More than form or color, texture is what preoccupies Carlos Cabo as he sculpts. The Spanish artist, who lives and works in Salinas, is drawn to the tactile qualities of clay and the possibilities inherent in its malleability. Texture “is what gives (a work) personality, what individualizes it, and essentially differentiates it from other similar pieces,” he says. “I would dare to say that the texture is more than the skin of the piece. It is the representation of its genetic code.”
From masses of the natural material sourced from the countryside, he shapes tall, slender figures wearing pocked gowns, abstract pieces that twist upward, and minimal owl-like creatures, some with sleek feathers and others with rough, bumpy plumage. Each ceramic piece is carefully molded, fired, and covered in terra sigillata, the lustrous clay slip coating that functions similarly to a glaze while not masking the texture of the sculpture’s surface.
In a note to Colossal, Cabo shares that his desire to vary the tactile parts of his practice stems from his childhood. He explains:
I grew up in a rural environment, in which we children spent a lot of time outdoors, in permanent contact with endless objects that served to accumulate a lot of tactile experiences in my memory. On the other hand, in my town, there was no electricity during the day. This came to the houses when it got dark and, sometimes, well into the night, which forced us to wander around it using our sense of feeling and touch… I came to know all the imperfections of the walls, the geometry of the doors, and the location of things.