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FRANCO SALAS BORQUEZ  /  Chilean, born in 1979





Could you tell us about your artistic career ?

I have spent most of my time traveling for chess tournaments since I was 11 and during my hotel stays my passion was drawing. The symbolist drawings caught my attention. I draw and paint non-stop since childhood out of natural necessity, then I started studying encyclopedias, art history and reading biographies of painters. Since then, I haven't stopped working, I would say I spent a lot of time studying and experimenting.

What is, for you, the relationship between the sea and painting ?

I would say both obsess me and painting is a physiological need for me, I can't stop myself. When I paint, I like to produce intuitive gestures and feel the dizziness of an irreplaceable moment. Despite the fact that the figuration has an order, the gestures that compose it are expressive, but the quantity of details gives a certain intensity.

I am interested in this process, in the paradox, in the freedom of the first gesture and then to finish with this absence of fear. Where all this fight that I will carry forever recites the fears, the limits, the intuition, the decisions… I am interested in the sea in a literary way in the painting, each painting evokes something different. Painting as a subtle and poetic language, where the force of nature mingles with my own nature. The limit of its reinterpretation catches my attention like a game of chess: always the same elements but an infinity of possibilities. This idea is the central axis of my work today, beyond being born into a family of sailors. Without doubt this element, the sea, is unconsciously at the base of my expression.

What are you trying to convey through your work ?

I would not say that I am looking for a message or a speech, since I came there naturally. The work transmits its complexity to me, it makes me think and feel its hostility, enraged, chaotic and at the same time, beautiful. When I look at the painting, the pictorial details of lack of control produce an introspective feeling. It connects me to the fundamental and primitive elements of the human condition, a unit of terrible universality.

What is the process behind your artistic creation ?

There are a lot of steps, different shades, different vibes, paint on paint, a mix of light and textured layers. I am interested in knowing the materials well and I approach this element as a symbol, in search of strength with different techniques. It is a work conceived as music or writing, I am guided by intuition when creating a new painting, it is like looking for a new word to complete a sentence.

What are the challenges you face when painting ?

That each work has a meaning and something interesting, that it is pictorial with brushstrokes and strong gestures, that it finds an order in this chaos, and vice versa ...

Although your works are monographic, you use different techniques, such as pencil on paper, marble powder, ink, and oil on canvas. Do you prefer one in particular ?

It's difficult to choose, I love them all because despite what one might think, each one has this vertigo of not being created with a position of technical mastery, if not like a crossing on a rope in the middle of an abyss. . The drawings are uncontrolled lines up close, but everything is in its place at a distance. Whether it is with the material of the bas-reliefs that I make with my fingers or with paint, an intense and extensive whole is created.


Born in 1979 in Chile, on the island of Chiloé, into a family of sailors, Franco Salas Borquez has kept a certain relationship with the sea, both nurturing and dangerous. The dark and raging sea, the one that commands respect.

As a child, he distinguished himself as a chess player, until he became national champion at 13 years old. The discipline is almost considered a sport in Chile. His talent as a player makes him represent his country in many tournaments. “I trained four hours a day. "

But the young man is also "absolute" passionate about drawing. So much so that he decides to embark on a career as an artist. It was in France, where he first landed as a language assistant, that his career took off. His first sea paintings quickly spotted him and opened the doors of institutional collections to him in 2010. Affirming an increasingly contemporary pictorial approach, Franco Salas Borquez works his works with a sort of memorial archive of oceanic images, which for him offers the freedom to compose his creations spontaneously.


Naval Museum of Madrid

Naval Museum of Punta Arenas, Cap Horn Room

Museum of the Citadel of Saint-Tropez

Yacht Club de France, Paris


Prize of the Institute of Maritime History and Culture of Spain. Naval Museum of Madrid, 2010

Letter of congratulations from the Minister of Defense. 42nd Salon de la Marine. Paris Marine Museum, Palais de Chaillot, 2011



Thank you !


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