Dani Torrent

Illustrator and painter

A selection from Torrent's body of work.

Q: Where would you start if you portrayed me in an image? Light? Form? Colour? …?

A: Normally when it comes to portraying someone I start with the shape, the silhouette, relying more on my impression than on the optical accuracy. In this way, we grasp a truth beyond that of the eye. But above all, I am concerned about understanding the position, and capturing it in a fluid and expressive way, as it will be as revealing of the character as its physiognomy.

Q: Does being unclothed in a portrait automatically frame the portrayed person in a sexual light?

A: I try to portray people in their moments of intimacy, whether they are dressed or not, because that is when our social mask falls off. We are used to posing, to being very aware of how we are perceived. But it is those moments in which we are alone with ourselves that are most difficult to find in others. In this sense, the fact that the person portrayed is naked implies a more intimate than sexual approach.

Q: If every portrait is considered a reproduction of somebody, and all reproduction is an interpretation, is it at all possible to depict the true body as it is in real life?

A: What I am trying to portray is the only thing I am certain of, and that is the impression that I get of the person portrayed, whether it is of his physique or his personality. I can't be sure if what I perceive is real, but the feeling that I get is. In this sense, my approach to portraiture is expressionist: the model is like a container into which I can pour the feeling it produces in me.

Q: Do you use a (recurring) conscious strategy to arrive at an image?

A: In each portrait there is a focal point, usually located somewhere on the face, but not always. I start to work there, and little by little I spread the drawing on the page, working at first sight and intuitively, trying to maintain the spontaneity of the drawing. When it comes to applying colour, I combine observation, impression, and an aesthetic taste for a surprise.

Q: Do you hope that the person portrayed will eventually identify with your portrait?

A: I work by portraying people because it is what moves me the most, but do so without the intention of using this as an identifying sign. For me, the resemblance to the portrayed subject is not fundamental, but the creation of emotion is, just as it would happen with a landscape. That is why I have no problem changing aspects of the character, even making it unrecognisable if necessary.


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