It was a journey I started on when I was very young. I’ve known since I was a child. I started drawing at a young age. In middle school I took some woodworking and ceramics classes, and that’s when I realized I was good at designing, creating, and painting. After I graduated high school I decided to get a degree in plastic art at the University of Colorado.
Is there an ideal state of mind to paint?
Well, no, and there’s no need to escape anything either. Your chest muscles don’t develop if you don’t swim or work out… the same happens to your mind, you can’t sit in a chair and daydream, you have to live and work. Thomas Edison said that ¨99 percent is perspiration and the rest is inspiration¨.
What technique do you use in your work?
I work with several materials, based on what I want to express or the creative stage I’m going through- Oil on MDF (my most common technique), synthetic enamel, mixed collage techniques and an experimental technique I’ve created with resins and “green” materials. I enjoy recycling overlooked materials.
How do you feel when materials do something surprising?
If you use materials freely, the surprise effects enhance the image, you have to let the work develop, be born. On many occasions I start building from a spot of color, or I add elements, associating them, like putting a puzzle together. There are other works that I see in my dreams, and when I wake up, I create them.
How long have you had your gallery?
It will be three years soon. The first year was very hard. People in Chihuahua are are not used to art galleries, unlike other states in southern Mexico.
Can you make a living as an artist today?
I really believe you can do anything you set your mind to. If you find that art is your thing, and you work hard, then you can be great. Most importantly, enjoy what you do in any profession because you won’t just be doing what you like, you’ll be getting paid to do it.
What can you tell us about the famous despair some artists feel when faced with a white canvas?
I’ve never gone through that, never, never, thank God! My works have always emerged from what I perceive around me, it’s like an extension of my thinking, it’s like writing a book. Sometimes I pick a topic and as I work the chapters (or in my case the work) just seems to lead itself, and as I follow it I become more in touch as it inspires me to create the next chapter, the next piece of art.
How do you feel when your work is finished and ready to be exhibited, and when you get an award?
What I enjoy the most is the process of making art. If I can get a connection with the person looking at my work, and I receive their opinions or praise, it feels great, because that closes the cycle. But, like I said, what led me to choose this path is the action of painting and designing. I feel that by painting and creating I am putting a part of myself out there, I am communicating with those who will see the finished work.
Why is it so hard for Latin American art in general to penetrate the American and European museums?
Because they don’t believe in what they do. Latin American artists try to keep an identity that is false, and they end up doing popular art forms, a kind of art that is like a degeneration of something bigger.
Who are the Masters that you most relate to and the artists that you admire the most?
Talking about external influences on an artist’s work is very complex and sometimes very difficult to pinpoint. Evidently, during my training I have received a lot from my teachers. Even though I have never met someone who has guided my work significantly, I can say that my works bring together a lot of trends that I think I have taken from different areas. As for the artists I admire, for various reasons, not only for their work but also for their struggle: Anish Kapoor, Javier Marín, Anthony Gormley, Pollok, Damien Hirst, M.C. Escher and of course Picasso and Magritte.
How does a work of art emerge from your technique?
I think technique develops as a result of what you want to communicate. I don’t learn a technique and then apply it, but rather I discover, experiment, become familiar with the materials and their properties; this is how techniques grow little by little based on an inner need. The work emerges from that dialog between an idea and my materials.
Do you think your work appeals to the viewer mostly because of its technique or its imagery?
Imagery is created by a “way of doing”, or a technique. If it’s appealing, it’s for both reasons. I intend to communicate with my work; if the message reaches the viewer, let it be in any way: even rejection or dislike is better than disinterest.
What could you tell other painters who are just starting out?
That it doesn’t matter who critiques you or critiques your paintings. They must be sacred to you and you must defend them no matter what. Because it’s your art, and your art is sacred.
How far do you want to go?
I would like to open art galleries in several countries, not only to display my work, but also to give an opportunity to starting artists, because they don’t get support from local museums, who require a lot of experience but don’t give them the opportunity to build it.
What do you think about young artists who paint less and experiment more on a day-to-day basis?
I’m a painter who likes to change. I think an artist who doesn’t change becomes stagnant, and if you’re stagnant, you’re dead. Changing is basically evolving, seeking, throwing out those things you have no interest in, but without fear of the public.