I paint to never die
Born in Abarán, Murcia (Spain), in 1985, Bran Sólo defines himself as a “Good person, painter, illustrator, designer and photographer, as well as many other things I never wanted to be“.
Graduated in 2006 in Computer Applications Development and Database Analysis, he worked for seven years in the technology sector.
In 2010 he participated in the official programme of parallel events of the European Biennial of Contemporary Art Manifesta, in its eighth edition, with an exhibition at the Casas Consistoriales space in Mazarrón.
In 2012 he decided to abandon his work as a computer programmer and lifestyle to devote himself to drawing and enroll in the School of Art of Murcia, leaving behind family, couple and home and moving alone to a studio in the city of Murcia.
It is in the same school where he discovers that an eye disease, of unknown origin, conditions his perception from childhood. A macular lesion, formed by scars in the central area of the retina, distorts the images in a way that it describes as “kaleidoscopic“, sharply multiplying the images with high contrast or brightness. In this way, he discovers that he cannot certainly find the line that separates a white area from a black one, confuses volume with emptiness, the positive with the negative and, except in specific light circumstances, perceives all objects multiplied up to eight or ten copies, depending on distance, and especially those that are luminous, making it difficult to visualize screens and projections as well as elements that emit or reflect moderate amounts of light. This condition, which forces the brain to interpret reality very subjectively, gives it a “unique vision”, which he sustains with humour “is the most important quality that an artist must have“.
He finished his studies in 2014 and graduated in Plastic Arts and Design in Illustration, presenting in his final project the Tarot de Laguna by which he is qualified with the highest score of the jury, which grants him an Erasmus scholarship that takes him to Oporto.
After his stay in the Portuguese city, he moved to Madrid where he officially began his artistic caree. He moves in 2015 to Barcelona where he continues his work.
In 2015 he holds his first solo exhibition: “Perfume de flor de cuchillo” in Kipfer&Lover, Malaga, which is a great success.
He returns to Murcia in 2016 where he currently resides.
From that moment on, his career advances exponentially and in a short time he manages to show his work at the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga, at the ESTAMPA fair in Madrid, at the gallery NB7 of the FLECHA fair in the same city, as well as in other spaces such as Échale Guindas Galería, Matraca Gallery, VillaPuchero Factory, Factoria de Arte y Desarrollo, Swinton & Grant, The Folio Club, The Folio Club, Nigredo Espacio, El Gallinero or Vergel Espacio.
In addition, he collaborates with the publishers of 180hilos, exhibiting works in serial edition at MACBA and CCCB in Barcelona, CAIXA Forum Madrid and at the Centre Pompidou in Malaga, as well as ARCO Art Fair 2018 (Llibreria Laie Stand) and manages to find a niche in specialised shops and art galleries inside and outside Spain.
In 2018 he publishes for sale the Tarot de Laguna, a research and personal development work based on the fundamentals of psychoanalysis.
He is currently researching the relationship between science and art, which he says is “inseparable from me“, as well as being interested in the graphic study of other subjects such as masculinity, fear and human emotions, love and blindness.
The protagonists tend to be characters from his surroundings and models that he usually photographs in his studio, predominantly men, with a melancholic, pessimistic and solitary character, wich is the main subject dealt with in most of his works.
Bran Sólo is a lover of the sea, linking its color palette to the Mediterranean.
He usually replaces the shape and colour of the human body with a blue colour like the sea, on backgrounds reminiscent of the fine sand of some of the Mediterranean landscapes in which he gets inspired.
MASCULINITY – MACHO IS DEAD
It’s one of the reasons he says he’s here.
“We all know the stale stereotype of the IBERIAN MALE. The strong man, hard, determined, powerful, sexual, a little bit bull, a little bit pig. In Spain, men are educated in this way, to be insensitive beasts that can work twelve hours, earn nine hundred euros, carry a family with many children, copulate when asked and close their mouths to any personal problem. If there is any sorrow, they should go to the bar to drink and watch football.
I have grown up in a society (using the term society as WE, and not THE OTHERS) that has imposed values on me without considering their weight. I am expected to be strong, brave, without fears, without complaints. I have to protect others, lead the group, be the alpha male everyone expects, raise a family, pull everything forward and never waver.
I have no choice but to refuse.
The feminist movements that resurface, by fortune and necessity, at the end of this decade as well as the discourses of gender liberation and sexual identity reveal the new scenario in which the man finds himself.
It is a reality that there is a consciousness of NEW MASCULINITIES, where a man can be a man, and that means, if you want to, be sensitive, be afraid, be fragile, need help… or be whatever you want to be as a man, as if that means being what we think a woman should be.
My discourse is this, as is my work. Free men, strong or not. Whatever they choose to be.“
The idea, based in part on the essay by the Belgian philosopher and art historian Hippolyte Fierens-Gevaer entitled Contemporary sadness: essay on the great moral and intellectual currents of the nineteenth century, inspires Bran to work on the feeling of loneliness, of feeling different, excluded and rejected in a pessimistic, exhausted environment, where faith in humanity, and therefore in oneself, has been lost.
“To doubt, not of the existence of God, but of the presence of a divine virtue in human acts, is the highest form of contemporary sadness”. (Hippolyte Fierens-Gevaer)
The 2017 Ansak series of illustrations reflects this pessimistic character through his inexpressive, slightly melancholy, dark portraits of faces that, although deformed by the emotions of the portrayed character, do not fail to convey the forgotten beauty behind the pain and fear that seems to drown the model.
The theme that worries the painter the most is solitude, reflecting it even in his name with a “o” with a tilde (the one of “Sólo”) that more reminds to an adverb of quantity than to an adjective of company in the spanish language.
“It is not about loneliness in the context of dependence on a partner or family, but it refers to the feeling of being unable to find or return home, to connect with other people or simply to feel overwhelmed by the brutal scenery that nature, as majestic as it is perverse, holds for us”.
It is possible that the visual circumstance that characterizes Bran’s personality aggravates this feeling of loneliness, creating a ghostly and hostile scenario, empty of humanity.
Is this characteristic, which makes any person who moves more than a few centimetres away into a shadow, reaffirms the painter’s need for the physical, for touch as a substitute for vision (hence symbols such as the hand with an eye in the palm), and for the value of the company and the exchange of visions.
Affection, admiration, connection, protection and commitment are recurring themes and inspirational motives for the symbology that appears in his works.
Paloma Negra collective
In 2017, together with his inseparable partner Daniel “El Dibujo”, he founded the Circulo de Artistas Paloma Negra, with the aim of giving visibility to a group of artists with a message and a concept of similar artistic work, fleeing from the artistic emptiness created by the Contemporary Art Market.
Paloma Negra’s discourse begins with the phrase “Not everything is worth”, as a reference to the loss of meaning that the art of the contemporary movement has experienced after the rise of the artistic avant-garde.
In addition, Paloma Negra focuses on the figure of the artist as an experienced composer, a being with a different sensibility that far from pursuing fame, profitability and recognition at all costs, focuses its attention on his work, providing it with message and technique, emotion and meaning, and returns the value to the artistic work, giving it the unique and personal impression of the composer.
Initially they are members of the collective artists such as Espinaca Explosiva, Fran Munyoz, Alejandro Llamas, Jaume Mora, Dino Galvagno, Pablo Álvarez, Jav Rubín, Julia Navarro, Vorja Sánchez and Oct Streitenberger.
2014 Completion of Higher Technical Studies in Art and Design in Illustration at the School of Arts of Murcia. / Técnico superior en Arte y Diseño en Ilustración por la Escuela de Arte de Murcia.
2006 Completion of Higher Technical Studies in Software Development and Database Analysis. / Técnico superior en Análisis y Desarrollo de Aplicaciones Informáticas.
2021Group exhibition PRIDE on the occasion of the LGTBI+ PRIDE of BARCELONA 2021 held at Bar La Federica, Barcelona.
2021Group exhibition PRIDE BY YOUR SIDE, the exhibition in support of the LGBT+ community online. In collaboration with QUEEF MAGAZINE, PRIDE MAGAZINE and FALO MAGAZINE. Organised by FMB Art Gallery, shown online and at Afnakafna gallery and Freeda gallery, Rome.
2021 Group exhibition Una Mirada LGTBI+ organised by Joan Martí i Ventura (cultural manager) and Simón Perera del Rosario (secretary general of PRISMA, LGTBIQA+ association), directors of the exhibition project Una Mirada LGTBI+, at Taller Balam, Barcelona.
2020 Exhibition The (Re)Making of a Native Language curated by Laurence Ross, at Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. USA.
2019 Exhibition in art fair ArtGaysel 5, during ArtBasel Miami, at Hotel Gaythering, Miami Beach, Florida. USA.
2019 Group exhibition on the occasion of the Wizard of Oz 80th anniversary at Ficciones, Murcia. Spain.
2019 Group exhibition on the occasion of the BARCELONA ORGULLO LGTBI+ held at Bar La Federica in Barcelona. Spain.
2019 Group exhibition on the occasion of the ROMA LGTBI+ PRIDE celebrated in LARGO VENUE, in Rome. Italy.
2019 Group exhibition at the BERKANA Bookstore Stand on the occasion of the Madrid Book Fair for the signing of the book “Call me by your name” by André Aciman, Madrid.
2018 Individual exhibition in Art Fair “ArtGaysel 4”, organized by Hôtel Gaythering of Miami Beach, Florida. USA.
2018 Group Exhibition “ORGULLO”, organized by Paloma Negra, in the space Nawalis, Chueca, Madrid. Spain.
2018 Individual exhibition “Dragones“, in the restaurant Sr.Ito, Chueca, Madrid. Spain.
2018 Group exhibition “UNICON – Unique Art Condoms“, THEREDOOM Gallery, Madrid. Spain.
2018 Exhibition “FRENTE A FRENTE” together with Daniel “El Dibujo” and curated by 180 hilos at Café Miau space, Madrid. Spain.
2018 Group exhibition “LIBRA“, organized by Paloma Negra in the space Librería El Público, Elche. Spain.
2018 Group exhibition in the space Arquitectura de Barrio, Murcia. Spain.
2018 Collective exhibition “MUSA“, organized by Paloma Negra in the space Bacanal Café, Barcelona. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “UNFOLLOW“, organized by Paloma Negra in the space The Rubias, Valencia. Spain.
2017 Individual exhibition at ArtGaysel fair in Hôtel Gaythering, Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
2017 Individual exhibition “Ansak“, in Kipfer&Lover, Málaga. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition on the occasion of the 5th Anniversary of 180 threads, in Swinton&Grant, Madrid, with sales in Llibrería Laie stores in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Seville and museum stores Centre Pompidou Malaga, Caixa Forum Madrid, MACBA Barcelona, CCCB Barcelona and Laie stand in Feria de Arte ARCO Madrid. Spain.
2017 Individual exhibition “Azul“, in El Gallinero Café, Murcia. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “The Red Blue Chair“, organised by the Paloma Negra collective in LPS, Murcia. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “StickersArt” organized by Plataforma de Arte Contemporáneo (PAC) at the edition fair ESTAMPA, Madrid. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “Frankenstein is not the monster“, curated by Zony Gómez at the Nigredo Espacio gallery, Madrid. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “Hotel x Hotel II“, in Factoría de Arte y Desarrollo, Madrid. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “Cabra de Lado“, in VILLAPUCHEROFACTORY, Málaga. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “Humanize a non-human being” in El Gallinero Café, Murcia. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “The Free Wee Project” organized by Plataforma de Arte Contemporáneo (PAC) at Swinton & Grant. Madrid. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “Hotel x Hotel” curated by Guillermo Martín Bermejo for Art&Breakfast3 at the Carmen Thyssen Museum, Málaga. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “Mayo a Frida” in Vergel Espacio, Murcia. Spain.
2017 Group exhibition “WHEN YOU ARE A STRANGER” in Échale Guindas Gallery, Madrid. Spain.
2017 Individual exhibition “El hombre perfecto” together with El Dibujo and Fran Munyoz in La Matraca Gallery, Málaga. Spain.
2017 Exhibition “Habibi” of limited edition portrait next to Daniel El Dibujo in El Gallinero Café, Murcia. Spain.
2016 Group exhibition of Christmas in Gallery NB7 FLECHA (Organizer of Fair of Art FLECHA) participating with four works, Núñez de Balboa 7, Madrid. Spain.
2016 Group exhibition “CienxCien” in the gallery The Makers participating with the work “Rojo como los labios de quien yo sé”, Madrid. Spain.
2015 Individual exhibition “Perfume de Flor de Cuchillo” in the space Kipfer&Lover, with residence in VILLAPUCHEROFACTORY, Málaga. Spain.
2015 Group exhibition “Espejo de Sombras” curated by Guillermo Martín Bermejo in Factoría de Arte y Desarrollo, Madrid. Spain.
2014 Group exhibition of photography and illustration on stone DISONANTES, organized by the photographer Lorena Velasco in the space LAB (Laboratory of Young Art), Murcia. Spain.
2014 Group exhibition CREAJOVEN 2014 Photography in the space LAB (Laboratory of Young Art), Murcia. Spain.
2014 Selection of the jury as finalist in CREAJOVEN Murcia 2014 in the photography category.
2014 Scholarship of illustration with Inês Oliveira in Porto, Portugal.
2014 Group exhibition on the occasion of the Woman Day by the School of Art of Murcia in the Centro Cultural El Carmen, Murcia. Spain.
2013 Prize Christmas competition Murcia School of Art. Spain.
2010 Group exhibition “Inake“, Official Program Parallel Manifesta 8 Biennial, in Casas Consistoriales, Mazarrón, Murcia. Spain.
2015-2018 Image transfer workshop, organized in Barcelona, Girona, Madrid, Valencia and Seville.