SAD :You seldom make drawings, sketches for your paintings do you?
PM: I avoid that method. I work from memory or directly. And even when I work on huge compositions I do not make any sketches. I am not a rational, disciplined person.
SAD: But, before starting to paint, do you have any mental, visual concepts or is everything born on the canvas during the creative process?
PM: When I come face to face with the white canvas, it challenges me, it calls me. I feel myself full of energy and I want to empty myself, to give life to the white sur1ace. Most often there is nothing definite in me, but there is something in my subconscious, more or less something like that. Whether it is going to be a man, a landscape or something else, I really don’t know in advance.
SAD: So you do not plan, sketch or outline in advance since other mechanisms are active in you. That chaotic, free flow of notions as an answer to this stressful life is led by a high intensity of creative tension. Is there a system in all that?
PM: The energy of the stroke, the colour, seem to organize themselves. Something deeply inside makes me, for instance, squeeze a whole tube of colour on to the canvas and organize its movement in one moment. As if performing an experiment, as if I sank in something unknown, and yet deeply mine. Painting is like discovery. Each time I discover something new, something unrepeatable, like the fire I follow in the fireplace – it is always different, never repeats itself, it is never the same form, drawing or the same intensity of colour. Sometimes, while I paint, I see things clearer in my vision, and sometimes they are blurred. It all depends on how much energy I have accumulated and how much routine I have. I am never completely satisfied. I always seem to have an internal itch and it must come out. Sometimes I work long on a painting until I arrive at a stage of enlightenment , an explosion. It is then when I feel free and empty. When this moment arrives I consider the painting completed.
SAD: You wage a kind of war. The French poet and artist Henri Michaux considered tonus the most important element in the creative process: “In order to achieve that, man, consciously or unconsciously, tends to a state which involves a maximum of zeal, a maximum of density, a maximum of being, a maximum of actualization, and everything else is only a means of propulsion or a motive.”
PM: If I didn’t get angry during painting there would be no painting. That is my way of painting. I need those extreme situations.
SAD: You speak in Lyotard’s sense of art as a field of forces and tensions. What does it mean for you, let us say, to be satisfied, full of happiness and satisfaction?
PM: It results from some internal tension. If I am not excited, if I am not motivated, if I have silence in my soul, I have no need to say anything. When I get charged, all my senses begin working in me, I begin trembling and it is then that I am strongest and I start painting. Painting is for me a profession through which I can force the density of tension to burst out from me.
SAD: In the last decade your paintings have been painted with pure colours, without the density of layers characteristic of the previous period. Now the drawing, the composition, seem to float. I suppose that you first put blots on the canvas, and in the second stage that you try to build concepts with graphism. But this drawing is loose. Just like in Pollock where the line does not serve a drawing which builds, which disintegrates.
PM: Recently, I often think how to oppose simultaneously fluid – transparency – and solid matter –consistency. At present I make the contrast greater. I leave white canvas –air – and the same time I apply densely accumulated matter, which means firmness. I now think more of light through colour. It is my preoccupation at the moment.
SAD: Matter in your painting has a crucial, essential significance. It unites, that is to say, wipes out the differences between your abstract and figurative compositions. You do all your paintings in informel, regardless of whether the figure is present or not. Matter is a large mouth which swallows everything and digests everything in its informel juices, in order finally to give birth to de-construction or deformation as artistic entities in the painting.
PM: I take informel as my need and a need of the time – a painting filled with energy – and it is not essential to what trend it belongs. I perceive the world through the bent, twisted, restless line. For instance, when I go to the sea, I consciously turn my back on the sea horizon. Everybody turns to it, and I always look in the opposite direction, I do not like the fluid of water, I look for matter, the unquiet contours of the mountains and trees. That is why I get excited by the dense firmness, the consistency of earth of that graphism when light touches the earth, the darkness. I like to feel phenomena at once and react to them immediately, just like all expressionists.