where his family lives.
Tell us about your practice.
The Spanish masters have influenced my work—Goya, Picasso and other artists too. I try to paint what I feel and what is happening to me on a daily basis, the past to my present. I do not like to be very political in work even after studying Political Science at American University in Washington D.C. I like to make the place a little more beautiful; my motivation is beauty and the ability to help others. I want my work to make life a little easier.
How did this Billboard project come to be?
The Billboard project will continue through September. The idea came to me and I introduced it to the owner of a billboard company in New York. I came up with idea to make the city a gallery, where I would then trade twenty different locations in the least expected spots. These billboards would have a variety of messages and art—happy yellow birds, beautiful messages, inspirations—something simple and something beautiful.
What was your previous experience working in LA?
I turned my room at the Chataeu Marmont into a studio where I kept it for two years. During that time, I sold out a show at Lab Art. Lab Art is a very interesting space; I love those guys who started it. They are so into the urban art contemporary art scene. I think one thing is that LA has amazing light, similar to Paris and the Hamptons, which correlated to creativity. LA has bright beautiful light and it is so nice work with, I wouldn’t think about moving twice to LA because of the art space. Artists want to move there.
So what’s next?
My next show focuses on film, more importantly the inspiration from all of the movies that won Oscars. This show will be exhibited with KM Fine Arts in the first week of December. I think movies have a lot to do with art; it’s a great connection.
If you have one, what message would you like to send?
Anybody that loves art has to always have an open mind. Understand why things are happening and what are the possibilities are. Anyone that loves art, whether what they have or what they know, try to learn other mediums and others styles. I would love for more people to be open to new techniques. I think that art is everywhere and based on creation. Nothing is good or bad, everything is creation. Everyone should not be so narrow-minded; everyone should be more open-minded.
Stay tuned for a later update closer to Domingo’s opening with KM Fine Arts. But if you are in the New York area or traveling there soon, don’t forget to look for the twenty billboards created by Domingo.