The real and surreal
Influence: I grew up in Mexico City, a cosmopolitan city full of history and visual stimulation that fed my curiosity and increased the desire to create. I visited often its historic buildings and museums and would just lose myself there for hours. I wish I had an artist mentor growing up; despite that, my desire to create things with my hands was always very strong. I remember once at a young age, I watched a documentary on TV about the Belgian artist Rene Magritte; I was profoundly moved by it – very strong work full of mystery and anguish. Other works I remember were by Rufino Tamayo and José Chávez Morado, among others. Every day I would pass by the murals of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Juan O’Gorman on my way to the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
Creating art since: Always, but more formally around 1993. I had my first shows at Jose Galvez Gallery in Tucson. I am not sure if the gallery is still there. I have been in Arizona since 1989.
Education: I am mainly a self-taught artist, but I have taken some art courses at Phoenix College and Scottsdale and Glendale Community Colleges. I would say that I have learned mainly by putting my hands on whatever medium I am working on.
Describe your art: Various artists, especially surrealist Rene Magritte and the cubists, influence my art, but I always like to explore an idea utilizing different materials. I have worked with wood, metal, paper, ceramics, found objects and printmaking.
Medium of choice: I have no preference. I always say that the idea dictates the medium. I try to avoid solvents; I think I have developed sensitivity to them after working for many years with oil-based inks for printmaking. Now I work more with acrylic paints rather than oils, although I love the brilliance of color that you can obtain with oil paints. Other than that, I am always open to experimentation and exploration.
Favorite art: I have many favorite works of art, but one of my favorite artists is James Turrell and his installations using light and space. His work affects you on a deeper level, changing your perception through your senses.