The Tears-Collector

Art with tears

Spanish artist Teresa Lucena cries a lot. For her, tears are truly beautiful as they are the material form of our emotions. In her work With tears in the eyes each manifests as a unique landscape. 

"Behind every tear is a story ."

When was the last time you cried?

Sunday evening

Why do you make art with tears?

The idea evolved out of a certain sadness. I was in a phase of my life when I felt completely lost: I sought change, but no matter how hard I tried my life seemed chewy like bubble gum. Everyone around me was moving forward, only I wasn’t getting any place. In this time I cried a lot. Then I came to realize that behind every tear is a story. I looked more closely and discovered that each tear, depending on the situation when I cried it, also exhibited a different structure. That thrilled me! 

"The beautiful thing about tears is their ability to liberate."

Do you remember when you cried in Vienna for the first time?

Sure! In 2017 I visited friends in Vienna—I wasn’t doing very well then. One morning I was in their apartment alone and painted. Suddenly a flood of emotions overwhelmed me. An ocean of feelings had bottled up inside me, and when the first tear dropped it was as if a dam broke. After I cried I was so happy that I had to laugh out loud, and then I had a wonderful day in Vienna. I had found myself again, bonded with this city which I had escaped from many years ago, and even met an old love. It was an important day for me, one on which I decided to move to Vienna again. 

Which tear is the most beautiful one?

Would it be egoistic to say those I cried myself? Each single tear is a beauty—because of the story that triggered it or because of its fantastic pattern. But the beautiful thing about tears is their ability to liberate, they are a vessel for those feelings to flow outside which threatened to suffocate you from within. Tears are the material form of emotions. At first they appear to be tiny drops of water, only under the microscope do they reveal their wonderful structures. My tears made me discover the beauty hidden in my inmost self. 

Thank you for the interview!

Teresa Lucena (born 1988 in Córdoba, Spain) studied architecture in Seville, and her media of choice are photography and painting. In her art she reflects upon the relationship between the individual and itself and with others. Focuses in her work are migration and dealing with emotions. She lives and works in Vienna since November 2018.