Carmen R. Mallen was born in Seville, Spain in 1996. She is a self-taught artist living and working near Brisbane, Australia since 2020. For Carmen, art is not just a visual experience, but a deeply personal one, a reflection of the unique way each of us sees the world.
How did you get into art?
Since childhood, I was a very creative kid back then. I guess I have always been enthralled by the experience of art-making itself. The feeling of my hands engaging with the materials. The moments before and after mark-making, and the subtle shifts in seeing the natural world around me.
I am a self-taught artist. I did study art for four years during high-school but I learnt nothing about abstract art. I see art as a source of joy and wonder that can infuse any space with warmth, kindness, and charm.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?
Playful and joyful, with tons of colour and energy. My style is vibrant, and abstract and follows the rule of “more is more”. I like to add as many layers to my work as possible, creating many interesting details where the viewer can get lost in looking at.
How do you go about developing your work?
I trust the process. Many times, especially when is a commission painting I try to follow a compassion plan. I take notes of marks, shapes and forms I want to include in the piece and the predominant colours I’d like to add. But to be honest, when I have the most fun is when I just enjoy the experience of making art itself and add whatever the canvas is asking for.
Who or what influences you?
Nature! I love to look for the subtle nuances of the natural world. It inspires my work, which blends memories, landscapes, sunsets, and sunrises into an exquisite tapestry of colours and shapes. The more nature I explore the more inspired I am.
Artists-wise, I feel inspired by artists that are not necessarily from my same discipline. My forever favourite Spanish artist is Ricardo Cavolo, he uses vibrant colours as well, but his art is full of red, hearts and fire. I’m currently obsessed with “Flore”, Christopher Florentino. He’s a painter/ designer who seems to have no limits to his creations. He is a true icon and I can’t wait to see what he brings next.
Make us curious. What is planned next?
My next collection is a vibrant tribute to my travels through the Philippines. Each piece is named after a different island that I visited and is inspired by the colours, emotions, and textures I experienced there. My journey took me to some of the country's most breathtaking destinations, including Siargao, Cebu, Malapascua, Manila, and Bantayan.
In Siargao, I was inspired by the island's stunning sunsets and its vibrant surf culture. The piece "Siargao Sunset" captures the warmth and energy of this island, with its bold oranges and pinks reflecting the colours of the setting sun.
Cebu, with its rich history and cultural heritage, inspired the piece "Cebu Colors." The painting showcases the island's blend of Spanish colonial architecture, vibrant street art, and bustling markets, all expressed through a lively and colourful palette.
Malapascua, with its pristine beaches and turquoise waters, was the inspiration for "Malapascua Paradise." The piece features a dreamy and serene atmosphere, with soft blues and whites evoking the tranquil beauty of this island.
In Manila, I was moved by the energy and vitality of this bustling city. The painting "Manila Madness" reflects the frenetic pace of the city, with its bold and energetic brushstrokes and bright colours.
Finally, Bantayan, with its pristine beaches and lush greenery, inspired the piece "Bantayan Bliss." This piece features a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, with soothing greens and blues reflecting the natural beauty of this island.
Through these paintings, I hope to share my love and admiration for the Philippines and its diverse and vibrant landscapes. Whether you're a lover of vibrant art or simply a traveller at heart, I invite you to step into my world and experience the beauty and spirit of these incredible islands.