EK Interview: Pedro Covo


The work of Pedro Covo is full of color. With big strokes he paints beautiful pieces. Check out his interview:

Tell us about yourself, you grew up in Columbia, where else have you lived? What have you learned from each country you’ve lived in?
I grew up in Cartagena de Indias, a city l by the Caribbean coast in the Northern part of Colombia. At 17 went to live in Bogota where I did 5 years of visual arts in the Javeriana University.

I’ve had the opportunity to spend a good amount of time travelling and living in different places. Since an illustrator can work from home, I used to rent a place for a few months and eventually moveD to another city. This provides you with a wider perspective of how things work and what you like and dislike about your hometown or country.


What about water appeals to you? Your series Swimmer has a number of different perspectives, what does each piece mean to you? What did you learn differently in each?
In my swimmer series I try to use the pallet, composition, textures, and all the other tools that painting gives me to express a concept, attached to a moment or a person. Like a day at the beach by the house with my sister or on the island with my friends, how the colour of the water changes in these two places, how this affects the figure and the experience of swimming.


At the end the representation of the swimming act, is nothing more than an excuse to paint what I have around, my life, the people I know, and this is charged with emotions. That is what I try to leave in each piece.


How do you decide a piece has been a success? What makes a good piece of art from your perspective? Have you ever painted a piece and decided it was not good enough?
In that order of ideas if a painting reflects what I think it should, it’s a success. It is about telling your story, which is what makes a good piece of art.


Besides your Swimmer series, most of your personal work has been portraiture, how much of a relationship do you have with your subjects? Do you think it helpful at all to have a relationship with your subject? What does it do for a piece?
The people I paint in my personal work are always friends or family that agreed to sit down for a few hours and pose. Every portrait is a different challenge, and I like to think that reflects at some point the type of relationship I have with the subject. Of course I do a lot of unsuccessful work, actually most of my production ends up covered by another piece or in the trashcan.


What are you working on at the moment? What is next for you?
At the moment I’m in a transition from an illustrator to a full time painter, experimenting with more materials and scales, I’ve had the opportunity to paint big murals lately and hopefully would do a lot more in the near future.