Meaningless Data: Artist Residency with Fabian Monge

How do you think working at Hotel Belmar, with its staff, guests and cloud forest surroundings influenced your paintings?

July 2, 2019

The intention of our Artist Residency is to nurture and support artists’ work through our natural surroundings, our staff and guests, and our hotel´s philosophy; and in turn to inspire visitors and locals to engage in this artistic exploration. So we asked Fabian about his experience at Hotel Belmar…

HB/ How do you think working at Hotel Belmar, with its staff, guests and cloud forest surroundings influenced your paintings?

FM /The staff was great, every time I needed something they would immediately
help me.. The surroundings were perfect; they’re pareidolic. For my work specifically, both things were fundamental to my residency and helped me with my explanation. Having the opportunity to talk with other artists and people that came to my studio
at the hotel was also key to my process.

HB/ Is there anything that you learned or discovered about yourself, your work or in general while staying at Belmar?

FB/ I learned many things, including some interesting mysterious tales about the hotel, but also the pareidolic and how they could relate. So having these stories while searching for the pareidolia around them, was quite a personal change for me.

HB/ What did you see in Monteverde?

What do I see? Maybe I haven’t seen anything yet, but I learned to be at peace with what I don’t understand, and also how to better manage my pareidolic proyections, so I don’t have to explain things that I don’t know what they are, through what I do know. I learned to feel comfortable with unknown things that I see and don’t comprehend.

pareidolia/ (ˌpæraɪˈdəʊlɪə) /noun: the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features

What do you see when you don’t know what you’re seeing? Most people find this question rather frustrating, but for Fabian it’s the question that best encircles his line of recent artwork. Once you look at his paintings, it makes sense.

There is no right or wrong answer or interpretation, it’s a matter of personal perception and what the artist is trying to make us exercise and question. To a point it seems like we are all playing a game, either trying to guess what it is or just sharing what each of us see. “It’s like when we see shapes in the clouds” said Fabian, “or the Rorschach test” The answer doesn’t matter it’s the thought process, the perspective, the interpretation behind it or the lack of all these things.

The final stage of the residency culminated in a wonderful evening with guests, friends, staff and people from the community. The artist took his time to really engage in conversation about his paintings with each person, to explain, to discuss, to laugh and question “So, what do you see?”

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