Barcelona-based production company CANADA has produced infatuating music videos for bands like The Vaccines, Scissor Sisters, and Two Door Cinema Club. Founded by Lope Serrano and his partner Nicolás Méndez, the internationally renowned collective is bound by shared aesthetics and directing techniques, creating work that's simple yet gorgeous.
Serrano tells Creators he enjoys enticing audiences by infusing his work with wonder and eroticism, as well. "I like to find things that make you feel good about being in this world," he tells Creators. "But I'm not a moralist. I'm not trying to clean your soul. I like pleasant things, but at the same time, you need to have a tension when you're dealing with aesthetics, because aesthetics is also politics and ethics. So you have to think about something beautiful but at the same time take care of what is ugly, or what is right and what is wrong."
Serrano has not directed any feature-length films and doesn't consider himself a traditional filmmaker. More accurately described as an artist perhaps, his collection of drawings illustrates what he enjoys most—"this kind of colorful, and childish, and erotic approach to life."
"I wake up very early in the morning, and I start to draw without thinking deeply about what I'm doing," he says. "I think the art is a celebration of life. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. It's something that has to be done with grace, and with harmony, and with proportion. I prefer to see things that are well done."
Using simple materials like crayon and paintbrush, Serrano creates colorful depictions of the human body. His flair for eroticism, found in nude subjects, is often a source of criticism, with some claiming his work objectifies the female body through the male gaze.
"Somehow eroticism becomes something controversial," he says. "Objectifying something implies treating someone badly and the implication of domination, and for me, it's quite the opposite. Objectifying a body is something that is inherent in the artistic approach to everything, like classical Greek statues."
Serrano points to his illustrations of basketball players suspended in air and seemingly in motion. "I like to see their legs," he says, "I like to see how their body is performing."
Serrano believes bodies should be celebrated, particularly in the media, which tends to over-sexualize the human form. Stripping away clothing and other societal trappings reveals rawness, regardless of gender. "You're not trying to arouse anyone, it's just a statement for the pleasure of being alive and having contact with other human beings," he says. "I haven't found a better concept than eroticism when it comes to creating artistic objects."