It’s one thing to see Pedro Paricio’s colourful geometric paintings hanging on the pristine white walls of the Halcyon Gallery on London’s prestigious Bond Street. It’s quite another to have the privilege of enjoying a few hours in his private studio in the Canary Islands, chatting about art, culture and travel over a few frozen pizzas he popped in the oven and a bottle of wine.
Paintings above via Pedro Paricio’s website:
SÍSIFO AND ATLAS · Diptych ·150 x 260 cm · Acrylic on linen · 2013
Jorge discovered Pedro’s work in the London’s Halcyon Gallery (where he is exclusively represented) on Bond Street a couple of years ago and later even spotted a few of his works in the home of a client in Belgravia’s Eaton Square (a block of beautiful homes whose residents include names like Sean Connery, Roman Abramovich and the maternal grandmother of Lady Diana, among many others).
On finding out that, like him, Pedro comes from Tenerife in the Canary Islands and, also like him, he has spent time living and working in both Barcelona and London, he got in touch. They became friends.
Painting above via Pedro Paricio’s website.
OK · 92 x 76 cm · Acrylic on linen · 2013
Pedro moved back to Tenerife not long ago and now has a flat with dark green shutters that he uses solely as a studio. It’s on a sleepy street in La Orotava, a town and wider municipality which includes the steepest point in Spain at the summit of the island’s beloved volcano, El Teide. When we popped in for a visit in January, he welcomed us in with a grin and a bottle of wine, kindly speaking English for my benefit.
He gave us the grand tour of this vibrant ground floor space: to the left, the studio itself with light wood floors, a few easels – one with a sketch in progress and another covered in a brightly patterned cloth, a small sink in the corner and a shelf with paintbrushes in all sizes and bottles of paint organised by colour. He has a hairdryer rigged up to a tripod to help dry his work, a comfy chair to sit back and reflect, and a mirror propped up on a table in the far corner. It’s easy to picture him there, paint-splattered, smoking a cigar and having a drink with music in the background, churning up his next idea.
Painting above via Pedro Paricio’s website.
DIALOGUE · 130 x 162 cm · Acrylic on linen · 2011
Across from this room, a space for relaxing, having friends around, taking care of admin. There are beautifully tiled floors, a sofa, a small wooden table and desk space. On the walls, a quirky mix of objects and art that inspire him or have some other significance.
To the left at the end of the hallway (where his bike lives), there’s a bathroom. Above the door, a rocket ship and some flying pigs and a women’s/disabled loo sign. There’s even art inside. Across from this, there’s a small room full of bookshelves which are completely full and overflowing. Pedro loves books and has thousands of them – a heavy collection he flew back from London! (Makes me feel bad about giving up the 300 or so I had accumulated here before I moved to Colombia…)
Painting above from Pedro Paricio’s website.
THE JUMP · Triptych · 50 x 100 cm · Acrylic on linen · 2014
At the very end of the hall is a tiny kitchen space. No surface is off-limits to his creativity as his self-portrait on the fridge door implies. We stood here, drinking wine, through the individual baking of three small frozen pizzas, just catching up. He’s back and forth to London quite often, but Pedro is enjoying the island life again, inspired by the landscape, by his young son, by fixing up an old house for his family.
We talked a lot about travel, about finding like-minded people in other expats, about being inspired by London’s many galleries and the stories of other people we meet on our adventures, about the diversity of London and the party life on the island, about whether the tough life London can present is worth the opportunities that are also available and the importance of chasing them if you’re going to pay so much to live here.
I am continually amazed by how down-to-earth Pedro is, how friendly and laid-back considering his incredible success as an artist – something that clearly has not gone to his head.
If you’re ever hanging out on Bond Street, pop into the Halcyon Gallery to see his latest work; it will be a welcome contrast to these chilly March days.
(PS – Here’s an interview Jorge did with Pedro a few years ago!)