Inside Ivan Montero’s Studio: A Piece of Heaven Hidden in the Historic City Walls

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Ivan Montero is an artist who perfectly fits the IE portfolio – having lived and worked in Germany, the United States, Mexico, Romania, France, and many more countries. Despite his international customer base, he has chosen Segovia as his base, with a beautiful studio behind the cathedral.

His work takes inspiration from these experiences: Ivan strives to depict the world through abstract art.  

Image courtesy of Christina Brusco

The studio is a colorful heaven amid Segovia’s monotone sandy walls. Upon entering, you are greeted by steep stairs that take you to a paradise of color and creativity. As you descend – the air feels drier, perhaps even industrial – like you are stepping into a clay sculpture. 

Image courtesy of Christina Brusco

An explosion of visuals welcomes you into the room. The floor is lined with prints and the walls are covered in Ivan’s work – one could even consider the room itself a piece of art. Each corner has something different – the organized chaos creates an ambiance of creativity: scattered paintbrushes, stained furniture, and art everywhere. 

Image courtesy of Manuela Hernandéz

Ivan describes his process of working as slow – he takes a step back after every calculated brushstroke. He emphasizes the thickness and layering of the pain, usually working with mediums such as acrylics or oil.  This can take a while – and he tends to judge the painting’s readiness by tapping on the canvas: “if it sounds like you are knocking on wood, it’s ready!” 

Ivan draws inspiration from the world around him. Many of the textures he replicates in his work are based on the feelings of the walls around him – grainy, with bumps and cracks. For example, the feeling of the sudden rush of heat from opening the airport door into the humid air of Cancun, or the view of crashing waves under a cliff…

Image courtesy of Manuela Hernandéz

He is also inspired by current affairs. He is specifically interested in how the world is divided. In one of his works, he portrays what appears to be an outline of a map split with brush strokes of warm and bright tones of paint. On the opposite panel – he depicts a united word: Pangea. Yet, unlike the divided world – its colors are muted. 

Image courtesy of Christina Brusco

Perhaps, the beauty of Ivan’s work is that it’s up to interpretation. His combination of warm and cold tones, intricate texture, and lines, creates a sense of intimacy – like staring into a stranger that you feel like you knew in a past life. This is exactly what Ivan wants to achieve, as abstract work gives the audience the freedom to make up their mind – captivated by the complexity of his style. 

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