It just happens that one of the world’s most acclaimed scenography ateliers is situated in the village of Cardedeu, about 60km from Barcelona. Artists use paintbrushes the size of broomsticks to create enormous backdrops for fabulously dramatic operas all over the world from this Spanish studio, creating whole worlds in paintings ten metres high. This also happens to be where artist Cinta Vidal Agulló’s story begins. At the age of 16, Vidal began working at the esteemed atelier, and fell in love with the freedom and excitement of painting a new world, a backdrop for a topsy turvy land of song and drama. Vidal, who never goes anywhere without a sketchbook, inspired by her time at the atelier, swapped her broomstick size paintbrushes for a more conventionally sized brush and has since become an international name in the art world.
Cinta Vidal's Process
Her fine art education at Escola d’Art Massana in Barcelona enabled her to hone her skills to paint not artwork 30 feet high, but 30cm. Vidal’s work takes inspiration from MC Escher as well as imagery from Hayao Miyazaki’s 2004 film ‘Howl’s Moving castle’ and revels in the fantasy and exploration of the everyday turned upside down. Vidal sees her work as a metaphor for the ways in which we shape our world – ‘The impossibility of completely understanding those around us, yet the personal ability to navigate the maze of life we all inhabit.’ Navigate is right, looking at any of Vidal’s works, your eye is drawn through a journey that has no end. Every print has no discernible top or bottom and could be displayed on any axis, and the upside down figures or buildings that were once out of place look perfectly viable. This is the true crux of Vidal’s work; the ability to enchant and inspire the viewer to look not only at her world with an open mind, but their own.
In a time where we are so international, and everything seems so accessible, Vidal’s work resonates on a higher level. As an artist from a small village in Spain, the ability to create entire and indiscernible worlds places us all in the same position of wonder and in a way confusion. Vidal’s work has the ability to connect and provoke thought in a charming way that works on both large and small scale. While her printed editions are limited in size, Vidal is regularly invited to create vast murals all over the world from Hawai‘i to California to Japan, as well as having exhibited her printed and painted works internationally. Ultimately, Vidal’s elegant and warm depictions convey the unknown, but at the same time feel incredibly homely and inviting, again reiterating that we are all on the same ball of earth, but some of us are looking at it in different ways.