“We believe that there is an inclusive and evolving zone between [art and design], a zone without limits and thus, infinite [potential].”
– Trini Salamanca & Pablo Párraga of LAS ÁNIMAS
Tapping into unknown terrain, led by natural curiosity and a desire to evolve, is at the heart of the Seville-based artistic studio, LAS ÁNIMAS, founded by Trini Salamanca and Pablo Párraga. Since the studio’s inception in 2014, the creative duo has not shied away from exploring the human condition, even its darker sides, through constant material experimentation and their unique iconography. The subconscious mind, the place of our beliefs, longings, and fears, shaped by childhood memories, acts as the main inspiration behind LAS ÁNIMAS’ most recent collection, “SINCRONISMO”, consisting of six rug pieces, exclusively available on ADORNO. With the collection’s organic and colorful geometry, Salamanca and Párraga are continuing their distinct aesthetics whilst, simultaneously, embarking on a more artistic approach to design, marking new beginnings for the studio.
The visual language, for which LAS ÁNIMAS is known and prominent throughout “SINCRONISMO”, is marked by retro-futurist, transgressive and brutalist qualities that are achieved through their extensive, almost obsessive, use of geometric and iterative patterns, paired with bold and contrasting colors. “All this universe that we capture is fed by reiterative sources of inspiration that grow like a fractal […],” Salamanca and Párraga explain. “Each work [is] born as a unique creature, isolated in the studio, the result of a creative flash in conjunction with functional needs, aesthetic or emotional motivations […], but all the works come from the same place, our minds (and our hands), our conscious and unconscious thoughts and desire.”
Historically speaking, the subconscious mind has been an inspiration to both artists and designers, think of some of Surrealism’s iconic creations, such as Meret Oppenheim’s fur-covered teacup. In our everyday lives, the subconscious influences our behavior and interactions with others. This is the process LAS ÁNIMAS wants to intervene with their “SINCRONISMO” series as they “intend to be triggers of that unconscious and […] collective consciousness.” They go so far as to want “to shake people on an emotional level […], generating emotions, sensations linked to dreams, to childhood memories, lived or imagined, to time travel to altered states of consciousness or distorted visions of reality […].” Indeed, when observing the “SINCRONISMO” pieces, one is put into a trance-like state, mesmerized by the colorful line patterns, as if one is lost in a visual labyrinth. At the same time, it evokes a childlike fascination and nostalgia given the resemblance to children’s games. It feels as if one is lost in a fever dream of geometric, colorful shapes or as Salamanca and Párraga put it themselves “the blurred part of a dream” that is “somehow distorted by the passage of space-time.”
Adding to this sensory experience is the textural aspect of the “SINCRONISMO” collection as the wool invites one to touch it and explore the different shapes of each rug. For LAS ÁNIMAS, textiles represented a completely new world, full of creative potential and endless possibilities. To understand the intention behind choosing wool as the main material of “SINCRONISMO”, it is crucial to know that this collection started with a series of paintings, part of a larger creative endeavor by the studio that they embarked on this year. In order to give volume to these artworks, and make them come alive so to say, wool seemed the ideal material. Indeed, Salamanca and Párraga emphasize that “[t]he use of wool is motivated by the textures it generates in the different colors. [W]ool is a means of expression, a palette […]”.
What the “SINCRONISMO” collection also reveals is LAS ÁNIMAS’ shift towards more artistic work without denying their origins in design as they are motivated by “[…] the idea of destroying the barriers between raw art and design”, looking for “more radical ways of explor[ing] form and function.” It is in this liminal space that the creative duo has found their fearless design approach, leading to a renewed impetus to investigate the depths of the human condition through their functional artworks.
Looking into the future, Salamanca, and Párraga “want to continue on this path of developing [their] curiosity”. Therefore, the “SINCRONISMO” collection testifies to LAS ÁNIMAS’ need to explore the unknown, and get themselves into uncharted waters, allowing their universe of totemic, mythic objects to evolve.
LAS ÁNIMAS, based in Seville, Spain, features symbolic, tribal, and esoteric elements, arising from the expressive need of sharing an aesthetic universe; a dreamlike parallel world full of visions; of architectural references, both historical, fictional, and coming from images underlying popular culture; hardwired to the unconscious and collective memory. Using a language of geometric and iterative patterns, they experiment with materials, shapes, and textures, to develop an iconography of retro-futuristic, transgressive, ceremonial, and deeply evocative aesthetics.
As a result of this altered field of view where sumptuousness and magic gather, high sensory impact pieces of ceremonial character emerge.
Their creative universe encompasses references as distant as Science Fiction, tribal cultures, distortion of reality, cybernetics, duality, experimental electronic music, or architectural brutalism; an imaginary that links with the elements of their personal environment, readapted and projected from their very own insight.
Their creative body includes pieces of furniture in limited editions, sculptures, interventions, and unique objects; everything is designed and created by themselves; a symbolic universe full of emotions that lead to a spiritual mood lost in time. Works conceived as totems that challenge functionality and form: latches that open secret trapdoors to higher states of consciousness, connected with mythology, ancient ceremonies, imaginary rites, sacred symbols, and spirituality.
Along this process, the conception, creation, and evolution of each work resemble a ritual of exploration, of alchemy, of experimentation at their studio/laboratory with materials and forms until the pieces finally emerge. Their personal concerns join the influx of Seville, Andalusia, and Spain; Its culture, art, folklore, technical processes, and artistic tradition are present, mixed, assembled, and fused in one way or another in each one of their pieces.