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Artist Interview Series: Guillermo Romero de la Arena and the lifelong freedom of art

There has never been a moment in Guillermo Romero de la Arena’s life when he was not an artist. And that lifelong passion has grown into a career that has spanned several decades.

Guillermo Romero de la Arena Painting

It is a common thread amongst artists, and Guillermo is no different. He speaks about the freedom creating art provides him and the solace it offers.

“It’s salvation because I have to live every day of my life thinking about—it’s the only way to make a life a little bit better,” he says.

Guillermo will be one of more than a hundred artists who will exhibit at Art Vancouver. This will be his first time participating in the four-day event as well as his first time travelling to Canada. He has previously exhibited in his home country of Argentina, in Brazil, and throughout Europe.

Even though he has been an artist his entire life, Guillermo began his professional life as an architect.

“When I was a child, I knew I would be an artist, all my life. When I studied architecture here in the University of Cordova, I liked it so much that I did it for 25 years. But I never left my work in the arts.”

He says the transition to being a full-time artist was natural and one he always expected to make. As an architect, he would paint late into the night and early morning.

“I was a workaholic,” he says. “I’d go change my clothes and shower, and start again.”

Guillermo Romero de la Arena's Artwork

He says art has also helped him find peace during the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world. It has also started to influence his art.

“With the pandemic, I was anesthetized,” he says. “I can’t believe the city was asleep. There are no people in the city.”

Last year as the severity was beginning to be understood, the streets were empty, Guillermo says. The windows shuttered. He began to paint what he saw, a city without people, without neighbours.

But he can always escape through his work. Art has always carried Guillermo forward.

“I enjoy it. So much,” he says. “I won’t change anything of my life.”

It is truly, a life well-lived.

By Nathan Durec


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