Having started out as a photographer for Vogue Italy and L’Officiel Art, she spent several years studying in Paris before returning to Argentina.
We caught up with Luna Paiva in Buenos Aires to get the inside track on art, travel and her beloved home city.
1. You spent time living in Paris, what drew you to moving back to Buenos Aires?
I moved back to Buenos Aires when I was 23 years old. I was working in Paris in theatre and film and one day I thought, if I ever reach my dreams in Paris, it might take me ten years and I likely won’t be happy. After that, I decided to move back to Buenos Aires. I was eager for nature and exploration. I travelled around the country and found great inspiration for my work.
2. How has the Argentine art scene developed in the last 10 years?
Living as an artist in Buenos Aires is all about distance. It’s far from the art world – far enough to be absolutely focused on your work, however, it’s also too far to have lots of opportunities to show your work. There’s always a tradeoff. If you can travel, it’s possible to strike a balance. Nature and culture are both wild and very present in Argentina.
3. Which Buenos Aires galleries would you recommend to a visiting friend?
4. Your showstopping ‘A Matter of Time’ installation was a huge hit at the Faena Arts / Miami Art Basel show, could you tell us a bit about the creative process and where the idea came from?
At the Faena, my biggest challenge was to install my work into the natural world: the sand, the sky and the sea. To be visible and invisible. I’ve created a space within borders (actual walls) that currently feel impenetrable. A room without perceivable boundaries might present certain complications, but it also invites ideas about freedom, permeability. The installation became an interactive space that was welcoming and available, even though metal was the dominant element. The combination of the heavy curtains, the fireplace and the chairs have a distinctly American feel to me, which are inseparable from notions regarding permanence and what endures (or what does not). But the cactus introduces a more radical element, both disorderly and dynamic.
6. When not in your studio where do you like to spend time? (Any favourite cafes, bars, restaurants?)
7. Do you have any favourite Buenos Aires architectural gems?
I would say Biblioteca Nacional, Teatro Colón, Teatro Nacional San Martín.
8. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in nature and quietness. When I’m almost falling asleep or waking up. Those seconds of full relaxation. Or driving in Uruguay. Many of my pieces come from Ruta 9.
9. What do you never travel without?
The three P’s: plata, pasaporte, pasaje, (money passport and ticket). Otherwise, I try not to forget my sunglasses, comb and moisturizer cream, which I always do.
10. What’s your ultimate travel playlist?
My latest playlist for travelling in Paraguay and in Big Sur is full of all of the Argentine songwriters I love, namely, Charly Garcia, Luis Alberto Spinetta and Gustavo Cerati.
15. What’s your favourite book to read when travelling?
I usually take many books when I travel, a whole pile, hard to read them, heavy to carry them but good company. They also look great on my nightstand.
16. What’s your favourite App?
My favourite Apps are Google Maps and Dropbox.