Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
My most recent body of work was produced out of the pleasure of exploring pure formal and processual painting. In this text—divided by sections titled like a traditional opera to highlight the mise-en-scene quality of my artwork—the reader will find clues about the context, inspirations, and desires that led to my current practice, such as my ambivalent condition as an immigrant, my exposure to post-conceptual abstraction embodied in Christopher Wool’s provocative oeuvre, and my interest in offering the viewer the experience of what I call “an aesthetic interrogation.” l have privileged in this thesis my own voice and character with the hope to articulate a sincere and individual approach to art-making that not only legitimizes my practice as a contemporary artist, but makes it more human, universal, timeless, and trivial.
Thesis Text Advisor
Rios Morales, Jorge, "Azul, Amarillo, Rojo" (2023). MFA in Visual Art. 19.
The Unreliable Narrator
Is the spiritual experience (a mental state of ineffable awe and wonder) still possible through painting in the twenty-first century? I explore this aesthetic interrogation by referencing events that are untraceable given their remote or metaphysical nature. The absurdity of performing an impossible taxonomy symbolizes my contradictory instinct for understanding the universe and the limitations of true knowledge through the subjective condition of the mind. A symbolic chronology is also a reference to time and finitude as existential premises.
In my work I try to remind the viewer of our collective need for an existential purpose. I also believe this primordial purpose cannot be fully grasped through reason or logic, but via a more intuitive, emotional and sensorial perception such as the one the artwork provides. Therefore, I consider all my work as a visual artist to be an investigation of the potential of the aesthetic experience—a special state of mind that is qualitatively different from the everyday awareness in which the attention is focused on the object while all other objects and concerns are momentarily suppressed—to provide an emotional response to the perennial question of meaning.
I paint because playing with alchemic mechanics of pigments and solvents makes me happy. Besides its immediate sensual character, to paint is for me to mimic creation in the theological sense.
Is painting still relevant today as a tool for spiritual self-realization?
My answer might be biased, unreliable.