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    Manu Bañó

    Manu Bañó

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I am Spanish, I was born in Valencia in 1990.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    Since my mother is an artist, she painted in the basement of our house. So my first memories related to the art world were watching her painting. I also remember very well the first contemporary art exhibition I went to, an exhibition of James Turrell, at the IVAM Museum in Valencia. My mother also took me there when I was very young.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    I studied industrial design because my father is an industrial designer and I have always found it an interesting world. I have worked in several design studios in Valencia, London and Mexico City for about 10 years of my life. In the last 5 years I have felt more and more attracted to the art world, so I started to design furniture and sculptural objects, pieces that are in between art and design.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    Since I was very young I have been attracted to the transformation of materials and how man has turned them into commercial objects of different sizes, weights, shapes and properties. I like to spend time in factories and material stores, I spend a lot of time looking at them and imagining how I could modify them to turn them into a functional and sculptural object at the same time.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    My creative process is not based on references nor does it have a previous
    research stage, my way of approaching design is through intuition. I enjoy
    drawing simple lines and ideas in my many notebooks, and over time some of
    these strokes become physical objects.

    The OBJ series has an aesthetic ambition and puts beauty over function, even
    though as a designer I feel comfortable placing these objects somewhere in the
    house and always end up feeling the need for them to serve a function.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    I currently divide my days between EWE, the studio I have with my partners Hector Esrawe and Age Salajoe and my personal practice. In the morning, I enjoy a cup of coffee in the sun, do some exercise and go to our office located in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City. I am constantly visiting the workshops of the artisans I work with. In the afternoons I am usually in my studio located in my home.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    I like working with metal because it acts exactly as you expect, there are no surprises.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    The OBJ collection is based on simple gestures applied to materials in their
    commercial format. With simple manipulations such as cutting and folding, the
    raw material is transformed into a utilitarian object.These simple and subtle gestures are usually very technically challenging, I have had to modify many machines and commercial tools to achieve the result I wanted. But my favorite part is that it still looks simple at first glance.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    It is important to have knowledge about materials and industrial processes, the more the better. You also have to work hard and never be a conformist. I produce less than 1% of my ideas, and I think about them a lot, sometimes for years. When an idea seems good but not brilliant, I don’t produce it, I keep working on it until I consider that I have achieved the best of the initial idea.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?


    11. What designers have influenced you ?

    Donald Judd, Formafantasma, Peter Karpf.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    Nacho Carbonell, Orta Miklos, Vincenzo de Cotiis, Atelier van lieshout

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Sol LeWitt, Richard Serra, Antony Gormley, José Dávila.

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?


    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Beach and desert

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    Getting older

    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    Any doctor

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    I can’t stay 5 minutes without showering with fresh water after coming out of the sea.

    7. What is your current state of mind?


    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

    Business skills

    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?


    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?


    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    Let’s do it

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?


    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Be less hesitant

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    People all over the world buying my work.

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    A film director.

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    in the balearic islands of Spain

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    my hard drive

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    taking advantage of someone

    19. What is your favorite occupation?


    20. What is your most marked characteristic?

    be determined with my goals

    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    Loving, carring and fun.

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Julia Navarro

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Ellen Ripley ( Alien )

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    Juana la loca

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    humanitarian aid volunteers

    26. What are your favorite names?

    Dario and Lucas

    27. What is it that you most dislike?


    28. What is your greatest regret?

    not having learned to play an instrument well

    29. How would you like to die?

    without suffering and surrounded by my loved ones

    30. What is your motto?

    Enjoy life

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