Due to the pandemic, all artistic and cultural events around the world are impacted in one way or another. Mexico City is no exception. This year’s Art Week -generally starring Zona Maco, Material Art Fair and Salón Acme– will take place in alternative formats.
Despite the dynamics being significantly different from previous years, MASSIVart does not want to miss the opportunity to showcase the work of talented artists and outstanding cultural agents in Mexico. During this week, we will give space to different artists and gallery owners to share their perceptions and experiences within the national art scene.
Today we present the artist Isauro Huizar.
Isauro Huizar (Culiacan, Mexico, 1985) is an artist based in Mexico City. His work is inspired by everyday life and his daily routine. From these experiences, he produces systems to reflect and understand his surroundings. In his artistic practice, he mainly explores the mediums of painting, sculpture and more recently – writing and photography. As an extension of his practice, he has carried out museographic projects for galleries and institutions, showing his skills in spatial narratives. Huizar periodically teaches the workshops La superficie, el color y la forma (“Surface, colour and form”) and Modos de presentar (“Styles of presentation”) for non-profit foundations dedicated to presenting art to children and young people.
Huizar attended the SOMA Educational Program in Mexico City. He has exhibited in national and international galleries and institutions including Biquini Wax EPS, Galería Enrique Guerrero, Casa Wabi, Museo Jumex, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, and many other world class institutions. He is currently co-editor of AAF, a print magazine dedicated to spatial themes, and maintains the Instagram project @abstractpaintingmexico, a personal exploration to learn about and circulate the work of painters based in Mexico.
I consider myself a visual artist, habit aficionado, compulsive organizer, amateur athlete, defective respirator, a broken-down machine.
In relation to the act of painting, a memory constructed from a photograph and the narrations of my parents. I was about three years old, my father was painting the garden walkway at the side of the house in red paint. In an impulse to imitate him, I approached and reached out my hand to take the brush. The photograph is a portrait of my attempt to continue painting and to turn to the camera when my name was called.
I make systems to understand what is happening around me. Motivated by affection, I organize, arrange and work with objects, spaces and their relationships through care and attention.
Leisure, care and work.
I marvel at everyday life, my routines, the residues found, everything that keeps a dedication and a well-accomplished work. You could say that for my practice, I gather inspiration and when the idea seems nourished enough, I execute it or start to push it as a project.
I like to think that what is known as “style” is a consequence of the decisions that the artist makes to resolve the situations that arise. As long as the artist continues to work, it could be said that his style is still open and could only be completely defined when the artist has stopped producing.
In my work, I create systems to try to understand what surrounds me. I am obsessed with systems, I propose a system for everything, this is a consequence of the obsessive habits that I possess and that possess me. Taking into account elements of the artistic process such as composition, structure, environment, process and form, I practice a productive procrastination intertwining work, leisure and care.
In the process of my work, I resort to strategies of appropriation, collection, organization, intervention and alteration, where motivated by affection. I deploy attention and care on objects and space to offer a deeper assimilation of the present moment. I am very interested in making spaces and objects look good, not so that they look pretty, but so that they can be better understood. There is a Japanese term that I would like to mention to complete the above, it is “ma” which could be translated as pause, space, opening or interval. A conscious space that allows to put in value the other parts of the work or to create new meanings. According to Japanese philosophy, this space would be full of energy and could induce a contemplative state in which it is possible to appreciate the expansion of space and time.
Finally, considering the particularities of each medium, I invoke abstraction as an instrument of perception and draw on efficiency to establish links between fiction and reality. In my artistic practice, I mainly explore the mediums of painting, sculpture and more recently, writing and photography.
Doing nothing (leisure) is very important to me. Not-doing is important because it is the first thing you need to do, the essence of a vessel is not in its form or material but in the emptiness it possesses, from which it can be filled. Not-doing, for me, is emptying to receive the new – new ideas, new processes, new projects.
Reading is also very important to me. I am especially interested in books that contain essays, interviews and writings of philosophers, poets, artists, architects, designers and others. For me this kind of material is incredible, I take them as advice and suggestions for my work and speech, I appropriate many of them and adapt them according to my interests.
One of the main problems is communication and communicating ideas to the viewer. To solve it I resort to questions that I have established as essential: The first one is Who is it going to be presented to? (Who is the possible viewer and what is his or her context? Or if it is the case, what kind of audience, institution, gallery, call, collector, etc.). The next question is When or where is it going to be presented? (Is it a space or event, or another context such as the Internet or a publication, etc.). By answering the above questions we can begin to answer What can we present? And finally, a question that I consider very important is How is it going to be presented? (What are the materials, how are they handled, how are they assembled, what is the possible route, etc.)?
These questions help me to better develop the articulation of the artistic experience I am proposing.
For me it is a way of living, it is about practicing an “economy of existence”, by this I mean: to resort to an economy of means taking into account the characteristic aspects of a place or a situation.
This allows me to meditate on the notion of work as an action performed, a physical-mental effort as opposed to the production of goods through a transfiguration of my free time, my recreational and leisure activities into work.
I really enjoy working, I really spend a lot of time at my desk, I do a lot of sketches. When I am confident in the idea I proceed to the execution of explorations and so on until I get a satisfactory result.
I am currently collaborating with the Agenda Cero Foundation (@agendacero) to support the visibility of their cause and grant resources as much as possible. Usually in the exhibitions I organize, a percentage of the proceeds is donated to benefit the Foundation, which is dedicated to the prevention of violence in Mexico. They work with children and teenagers who are survivors of child abuse, through theatre and art to prevent them from reproducing the violence they have experienced.
I have also started an artistic exchange with colleagues through collaborations. Recently, and thanks to a meeting of mutual interests, I am working on a collaboration with Eliana Portilla @elianaportilla.mx. She is an artist who works mainly with painting and sculpture resorting to geometric elements to transform compositions based on grids.
In the case of Fernanda Uski (@fernandauski), who works around the landscape and the perception of the natural, it was rewarding to solve a joint piece that refers to the poem “El mar” by Pablo Neruda.
The exchange with Carlos Balderrama (@carlosbalderramafelix) resulted in a work that alludes to the representation of space, its fragmentation, the stars, and the refraction of light. For the title, we resorted to a palindrome that seeks to evoke the visual solution.
Lastly, I collaborated with José Ángel Santiago (@joseangelsantiago), an artist based in Oaxaca. It is a graphic folder with texts in Zapotec language from Juchitán. The project is produced by Taller Río Blanco, a visual platform focused on graphic projects and the diffusion of the Zapotec language of the Istmo.
The less I have, the less I need.
Necessity sharpens the wit.
Words persuade, but example leads.