El hurgador

Dez 04, 13 El hurgador


http://elhurgador.blogspot.ch/ is a blog, which deals with art, artists and general arts oriented questions. We like its content and the way it presents its texts very much. Therefore we felt that we wanted to know a little more about the creator of this blog, Javier Fuentes, his way of working and his thoughts about art.

Could you give us a little information about yourself?

I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1963. I’ve been living in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, for the past 14 years.

I’ve been working in a public hospital here in Tenerife, in the Information Service, Emergency Area, for the past 8 years.

I’m just an art lover since I can remember. When I was young I was more interested in science (maths, physics…) but when I was around 35 I decided to learn more about humanistic subjects; I started a Bachelor in Bibliothecology. I studied a couple of years at the University. I didn’t finish my studies because due to certain circumstances in my life I moved to Spain.


How do you work? The information on your blog seems to list you as the only contributor and maintainer of the blog. But since you post new articles almost every day I was wondering whether other people were involved in the work process as well.

I work alone and I’m the only contributor and maintainer. Nowadays I try to publish every day from Monday to Friday. When I started I posted even more, but as the blog developed the articles became more expansive and now I need more time to publish something with more „substance“, relevant information and so on… I always had the idea of collaborating with experts to develop more technical posts on certain topics, but it is not easy to find people willing to work for free, with time enough and good ideas.


Your blog is very informative and abundant in pictures, which in my opinion is a very important thing when it comes to talking about art. The reader should see the art and not only read about it. Therefore I highly admire the way you present your texts.

I see my blog just as a personal project to compile and organize images and information about art which I enjoy.

I agree with you: art is something to see (to hear, to touch) not only something to read about. I usually have a big problem to select a reasonable set of images by posted artists I really like. It is sometimes not so very easy for me to construct a post with a good balance between text and images and I must recognize that many times the posts I publish are probably a little bit oversized. But… what can I do? I enjoy a lot doing it that way.


Why did you choose to start this blog? In the information section it says “Blog dedicado a difundir imágenes e información sobre arte, artistas, eventos y material en general relacionado con cuestiones artísticas.” (translation: Blog dedicated to share pictures and information about art, artists, events and general issues related to artistic questions.) That is a very clear explanation. I still wonder why you started exactly. Did you simply want to share your love for art with the world? Or do you personally know artists you wanted to support through your blog?

Through the years I discovered certain interesting blogs about art facts. But as it almost always happens, none of them fully satisfied my interests and expectations. Some offer good images of artworks but little information. Other offer better information, but poor images. Many are written in English, but my language is Spanish. Some others are very specific and others too broad. And so on. So some day I thought that I probably could make my own selection of artists and artworks and try to create something matching my own criteria about what I consider interesting and how to present it.

So I started with some general ideas, but basically I wanted to create a personal selection taking advantage of the fact that publishing a blog is not a very complicated thing nowadays. If you take a look at my first posts two years ago, you can see just a collection of pictures about several topics I like (arts, scientific images, music, curiosities…) In the course of these two years things have evolved and now the blog has a more or less defined profile with four or five key elements which I try to preserve in order to offer a certain „personality“ to „El Hurgador“.

I personally know and knew a few artists, but not a lot of them. I even lived with artists a long time ago. I’m really a fan of people who are able to create things that I like, that make me feel something and enrich me. It is a great feeling for me to be able to spread information about the artists I like and help their work to be known. As I have no money to buy art, this is the best I can do for them to keep creating those things I enjoy so much. That’s why I always try to stay in touch with the artists and ask for permission to publish, and in two years only 4 artists have denied authorization; two because of their contracts, one because of ideology and one because he didn’t want to spread information about himself.


Do you feel there is still too little information on the web? Why did you choose to do a blog and not a magazine or the like?

Information is never enough, but the problem is not the lack of information but its quality. I sometimes spend a lot of time trying to verify information from many sources because in different places you find different data. Even in places presumably reliable you can find wrong information. I want to publish something that can be a reasonably reliable source for people interested in deepening their knowledge. Unfortunately most of the people only check the images, not the text. I really like when visitors read, leave comments and help me fix mistakes and incorrect information.

I chose a blog because I consider that working alone is the best way of doing something having the freedom to define little by little what I like and what I want to show. It is something I can do for free with no other constraints than those I impose upon myself.


Your texts are very informative, well researched, cleanly linked and nicely presented. That is a lot of work. How much time do you spend on research and writing on average?

Thank you. One of the most important things for me is to offer accurate and well presented information.

I spend a lot of time looking for as good as possible images, information about artists and artistic facts. I love to delve into topics that interest me, and the net offers me endless possibilities. I can’t tell you exactly how much time because it depends on many factors, but many hours a day.


How do you pick your subjects? Is there any pattern to it?

I have no predefined patterns to select subjects, but after all this time I have more or less defined methods. When I’m looking for information about an artist or a specific artwork, I usually find related images or information about other artists in blogs, online magazines, websites of galleries, museums, collections, in facebook… Once I find something interesting, I start a new line of investigation about that subject. I don’t always find something that satisfies me well enough, but if it happens, I have a new point to start again. It is a never-ending cycle of research and discoveries.


The featured artists live and work all over the world. You don’t seem to have any special favourite when it comes to a country, epoch or art style. Is that correct? Or is there anything you prefer over the rest? Do you have any favourite art or artist?

Well… I think that if I want to do something interesting for myself and other art lovers, presentation and information about known artists and artworks is very important, but not enough. For me it is very interesting to find new artists, new ways of expression, different points of view, other artistic languages and purposes. As an art lover, I have no restrictions, even when the most featured artists in the blog are painters, sculptors and photographers. If an artwork I see has the power to make me feel something, I have something to start with. As I told you, I’m just an art lover. I’m not a critic, scholar or erudite. Art likes me or not, makes me feel something or not, awakes my curiosity or not. As simple as that.

Given this, I can find art I like in any epoch or country, in any style or artistic genre. There are many artists I consider essential, most of them figurative painters, but not all of them: Picasso, Dalí, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Kokoschka, Kandinsky, Michelangelo… I have certain preferences, but I’m always open. I prefer the figurative art, but I love Kandinsky. I prefer painting, but I love Michelangelo’s sculptures, Dürer and Piranesi engravings, dozens of great photographers, mixed media artists, film makers, performers…


Is there any art you don’t like?

No, but there are a lot of artworks I don’t like.


To you, what is art?

As you may understand, I can’t give you a definition because I think art is something indefinable. But I can say that it could be something like the realization of the individual’s need to convey something personal – feelings, experiences, moods, ideas – to other individuals through representation. Art is in everyone and everywhere. It is an inseparable part of life.

In short, it is a way of expressing something, creating or doing something, to be received and enjoyed by anyone.

Furthermore, I think that you can even create art to be seen by nobody but yourself, but art without recipient is a sort of lame art.


What’s the job of an artist?

Express something needed to be expressed by any media or technique he masters, that can make other people feel something.


What’s the job of someone writing about art?

It depends. If you’re an art critic, probably you want to make money with the work of other people trying to explain something that doesn’t need to be explained (it is a joke… but not too much).

If you’re an art lover, probably you try to make other people know what you like, or make them understand something about what you like, or make them understand why you like something.

If you’re an artist, probably you try to help people understand what your art can’t explain by itself, or give clues to the people to better understand your art.


What’s the job of the recipient of art?

Feel it and enjoy it. And, if possible, help artists to keep creating.


Thank you very much, Javier Fuentes, for this interesting interview.