Alicia Moneva is a photographer and artist based in Madrid, Spain. With her works she explores what it means to be a human being, an individual and a part of society. Inspired by the deep studies of human nature and history of art, she immerses the viewer into the uncanny world of unconscious and interpersonal, at the same time giving a lot of space for her images’ interpretation. We talked with Alicia to find out what brought her to creation of this impressive artistic universe.
How did you get to where you are right now?
I have never been a good student. In my youth I used to spend time drawing and painting. When I finished studying biology at university, I got in touch with the world of architecture. I learned to perceive space and light in a new way. At that time, a terrible misfortune occurred. My family member became a victim of the terrorist attack. Suddenly, despite all the tragedy of the situation, I felt integrity and moral strength essential for a vital change in the scale of values. Indeed, dealing with illness, even death, is an essential part of life, and it happened to be a turning point for me.
Was there anyone who influenced you?
Personally speaking, of course the situation with the close person of mine that I described before influenced me a lot. Artistically speaking, the architects that I worked with, especially my husband, Javier García García. I could also mention great painters like Velazquez or Van Gogh, or philosophers like Quintín Racionero, poets such as J.L.Borges and all the artists, scientists, and people who taught me to look at the world at a different angle.
Have you ever taken risks to move forward?
I don’t really think there are many risks in creating. Making mistakes, maybe? But it is not a risk, it is just one more step in the creative process.
The sense of risk, in my case, has to do with my daily life, since I live with and support a chronically ill person, so I always try to find a space for happiness. I also strive to be true with my ideas and personal ethics, which also has an element of risk, probably.
Are your family and friends supportive of what you do?
My parents never took arts seriously. On the other hand, my siblings, especially my sister Marisol and her daughter Musqui, have always been supportive, giving me encouragement and energy, when I needed them most. My friends have also transmitted their admiration and support. I can not complain, life has given me the most precious good it could – people who really love me.
Where’s home and how living there influences you?
I live in Madrid and I like it. It is a big cultural hub and a city with many alternatives. The mixture of people is terrific, all the different ones are all well received. This enriches you much, both socially and individually.
Do you have a routine?
In photography, I always work on an idea, usually related to human being. I read a lot on the topic, I keep myself informed. I want the final image to be a visual poem, beautiful but disturbing at the same time. I also have other, not recommended routines, since I mostly work at night, because it is the best time of the day for me.
How would you describe your style?
It is difficult to speak about yourself. In paintings, I tend to use realistic style, but without hyper realism. I collect objects that tell stories, spaces and fragments that summarize a whole. I like dealing with light, studying it, but I especially love shadows, an imaginary of possibilities.
In photography, I am more conceptual, and I always work with images of people. Photography was just the question of time for me. I started studying psychology and later, philosophy. I needed means to tell things by mixing characters, and I started taking pictures, because painting could not convey what I am expressing now with my photography and video art.
What gives you ideas and inspires you?
Philosophy, psychology, poetry, and theoretical physics, mainly. I am also very interested in human interactions. They never cease to amaze me, often for worse, but sometimes for good, too. These occasions are the ones that fill me with inspiration and hope for humanity.
What do you see yourself doing in a few years?
I hope in a few years, even in longer time, I'll be doing the same I'm doing now: learning, painting and taking photographs with the same devotion and pleasure.
To see more of Alicia's work, visit her website: