In the studio: Varda Caivano, artist - 'My paintings are like thoughts... I make many of them at the same time'

 

Varda Caivano works in a studio close to the train tracks in semi-fashionable Hackney Wick, east London, near where she lives with her partner and young son. Her studio is small, with many paintings turned face to the walls. People are coming soon to collect paintings for her upcoming show at a gallery in Tokyo, and she is still considering what to send. "I always take 40 per cent more then I need so I can see how it looks in the space."

Caivano has had a high-profile year, with a room of her paintings included in the Venice Biennale. Biennale director, Massimiliano Gioni, selected works with her via Skype, she confides, as she makes me a strong coffee.

Born in 1971 in Buenos Aires, with a Jewish psychoanalyst mother and Danish/Italian father, she confesses that her life was comfortable. She attended "a Jewish school that had a lot of recreational activities; it was a really liberal, fun place to learn." Her family were all doctors "so I studied biology, but eventually decided I wanted to be a painter." Her mother encouraged her to study art history, which she did before "getting a scholarship" at Buenos Aires artist Guillermo Kuitca's studio. She then got a job in a museum.

Spending her days studying works of art, she asked questions about technique that seemed to irritate the curators, before admitting that this was not what she wanted to do.

Caivano came to London and attended the Royal College of Art. Chris Ofili, a fan of her work, introduced her to her gallerist Victoria Miro, with whom she continues to show.

Caivano hangs some paintings for me to look at. They are tantalising: elements of figuration flirt with total abstraction and the palette of blues and violets is both seductive and mystical. "I think the paintings are like thoughts," she says. I point out how unusual it is to see so many paintings in a studio at one time, and she replies: "I think the studio works like a head, because I make many paintings at the same time."

It is up to the viewer to make their own decisions about the canvases. Caivano does not make it easy, leaving them untitled. "I don't want to tell them titles, or anything – but I want to explain to them that this is what's happening in the studio."

"I think it's also because the function of some paintings is to have fights and arguments with other paintings, rather than just sitting there." The activity of the work chimes with her own intense involvement. "I mean, you paint with all of you! You paint with what you read, what you see, with what you know."

Vara Caivano will be showing at Victoria Miro Gallery, London (020 7336 8109) in 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week