Human process - Joan Coderch & Javier Malavia

The complexity of human beings and all of their emotional states has always been a lesson to learn from. And the artistic approach that explores the world around us is a neverending process that keeps on rewarding. Giving us "live" examples, and showing us various emotional states. But how to keep it in one place, how to take those lessons to the future? How to prepare the young and give them the wisdom they are promised?
The artistic duo Coderch-Malavia is solving that mystery. Their dedication and love for their craft, have brought to life one of the most beautiful sculptures of modern time. While looking at them we can feel "the moment", we can develop empathy for the emotional states of their sculptures... And you will realize slowly, we can fall in love with their art.

Where are you from? Where does the art journey start for you?

Joan Coderch:
I was born in Castellar del Vallés (Barcelona) Spain in 1959 and have studied at the Department of Fine Arts of Barcelona.
When I was very young I was lucky enough to find a teacher of Plastic Arts who saw in me the love and sensitivity I had for volume. He supported me and helped me by teaching me the basics of modeling. He took me to the house of Manuel Hugué, a famous Catalonian sculptor of the early twentieth century. This was for me a turning point. I discovered a whole new world andI realized sculpture, and Art in general, is the perfect way to express my ideas and my feelings.
Javier Malavia:
I was born in Oñati, a small town in the Basque Country of Spain, in 1970. When I was a little child I moved to Valencia with my family, there I graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of San Carlos.
I've always liked to draw and I've always loved nature, the human body, chemistry and physiology. Before I started my university studies I did not really know very well whether I wanted to follow one way or another.
Suddenly something clicked in my mind, just like when inspiration comes to you, and I realized that I wanted to study fine arts.
Once in class, the first contact I had with sculpture, especially the modeling, was like a crush. . . it was love at first sight.

What is the first emotion that drives you towards creating an art piece? Do you recognize the connection immediately and let yourself flow on the creative process? Or do you "bake" the inspiration for some time?

Sharing the creation of a work of art is complicated, there must be a predisposition to fit together artistically.
The fact that a work of art can emerge from the collaboration of two different sensibilities might catch people's attention because it might seem complicated, but in reality we believe that this alliance empowers the finalresult. However, starting a project from a dual dynamic requires much more previous work. We start from several brainstorming sessions in which we put all the cards down on the table. During this process we share our ideas, no matter if they are good or bad, to get to a point where we understand what is important to us and what is that we want to develop.
Meeting and discussing is simple, the complicated part is organizing and sharing the physical creation of the work itself, because you need double discipline, you must learn to trust your partner and be able to share your ideas and your work with him, and, above all, you must put your ego aside in order to stay equal to commit to the final result.

What is the back story of your design? Because every one of us sees the world through separate lenses. How hard it must be to transfer it to other people?

Literature, poetry, theater, photography, cinema and ballet, they all serve as inspiration.
We are always working from alive models. From the first sketches on paper, to the final pieces, teamwork is essential; Since the first modeling in clay to the final bronze´s patina, we control the whole process of our pieces. Everything is relevant, because in the final piece the emotions experienced during the creative process are condensed.

When it comes to making a living from your art, what are the main struggles? And what would be your advice for starting artists?

We shouldn't talk about what our struggles have been, we should, instead, talk about what our daily struggle is, which is our obsession to transmit the best of ourselves through our work. We try to achieve excellence in what we do, so we are also very demanding with the people who work with us.
Then we want to advice starting artist to put passion, as much as possible on the thing they do.

What do you prefer, single pieces or storytelling through a whole project? And what approach do you use in each case?

We are open to all possibilities, but until today we have focused more on unique pieces that represent intense moments in the lives that they count, on the myths that they evoke, but all of them remain suspended in an obvious enigma. This uncertainty is part of the mystery, the very center of the aesthetic circumstance of these works.

Why do you use certain materials? What connects you with them, and makes you feel they are perfect for your art piece?

We model in clay or wax, but our pieces end up being cast in bronze with the will of eternity. Each of the pieces is designed to last over time.
We model the human body in a classic way in figures always full of tension and movement, making matter speak in an elegiac way, sometimes bucolic, sometimes lyrical, but always with a high degree of poetry; always trying to place them near the limits of beauty.

What does ART, in general, mean to you?

Art is one of the great pillars of human expression. Seduction and fantasy arise from their masses and use matter as an object of thought. We do it with arguments typical of your discipline. Just as painting expresses itself with color, dances with the movement of the body and light, sculpture uses proportion, shadow, balances and textures of matter to move the sensitive viewer.
As we already know, Culture is an inexhaustible source on which the great edifice of knowledge is built piece by piece. We try to be two more actors in this beautiful human process that is Culture.
The FOURLINEdesign team would like to thank Joan Coderch and Javier Malavia for sharing inspiring thoughts with our community.