Luna Paiva was born in Paris and studied at La Sorbonne. She is a multi-talented artist that started as a photographer before focusing on sculpture, creating stunning bronze pieces that can transport the viewer to an oneiric world. We have been admiring her work for years after seeing it displayed at the Hermes store in Barcelona and later at Art Basel Miami. Here, Luna shares everything, from how she finds inspiration to her favorite things to do in Barcelona.
You grew up with your father being an artist and your mom an art dealer, did you always know what you wanted to do for work growing up?
It’s been years of exploration in different art fields, from film to drawing, from production to creation and all that’s in between. Working on my own, surrounded by people or for others, depending on people or depending on myself. The result is that I work on my own in this studio, I don’t even have an assistant. I like not being watched or heard. I have two foundries working simultaneously on my projects and that’s where I love interacting, in their space.
I read you started taking photos before moving to sculpture, how and when did you start creating sculptures?
I found an unbelievable foundry in Buenos Aires, 4th generation of founders and we started working on more than 20 different species of succulents and cacti. I started with existing objects and transforming them into bronze. Changing the meaning by changing the material.
Who did you admire growing up?
I admired dancers and musicians. I still do. From Flashdance to Pina Bausch. And now Glenn Gould comes to my mind when he’s humming aloud when he plays.
Do you think the spaces where we live or spend time affect our creativity?
The spaces, the landscapes and the people that surround us have a direct influence on your work. Without noticing you absorb images and feelings that allow you to be in state of creativity.
Has there been any pivotal moment in your career?
Pivotal to me were the death of my father, giving birth to my kids, falling in love and being free. These moments triggered major changes.
Is there any signature element or topic in your work?
I have always been attracted by plants that are supposed to embellish graceless places: in apartment lobbies, doctor’s waiting rooms, bank offices next to photocopy machines, or in funeral homes on top of desks where you choose an urn when someone dies.I am attracted by plants that are used in places of adversity—like antidotes to their environments.
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
I enjoy all the process, I guess the most exciting is when you believe in an idea and nothing can stop you to make it real. When there are less doubts, less questions and you don’t depend on other people’s opinion.
How do you find inspiration?
When I’m about to sleep or when I wake up, in a middle state between here and there, ideas come very neatly. And I don’t have to be aware of that process, it needs to be totally spontaneous.
You are a mother and are pregnant now, as a mother of two myself, I find that motherhood gets mixed with my work often, do you think being a mother inspires you or affects your creativity in any way?
Motherhood helps you to focus and to realize the importance of time. You need to struggle to have your own, give it to others and create the perfect balance.
I was fascinated by the window you created for the Hermes store in Barcelona, do you have any dream project or collaboration with another artist that you would love to do?
I enjoy collaborations very much. I usually work on my own and to share ideas feels easier. Feedback and directions can be a great relief.
Given that 2020 has been a hard year for most people I would like to know how you spent it and if it has brought anything good to at any level?
I was confined in the countryside near Barcelona, in a small village from March to July. It was 3 degrees celsius in a house without heating, but we had a fireplace in the kitchen that kept us warm and united. It was hard to go back to the city after this experience. I was able to experience every detail of the transition between winter and summer in nature: The change of plants, colors, and temperature.
Regarding clothing, what are the type of pieces you love the most? Are materials important to you?
Materials are essential to me. The fabric needs to be soft or rough, light or heavy, depending on the circumstances and the material. I love when cotton becomes silk. I love vintage jeans, the perfect white t-shirt, and vintage coats or jackets.
What does sustainability mean to you and do you try to apply it to your wardrobe?
Sustainability is essential. Buying vintage is important and most of all fun. The clothes already exist, and they still have a life to live.
You live in Barcelona now, what are your three favorite things to do there?
Coming to my studio in Poble Nou with a take-away lunch from my favorite restaurant “Norte”! Going to Pablo´s office, Bofill´s factory, an architectural gem that is at its highest peak of effervescence. In Montjuic, I love Mies Van Der Rohe’s pavilion, Miro´s library, and Club Real Pompeia, a public tennis club.
Limonov by Emmanuel Carrère.
I mostly watch documentaries from the French channel Arte. I have a long list of favorites. Here some: Afghanistan, a country scarred by war 4 chapters; The bounty hunter of Mongolia and Putin the mystery.
Any recent happy memory you can share?
Looking at my baby’s profile on the ultrasound with Pablo and sharing it with my kids and loved ones.