As a child she thought she was born to live on a farm and be a veterinarian. And since then, on many occasions, she chooses them over people.
Mercedes (25) was about three years old when the nursery school teacher in Zaragoza asked her students to paint a person. The assignment was simple. Her friends painted their faces pink and orange and she got very confused: her face was neither pink nor orange! Therefore, she subtly diverted the assignment and painted a dog.
Recently her mother sent all these drawings to Madrid, where she currently lives, and she thought everything was a little odd since she has turned those animals from childhood into her art and profession. When she was a child, she only managed to have two turtles. She would have to wait for her early twenties to meet her cats, Diana and Melon, whose resemblance to her drawings from childhood is quite scary.
Despite living with cats, Mercedes claims to remain a dog lover. When I ask her about Diana and Melon all the expressions on her face change and the rhythm of her voice accelerates. She found Diana on the street when she was a newborn and she was so small that she almost slipped between her fingers. Her body was covered with mud. They have never torn apart since then. Melon arrived from the same place as Diana and from the same place where she studied Fine Arts: Cuenca.
Now Mercedes is a recognized illustrator and painter. She has managed to merge her innocent animal paintings into works that have been exhibited in Ananas Space or in collaborations with brands such as Zara or Reebok. She’s unable to decide between illustration and painting so she prefers to stay in a limbo that for now is working perfectly. In her works, these animals are never alone but are mixed up with nature and dreamy landscapes.
Snakes and birds are some of the most recurrent animals in her work but that does not make them her favorite animals. This inertia arises from the fascination caused by the fact that the snake can crawl without limbs, kill a horse with a single bite or literally swallow a person. The majesty of the birds is an obsession that has always haunted her and therefore they are repeatedly present on her pieces.
Now her dreams of becoming a veterinarian and living on a farm have changed slightly. She jokes about winning the lottery someday and being able to build a house on the mountain with a stable, to have a black horse that she would call Perseus and would draw all the time. As an adult, she now understands the reason why she chose animals over the years since childhood: she feels they have a special strength that we humans lost at some point in our evolution. Mercedes is convinced that they are the real owners of this planet. And so she will continue to pay homage to them with her hands and endow them with all the solemnity they deserve as lord and masters of this land.