If you can inherit facial features and hair colour, height and a predisposition for liking coriander, is it possible to inherit talents? I had a theory once, walking home from a party a little worse for wear, that deja vu is just some random memory we’d inherited from our ancestors. Utter rubbish of course, but the talent thing surely holds water.
David Roselló, the subject of our latest CHPT3 Portrait film was three years old when he started painting. He remembers being sat on his grandfathers lap watching him paint before picking up his own brush and apeing him.
“I started paining when I was really little. My grandfather and I would sit at the table and he’d put down a piece of fruit and we’d both paint it. I’ve kept all my sketches and pictures from back then. When I look at the pictures now, I can see that they represent a movie or a family occasion. It’s funny to have a memory from that far back.”
Most people pick up a paint brush when they’re kids, but few people stick with it, similar in some respects to cycling. We ride bikes when we’re young to play, then we get older and it takes on a whole new dimension; a mode of transport that makes our world a little bit bigger; only for some of us, it still remains just as playful today as it did when we were children.
“Cycling and art has always been a consistent. I’ve never stopped painting or riding bikes. I’ve tried other stuff, and quit, and then picked up something else, and quit that, too but those two things - painting and riding - have always been a part of in my life. Perfecting riding is like getting better as an artist; it’s practice. New techniques, ideas, whatever. You have to keep practicing painting as you do with riding a bike.”
David was born and raised in Girona and it’s where he lives today. It’s not far from Barcelona where his studio is, but the former, as he puts it is “way more tranquillo”. Girona appears to have its neighbours penchant for harbouring subcultures, it has an art scene and great restaurants, but without Barcelona’s big city intensity. And Girona is also a pretty decent location if you happen to be a mountain biker.
“I started mountain biking when I was about thirteen or fourteen, getting into xc riding, which was quite new back then, not many people were doing it. Now of course, it’s boomed. Lately, I’m more into freeriding and enduro. I’m more focused on going fast down a hill than going fast up it. It’s the best - I fucking love it!”
Years of mountain biking has honed David’s bike handling skills, as we saw in the portrait video. A Brompton at a skatepark isn’t something we see every day.
“The Brompton is so versatile. It can do pretty much anything. Commute, sure, but it’s also cool to take it places like the skatepark and have some fun with it. Why not? It’s a great bike. It’s built super well. It’s all about having fun, right?”
David is friends with Taylor Phinney, the ex-professional cyclist that’s now devoting the hours he would’ve spent training to honing his skills as an artist. His next chapter. There are a lot of famous artists that ride bikes; Grayson Perry over in London raced for Mosquito Bikes and was a regular over at Beastway, east London’s famous mountain bike races in the 90s. There’s a line between the two crafts.
“Artists are curious people. For me, when I walk or ride my bike or hike or something, I get more creative. There’s probably some scientific reason. Maybe it’s just the release of endorphins when you practice a sport, I don’t know. After I ride, I feel so good. It’s as if my body tells my mind you’re ready create now. It’s like a drug… Then magic happens!”
David Rosello is an artist and cyclist from Girona. He likes coriander. He’s unsure whether his grandfather did. Follow David Rosello on Instagram on @Davidonxo