by Sara Calviño
Mikel Cenecorta Godoy aka Lle Godoy (b.1996, Bilbao) is a visual artist initially trained as a self-taught photographer. Carrying out different fashion editorial campaigns in which he works both as a photographer and as an art director. During that time he carried out different commercial jobs for fashion magazines such as Neo2 and I-D Spain.
In 2019 he returned to photography, as his preferred medium to be part of the 1 + 1 exhibition at the UPV Paraninfo, with a series entitled "Ladies on a Tray". That investigates one of his greatest obsessions, older ladies and the prostitution of self-esteem that social networks exercise.
For 2020, he is preparing his first short film focused on delirium and its multiple consequences, entitled "Encajada". He is currently exhibiting at the Bizkaia Boardroom for the collective exhibition "Sareak" of the Bikaia and Bilbao Historiko council.
For this interview, Lle Godoy has made a collaboration with photographer and artist Jaime Asua to explain through images who he is and what his work is about.
- Let's start at the beginning, let's start with MIKEL boy, for his visual eye of everything around him, what was that child like?The first thing I did that was related to the artistic world was dance. I danced and did dance competitions. I first competed in a group from 6 to 13 where we did modern dance competition. At that time we had a very strong teacher, a very cool teacher and you could say that my first contact with art started there.
- How and when did you start to be interested in art / photography?
When I was 14/15 years old, I started taking photos on my own, especially fashion photos. I started more and more professionally but always in a self-teaching way. There was a turning point for me which was when I finished high school in performing arts. At that time I already had friends who were studying Fine Arts, they left me the sets on their behalf while I was in high school, we bartered where I would help with photos in exchange for the loan of the set and therefore, for all that experience He was clear that he did not want to do Fine Arts nor did he want to enter Audiovisual. When I started to interact with people there and they told me I did not like what I saw at all, I did not know how I wanted to do the road but I did not want to go through there.
- It could be said that you wanted to go a way totally external to what you knew at the time ...
Yes, exactly. It was pure intuition and stubbornness because no one had told me what was best either. That summer just after finishing high school, at the age of 18 I went to Paris by myself. I went looking for assistance jobs. It was the city that was closest to home, I could catch the train in Hendaye and it was very cheap. I was lucky, when I arrived I got an assistant job in a studio in Montparnasse where I enjoyed a lot although I was the last in line, I had just arrived, I did not speak French and not a lot of English either. I have always been looking for a way, a form of expression, visual or artistic support for what I wanted to do.
- Tell us about your next exhibition. What do you expect from it?
December 17th is the opening of my first individual exhibition at the Aldama Fabre Gallery, by the gallery owner Eugenia Griffero Fabre. The expo will be called "In the Colic." I am very excited and nervous, it is a collection on which I have been working intensely for the last year and I am dying to share it. I spent a long time thinking about my area of artistic expression, and this expo is a result of the search in which I still find myself.
The search for the medium, the format ... But I have always known of my great need and voracity for the image. My eyes are always hungry for them, they are never satisfied and are almost always fresh at the first image. The ugly, the lumpen, the incidence, the delirium, the isolation and the colic. These are the concepts with which I move and work. "In the Colic", I will show what has to do with my need to frame, sublimate and deconstruct the beauty of palate expansion techniques and transfer them to impossible images from digital and plastic.
All this work stems from my uncontrollable fascination for mouths and all the devices we use to model them. As if our nature is broken and needs a second revision. Mouths are our most faithful reflection, and most likely our only opportunity to intervene in our condition. My mouth fascinates me, it becomes a person that suddenly with the devices you can reshape, reorganize, beautify, impoverish ... I see as an alter-ego within the person himself, as if to people you could intervene as if they were a mouth. A mouth says a lot about a person. It becomes a reformulation. All my life I have been connected with the world of the mouth, with appliances, dentists, periodontists. It fascinates me because I have always been in contact with all this. I no longer know to what extent it is voluntary obsession or a mix of context / what I like."After all, art is an exploration of who we are and how we know what we are and sometimes what we would like to pretend we are." Anthony Bond
- Why this presence of ugliness? Could we say that it is the theme that most influences you?
Yes, it could be said that it is the only canon that interests me, I think it is the one that most influences me but it is also true that there may be others who do not know how to coin any term for it. I would not know how to speak of others as I speak of ugliness. I am very interested in violence but justified, a misunderstood humour, which I can see in things, even aesthetically. In part, it must also be said that ugliness has a lot of black humour. I am very attracted to the decadence, the nicotine yellow colour, I don't know how to express it in another colour. It is like a colour that goes beyond the concept of colour itself, goes beyond the name itself and goes on to talk to you about a concept.
- How did you get to that realistic ugliness that characterizes your work?
I try things. Whenever I try to imitate, I never succeed. There is a moment when you are working and you know everything that you like, there is a moment when I think that everyone is tempted to approach what you like but suddenly you realize that you cannot replicate that and that's when you try to create the best you can with the elements you have and well, they call that style, your limitations. That's what I do. What you see are my limitations.
What role does your self influence your work?
I imagine everything and nothing at the same time. Every time I see something or write about something or want to do something it has to do with me, but when I am working I am not thinking about what part of me I want to be seen of me, it is not a strategy with which I work.
- Is there an ego in your work?
Sure there is. I am all the time talking about what interests me, I want things to be seen as they interest me. I think there has to be an ego because otherwise there would be no individual work but it is not vain, nor megalomaniac. I'm not ashamed to say it because humility seems much more dangerous to me than a person who is self-centred because he has to feed himself to continue working. The imposed, masked humility scares me. The ego is gasoline.
- How has your environment influenced your work?
Well, I do not know. I believe that there is also something that is like beauty itself, that each one ends up making a decision about it and beauty in the end in a decision, a perception of things. It is there all the time only that you decide which is somehow the one that interests you and the one that nourishes you and the one that feeds the eye.The eye is constantly hungry, it is something that happens to me and I suppose to all visual artists. You are very visually hungry and I don't talk about Instagram, for example, I talk in general, about when you are walking down the street when you are sitting at home when suddenly there is something that catches your attention and you need to stay and see it. I think it is the canon, the one that you generate and with which you have a conversation and that is constantly changing. Part of your experiences, your decisions, your character but it is constantly changing.
- Do you have an end goal when it comes to work?
No, and less now. I have spent a lot of time hanging around in many disciplines. Three years ago I have been focusing more on art direction, assisting art directors and being very focused on film, everything audiovisual. And it is now, a year to this part, when I have focused on carrying out my personal projects because I already told you that there has been an impasse from when I was alone my photos to when I needed to enter the industry and soak up it, understand what it is the collective work that involves, for example, making a film or that involves a production. Understanding that was something I needed, I needed to surround myself with people, learning from other people is something enormous that helps you to know how to work with yourself later and helps you grow.
- In which discipline are you most comfortable? Could it be said that you are a multidisciplinary artist?
I think so. Of all the ones I do, artistic direction is the one I feel most comfortable with. But right now that I am preparing my solo exhibition, in December I inaugurate because they gave me a production grant. Right now I am more focused on very individual projects and very much for me and the work process is much more complicated than when you work for a person because you are the engine of the project, and you have to be the one with your nerve. I want to exercise all disciplines at the same time.
- How do you see yourself in the future?
I want to direct. I would love to continue doing performance and being an actor for works that interest me, but above all what I want is to direct my projects. I don't think about the format or the medium, but I really want to develop as an artist and do what interests me.
Creative Direction/ Lle Gody
Photographer/ Jaime Asua
Stylist/ Tamara Mf
Mua/ Laura Lesark
Hair/ Gorka Larcan