We all talk about how blessed we are with the arts and culture scene here in Mazatlán. When is the last time you made it inside the art museum? Right now they have two incredible exhibitions running that are well worth your time!
The first is a photography exhibit that was over a year in the making, as it was Sichem Rizo Alvarez’s final project for his master’s in photography in Barcelona. You may have seen some of his imaginary Carnaval Queen photos that are reminiscent of Tammy Faye-Baker’s mascara-streaked, tearful face. The first time I saw one I thought, “cool, but a bit cliché.” Then I went to the exhibit! Sichem has combined his photographs with a narration that speaks to the power of Carnaval royalty, of our local “royal” dynasties in which great-grandma, grandma, mom and daughter have all been queens, the high highs of the week-long festivities followed by the letdown lows many royals can feel afterwards. He has set the exhibit up with lighting reminiscent of our iconic Mazatlán Carnaval lights. I black drape divides the space into before and after Carnaval. His mother stitched up the queen’s dress, which is displayed on a mannequin. Titled “Queen of Gold Tinsel,” (Reina de Oropel) the exhibit speaks to the ephemeral nature of beauty, youth and fame. You will find it in the gallery on the left as you enter the art museum downtown. Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.
The second exhibit resides in the gallery to the left of the stairs. It may look like another photography show, but it is a retrospective of the oil paintings of a young man from El Habal, José Luis Tirado Lizárraga. His work is so incredibly realistic that I honestly kept doubting it was oil painted! He works with a dry brush, so it’s hard to see any paint on the paper or canvas, and much of the framed work on paper is under glass, making it look like a print. But the television will show video of how he sketches and then freehand paints with incredibly life-like detail. What an amazing talent!
As always, entry to our state-government-sponsored art museum is free of charge. The exhibits will be there all of March, so be sure to stop in. They are open 9-3 Tuesday through Saturday except on Wednesday they close at 1 pm. Address is Sixto Osuna and Venustiano Carranza downtown, tel. 669-981-5592.
Interview of Guadalupe Aguilar by Ernestina Yépiz, translation by Dianne Hofner Saphiere
This article first appeared in Spanish in the online magazine Fogones: La poética del paladar. I share this translation here because Guadalupe is a terrific local artist whose work I much admire. I encourage VidaMaz readers to get to know her work. Guadalupe also makes and sells kombucha here in town.
The work of Guadalupe Aguilar, together with and in each of the creations that compose it—which in each one is complete also—establish a dialogue, almost an intimate conversation, with the landscape, poetry, writing, the creative process and creation itself. In this context her artistic vision is to permit yourself to be touched by the subtle, experiment the sublime and get a hold of the ungraspable: that which is so fleeting that we can only feel it and make it our own at the instant or sum of moments of the aesthetic experience.
Guadalupe Aguilar holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and a Master’s in Art History from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of UNAM. Her creative production has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In her work as a contemporary artist she explore the relationship between art and nature; she does the same with philosophy and poetry. In her work she uses forms of expression and manifestation including installations, video, weaving, writing, drawing and sculpture.
Several exhibitions stand out in her artistic career: Über das gluck or The way of the possible, at the Cultural Institute of Mexico in Austria in 2005; The water in a thread in the Kunsthalle Krems, Austria in 2006; Words in flight, in La sala Naranja in Valencia, Spain in 2007; in 2008 Agudeza or Acuity at the Huuto Gallery in Helsinski, Finland; Inverted shipwreck in Culiacán, in 2011; Filiform Suns in the Contemporary Gallery at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana in Mexico City in 2012; Armonía or Harmony in the Gaals, in Culiacán, Sinaloa in 2016; Rangoli-Solitaire in Mysore, India in 2016.
Currently, in one of the galleries of the Museum of Art of Sinaloa, Guadalupe Aguilar is exhibiting Azul profundo or Deep Blue, a sculptural piece in which she dialogues with the marine watercolors and drawings of Maestro Edgardo Coghlan. That very intimate conversation is the theme of this interview. Click any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.
What sparked the idea of creating Deep Blue? It all started with my reflections and readings on our inner consciousness of time, precepts taken from the philosophy of Edmund Hüsserl, primarily. The idea initially was to make a cut in the surface of the sea, with the aim of detaining the incessant coming and going of the sea’s dermis, but not it an image but rather in an object, and that is how the piece came to be. I now live so close to the ocean that these past two years I have reflected on the infinity of its surface and all it holds.
The environment and the landscape always influence. Yes, although if I go a bit further back, I believe this idea began to germinate in my mind in 2006 or 2007, when I lived in front of a mighty river. The movement of the current got me to thinking about the fleetingness of nature and its ephemeral forms. So, I captured these thoughts in a video and sculpture. The project was titled, El agua en un hilo, The water in a thread, and it was comprised of two reticular cuts in the flow of the current, where the common thread between the two pieces, the video and the sculpture, is the Danube, in a cube and in pixels.
Certainly, contemplating the water in a thread leads us to the abstraction of thinking about the flow of time. Yes, both pieces pose an exercise around the idea of time and invite us to think about the present, the result equates the internal weight of the past and the future. The here and now.
Why did you choose the Masin (Museum of Art of Sinaloa) for the Deep Blue exhibition? In 2011 I exhibited the Otra forma or Other Form there, a piece measuring two square meters and consisting of a grid of pins as a support for geometric parts of the plant world. There I saw for the first time the marinas that Master Edgardo Coghlan made, which tour part of the Sinaloan landscape and geography. Since then, I have dialogued with his work and Deep Blue is the result of that conversation. I consider, moreover, that it is important to explore the Sinaloan landscape, which during this long confinement has been denied to us. It is a good moment to revalue our environment and promote its care.
Does Deep Blue mark a distance from your previous work? I ask not in a conceptual or thematic way, but rather for the type of materials you utilized: paraffin, crystal, metal, steels cables and LED lamps. Distance in the sense of moving away from, no. I actually think that I always repeat myself, including with the type of materials. In addition to the piece described in question one, that corresponds to an installation exhibited in Kunsthalle de Krems, Austria in 2006, I’ve also made drops of resin and clung to the idea of stopping the path of the water drops. Once I made rain with needles and other times sculptures of resin or paraffin. The drops of resin were never exhibited, but the persistent rain of needles was part of the Soles filiformes exhibition which took place in the Contemporary Gallery of the Cloister of Sor Juana.
I had the opportunity to see your poetic-conceptual, visual and auditory proposal. I remember you used paraffin. A lot of time has passed since then. Yes, quite a bit, I believe; it was in 2012.
What was the last exhibition you had prior to Deep Blue? I believe Deep Blue is an obvious continuation of the exhibition mounted just a few months ago in Bauprés Gallery in Mazatlán, which included objects that detain the fugitive forms of the landscape surrounding my Mazatlecan habitat. That exhibit was entitled The Permanence of the Ephemeral.
What artistic projects are you currently working on? A huge imprint of the tormented sea and on stopping the mind.
I hope you’ll join me for two events, both to be held a couple of blocks from one another in Centro Histórico on Friday, November 22nd.
The first will be a reading from the book, Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats. Edited by Janet Blaser—who will facilitate the event—the book is a terrific read for anyone thinking about life abroad or already living it. Local residents Susie Morgan, Nancy Seelye, Lisa Lankins and yours truly will be reading from our chapters.
Then, have a nice dinner somewhere and join us again at 7:00 pm for the very first group art exhibit that I have curated! It will be a photo show entitled, The Magic of Black and White. If you click “Going” on the Facebook link, it will remind you so you don’t miss this terrific opening. Participating photographers include Alwin van der Heiden, Lucila Santiago, Marcopolo Amarillas, Christian Lizárraga, and yours truly.
The photo exhibit will open on Friday, Nov. 22, at 6:30 pm in Baupres Gallery, next to Casa Haas on Heriberto Frías, across from Hector’s. There will be wine and hors d’oeuvres. The show will continue every day through 21st December, 2019. I very much hope that I’ll see you and your friends there!
Please help me pass the word about both of these events. Be sure to put them in your calendar so you don’t miss out! They’ll both be a lot of fun, and you’ll be supporting and encouraging your creative neighbors and friends.