Do you see anything common between watches and skulls?
Apparently, Ruben Pamies does. Very early in life, when he suffered from a disease that was a close brush with death, he wondered about time and finiteness and was drawn to the symbols of life, time and death.
Watches mark the passage of time and skulls remind us that anything is eternal. These two fascinating universes allowed Pamies to explore the relation between time and the passage of our lives. He did this through the medium of art and by making one-of-a-kind sculptures with two elements- the skull and parts of a watch.
We catch up with the artist to uncover his inspirations and explore the world of watches through the eyes of the skull.
When did your fascination with watches start?
It started possibly back at the age of 9, when they gave me my first watch, a Tissot PR Alarma, which I still conserve.
Your creative process…
It’s a fascinating process, from finding the base skull, searching for an inspiration or idea to be transmitted and finally modelling it with the inclusion of watch pieces until you obtain a piece of art which invites the observer to ponder about concepts related with time and fragility of life.
Why do you use only watch parts, besides of course the skull frames?
I feel a special attraction for both universes and I believe that their combination allows me to create pieces that transmit ideas and concepts linked with the course of life.
Where do you source the materials?
I’m always looking for pieces in the watchmaking world that can be useful for my work. Regarding the skulls, majority of them are acquired from collectors.
How would you describe your customer?
Not everyone is able to appreciate the deep meaning behind the sculptures… Basically, my customers are art collectors.
Your most challenging piece…
It was probably “Pirate Time”. It was my first piece and for which, for the moment, I have invested more time in its production (more than 300 hours of work). Moreover, because it was the first one, it permitted me to discover and experiment with the sensation of combining watch pieces with the skull as the base.
What’s next on the list?
I am working on different pieces at the same time, all of them with a skull as the starting point. In addition, I am also starting to introduce other elements that are not exclusively clock making pieces. These grant a number of nuances, that I believe, can be very interesting. In any case, the mechanisms and timepieces will remain having the maximum importance. My pieces are produced between Reus and Barcelona, and are acquired through private sales around the world.