Schrijf je in voor onze nieuwsbrief

DocsintheCity: In The Studio

Okt 2017

In the Studio

The Colombian abstract painter Carlos Salas is my father. Thanks to our close relationship, I have been a close observer of his painting and his life. Through the singular experience that I have proposed to him – filming the process of creating one of his works of art – En el taller charts the transformations of an immense circular painting, from the first stroke to the last. The film is made alongside this process.

The location for the film is Carlos Salas’ studio, a unique place where he both lives and works. The workspace is spacious and white with windowless walls, bathed in sunlight that enters through a vaulted ceiling. The painter has an energetic, physical relationship with the canvas. At times, he seems to attack it or to be attacked by it. Through his internal or spoken monologues, we also witness the jumble of ideas, thoughts, feelings, and memories that stream through his mind while he works. As he stands in front of his painting, which goes through strikingly different stages, transforming itself step by step, the artist seems to converse with it.

Beyond the painter’s work, we also view his daily life in the studio over the weeks when he creates the painting: his routines, his relationship with the people working with him, conversations with a friend, his father, and me. These conversations uncover other moments in the life and artwork of Carlos Salas, and the way in which the artist connects his personal life, the shared experience of life in Colombia, and his painting. The studio, which seems protected from its surroundings, is in a central neighborhood in Bogota that wavers between serenity and violence. What happens outside of this space, in the neighborhood, but also in the city and in the country, at times seeps inside through the sounds of the street, the stories of those who stop by, the radio…

The film invites the viewer to plunge into the dark reds, earthen yellows, deep blues or silvery grays, into the brush strokes and textures of several of his paintings, which evoke maps, constellations, and landscapes…


   Duration: 90 minutes

   Spoken language: Spanish

   Subtitles: English

   Director: Ana Salas

   Country: Colombia

   Year: 2016