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Blog | Robert Allen

Meet Carla Elena

Meet Carla Elena: The Self-Referential Artist Capturing Hearts Around The World

“I do not paint what I see, I paint what I am"

By Shelly Stone

A self-referential artist born and raised in Mexico City, Carla Elena has been displayed in important art galleries and public and private cultural spaces throughout Mexico, The United States, and Europe. Her art breaks through time barriers, leaving her collectors with timeless pieces well-suited for past, present, and future generations.

Carla recently sat down with us to discuss her motivation, inspiration, and passion for her exquisite art pieces. We continue to be captivated by her striking works of art. Truly exceptional paintings that have as much depth of color as they do the breadth of humanity.

Her influences are derived from the first period of Abstraction, Expressionistic Nudes, Surrealism, and techniques of Action painting. Her artistic career is like the visual diary of a woman who talks about herself with authenticity and fluency. She expresses herself with a level of intimacy that lures the viewer into her world for a brief glimpse into her heart.

What are you thinking about when you create art?

When I start to create, I am not thinking about something. I am feeling and living in the moment that is happening during each stage of my life. I express what I am processing. I understand myself through what I put out. My intention with all this is that someone else understands the emotion that I leave on the canvas.

What is the best part about living in Mexico City?

Mexico City is a thousand cities in one! A city with multiple realities that offers wealth like few others.

(Carla Elena. Caos. 2018. Colors Diptych. Canvas. 35 in. x 40 in.)

When did you know that you would pursue art as a career and not just a passion?

Around 20 years ago, I began to understand the responsibility of the message that I put in each piece of art. Once I accepted the gravity of that responsibility, I knew that I wanted to pursue art as a career.

Who is the artist that inspires you most?

Many artists have inspired me, but two Expressionist artists have had the most significant impact on me. Egon Schiele and Jean Michel Basquiat are the ones who have most influenced the way I express myself.

Do you schedule a specific time to create art, or do you begin when inspiration hits you?

It is a discipline, but the emotion or result comes out faster when the energy or inspiration hits. But when art is a lifestyle as I live it - it's a discipline.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

My favorite mediums are oil and canvas.

(Carla Elena. Motion. 2016. Contemporary Abstract Art. Canvas. 40 in. X 31.5 in.)

What themes do you pursue?

I want people who admire my art to feel linked to its emotion. I express my emotions through painting, and I want other people to discover or connect with themselves.

What other career paths have you taken outside of art?

I have also spent some time as an interior designer.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I have been honored with several important recognitions and awards by the Mexican Government and other countries. However, for me, the most memorable response is internally moving people through what I express. They're able to receive feelings from one moment and understand themselves.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration is an energy that is felt. Inspiration cannot be found. Inspiration finds me, and every feeling awakens me.

What is your dream project?

I don't have a dream project; my ongoing project is to move consciences. There is no single message.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

Your work skills are related to the time you dedicate and the passion you live it.

(Carla Elena. Two Times. 2019. Contemporary Figurative Art. Canvas. 63 in. X 47 in.)

If you could go back in time to tell your younger self anything you learned along the way, what would it be?

Be patient; everything arrives.

Have you ever said 'no' to an opportunity? How did you decide to say no?

Yes, I was invited to be the museum director. I decided not to accept because I had a prior commitment that prevented me from dedicating myself.

How would you describe your brand?

Unique, strong, elegant, and with a lot of passion!

What's your favorite piece that you created?

I have many favorites throughout my collections. My favorite piece in the faces series is “Mujer de Sal”. My favorite abstract is "Metamorfosis." My favorite horse piece is "Amanecer en Movimiento."

(Carla Elena. Between Two Waters. 2018. Contemporary Figurative Art. Canvas. 98 in. x 65 in.)

Check out Carla's collection and tell which one is your favorite.