Trying to explain my praxis (1)

1.  "Plans Are Worthless, But Planning Is Everything"/ Meanings are worthless but meaning-creation is everything.

2. "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."/ Every image might have a carefully crafted meaning until it gets thrown into the world.  

3. "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. "/ These are my image interpretations, and if you don't like them...well, I have others.


Truth is, the basic question is why? and also who? who I am, but also why I am or why I have to be, as in, why to exist if you will die anyway(1). And the search for answer can come in many disguises.  Of course, that is a non-starter but also a good path to walk, since it will never end.

Images are catalyst for meanings. That is how I see images, specially the ones I make. Because making is very important to me. We could say making is saying by example. Painting, drawing, writing,videoediting. 

Emotions still remains very much the motor force behind my process of creation of images. This also take many disguises. What disguises and why specific ones?

In this search I visited some places: the desolation of urban life, the hybridity of the south baroque identity, the latin-american history,  the nostalgic, disconcerted view of the migrant/expat, western/non west, digital/analog, power/powerless modern/antique, etc but never stayed much in any of them. 

Why this apparent navel gazing approach? Like portraitist without a sitter, I recur to what I have at hand, the self. Sometimes it is so easy to disappear. What held you together is your point of view.

In the game of inclusion/exclusion, hierarchies based on different criteria play along in the world. An individual can have multiple roles across the day, in every scenario a different identity, all of them belonging to one point of reference, you. What held you together is your (ever-changing) point of view.


(1) Shakespeare's Hamlet (to be or not to be...) but also Eclesiastés (vanity of vanities, all vanity is) and probably many more.

After all, if there is nothing new under the sun, why to do anything at all? Adding noise and redundant objects to the world (2). Nothing is new, true, but, here is the catch, because everything disappears. And it have to be done again.

That sound, walks and looks like a contradiction. But if you can't bath twice in the same flowing river, then how you can rebuild something again?. It is then that noise and distortion appear,  inevitable and welcomed.

I wish for the images I create a long life and for that I should not constrain them as they are a somehow open to interpretation but I can give a starting point of the how and why I made them. ________________________________

(2) like Borges said when justifying his not-making of a epic, voluminous novel and also in his Pierre Menard Quixote's story.


Hybridity and ephemerality. Both hybridity (not everyone have the same references) and ephemerality (interpretations change as you change) affect the meaning of the work, but also are the topics in one way or another of most of my works.

Identity in space: Hybridity. As an idea implicit in the urban identity of a Latin American Peruvian and updating some of the Andean baroque/creativity of copy, similar to other negotiations in this specific case in terms of Western/non western and by Western meaning perspective and figurative drawing. From this urban hybridity the work goes to the noise, maybe in another dimension, the temporal one.  In a time of the photographic commercial image, how to dialogue? living in a city, 

Identity in time: Ephemerality. Without connection to the outer, natural world but connected to a device as inevitable part of a daily life, interact in anyway with the digital media, the image as a creative flux, the dialog, the non narrative, the image as light and color, the digital humanities. from print to screen now from screen to print a creative matrix. And also giving space to noise. 


Path 1: Figurative, classical realism. Paintings, drawings. Alegoric symbolism as outdated, realistic figurativism as a stultified, straightjacketed formula. But also, is realism conservative? Against the photography or collage as the popular medium for figurative creations. Efficiency and availability are the key words here. There is a specficity in drawing to call things by its name, somehow.

Drawing in some quarters have such a bad reputation that makes it really alluring. 

On the other hand, speaking of drawing, sometimes the drawing craft is akin to what was the gold standard in the old economy; a back up safety to trust the value of the artwork. 

But most of the times is a replacement to photography, and that one, oh yes, that one is everywhere. 

Many times drawing was a tool to counter the daily dose of preprocessed images in their own game, human bodies, faces, smiles. The advertising image was the omnipresent agonist. The irony of what those images propose and the reality on the street or the daily life. Don't you see what is happening? 

Path 2: Expressionist drawings. The same but with more freedom and less accountability. Learnt from the art school, imbued of certain degree of abstraction. A channel to say thing s that are hard to say otherwise. Also catching the impulse. Against the grandiosity of the sanctified frame. Only the record, only the documentation, the vestige, and the signal. Ephemerality, specifically of the material support of the work (paper, kids clay, etc) has been also a theme in all the paths, initially caused by material conditions, it has been embraced later, leading many times to a more free approach to creation. 

But then may be it was good to be oblivious to the pedestrian and prosaic life, to the absurd reality. Not to forget that there were no innocence in any image (of mine) and those-the commercial ones- were after all, well constructed, thoughtful images, just conceived with another purpose in mind. Such naiveté (mine) only could be fixed by appealing to chaos and absurd to connect with the inner self, the most tangible reference at hand. But there must be a method to any madness, isn't it?. 

Path 3: The latest project might be an incursion into the image of the future, I called at some point videodadá, video image , video moment. They have no discernible topic, but that might be the point.

Digital explorations, videoart, projection installations, social media feeds (posts, stories). The process: image muliplication.image as open data of inrerpretation.I cant be aware of everything, computer vison can detect that. i you. The image as a moment, and therefore as a capture. the movement makes any image elusive. But also as a new vehicle to pour the nonsense, the absurd, the noise. The alluring idea of the image as something that is happening.

If drawing wasn't offering the back up requested of it, what could take its place?. Maybe technology or new media. But that wasn't an empty new space either, on the contrary, was a new place for discussion of arguing.

But drawing in figurative classical way is a European tradition, which creates new questionings. Is there other system of such complexity and coherence that can offer such  a vast landscape for experimentation or discourse? If not, how to built one?  How to create a space, a visual space where to operate with such liberty. This of course was a remnant of an avant garde-led thought, and as such was deemed to fail as well.

In the same way that drawings tried to imitate or disguise as photos. All these screenshots, images are snapshots of an essence gone, very photographically.

Drawings are made and just thrown after being taken photo of and posted. Clay figurines are done for one session only. Screenshots of webpages are taken and posted as independent images. 

Video editing files are rendered and then erased.  The vestiges or the documentation is claimed as a work in itself. This in time encourages recycling and mutation of a work.

Also the idea of randomness as a catalyst is important, of the mistake as a multiplier factor. Since I dont want to start from anew I need a material to create, that is one method. 

If the image or idea is not crytal clear which is most of the time I embrace the mistake as an ally specially in digital or labour intensive works. Because you need to start with something. Chaos then participates in more or less degrre during the process. 

I come and go from styles to style according to comfortability. If things are to much strict go to experimental, otherwise cme back into traditional. While these is normal stuff for n artist, I think i have a style corresponding to each mood. the styles dont evolve they stay there.

So yes, drawing is European and old, but could be a handy replacement for photographic image and therefore reality. So yes, you can draw inother ways to scape such a conumdrum. And yes, technology is a temporary detour to scape from such paradox, at leaast for now. And it is the now, as well as the why that are always a step beyond, for always ephemeral and unscrutable.

I also want to make my images sustainable, like when preparing your file for printing of for web, that is why I use sometimes square format, that can go in mobile o desktop, or video that is more portrayable than other formats. The same goes for meaning. Layering of meaning can be a good thing then.

The opportunity of thinking in other terms when being expat/migrant, unlike a fish asking what do you mean by water. 

Power and femininity as a portmanteau for the other, and the other as the non interviewed side in the multifaceted game of inclusion/exclusion.  


The ideas behind: power and relationships, identities.

In my work  usually power looms large, either in power figures (frontal, seated and heavy characters), hierarchies of figures and roles or dehumanized characters-power and power's abuse dehumanize us. What is humanity in such a world? Might be there a space for contemplation, maybe. 

As life is happens while you are thinking in other stuff, beside loneliness or reflectivenes there is also the lust for life, the feeling of the very existence. 

Most of my works lurk one way or another around one of these three concepts, either as an oblique and obscure allusion or an unsophisticated, plain and obvious mention.

The world as a theatre, carnival. The more difficult the media the more open to intuition. The game of inclusion/exclusion. The meaningless of the ornament as a cue to  meaning in general. 

The style is the media, the media is the message, the brief existence is the goal. Some works look as dreams. But as dreams they are feed not by other dreams but by things I do and make.

These concepts come across trough different contexts, mainly pertaining to a quest for understanding. Of identity of course, but identity asked as a where that lead to the unreachable why.

The where lead to two clues: time and space. The mix of the principles mentioned above and this circumstances lead to a matrix of variations where most of the images happen.

In there, I  throw out images, characters, manipulating them contorting them in different situations, like a strict movie director sometimes, other more like a furious choreographer and sometimes just like a silent witness of the shadows.  But most of the time, with luck, I play with all that stuff. Mixing, remixing, jamming, whatever, in the hope of finding a good image, a good video, something, built sometimes with delicacy and others with unrepentant rush. 

I have a fear as anyone else of the tabula rasa, the empty canvas, of the blank page.

Then, the process: what do you do? how do you do it?  and, last but not least, why do you it?. What do I do? I do drawings, paintings and sometimes videos.


It is an irony that I am here writing a text about the meaning of my work since my work has been a search for meaning-I even wrote a dictionary, to no avail. What started as a search for meaning -of life, of existence- evolved, somehow nonsensically, into a search for the meaning of the path made by the search itself,(it that makes sense). 

So what you will see here is the story of a failure, because this is an attempt to understand the world and its meaningless chaos. The mentioned unreachable why makes after all a failed endeavor that nevertheless must be taken. 

However, even if this is a personal truth, not of relevance socially, I guess if I write a manifesto it would claim the right to express. Random planning.