(Lucía) The day we met we talked about tarot and numerology, you encouraged me to learn to read the cards, which I really appreciated. And I remember we talked about some existing relationship between reading a card and reading a book or looking at art And the way we change in time and so the reading changes, but the archetype is still there. So I wanted to ask you about the relationship and distance between your art and that universe that comes with numerology and tarot.
(Isa) Yes, I remember it well. I think I still have this idea where everything around us is a mirror of our interior, so by not being able to see each other, we can know ourselves through the other, or the external. The archetypes are very precise and show specific features of areas of life or psychic or emotional stages that all humans share just because they belong to the same species. That idea of Rupert Sheldrake's morphic resonance field. If this is taken to the plane of art, something similar happens. Everything is energy, so what attracts or repels you are aspects of yourself, and when reading a piece you are reading something about yourself, discovering something that was inside you that in a certain way you share with the piece because it was made by someone of your kind.
Fabric and Thread. 27 x 35 in
Isa Carrillo install view
(L) I would like to catch up with what you are doing now and thoughts you are having in regards to your relationship to your work. For example, I've seen your formats have gotten bigger than some years ago, I also see a different use of layers, planes and lines. So I wonder if you would like to talk about that.
(I) Yes, well, I have had to expand my formats a bit, but I think they always vary since they can be portraits of people or energy... for example, now I’m presenting a piece in an 80 m2 patio, which partly expands towards digital media (First principle, 2021, in the exhibition "Green Goddess" in the MAZ) but in the end I return to small formats or prototypes, because the pieces are born from an idea, they go to paper and then to the prototype.
Isa Carrillo, MAZ Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico
Embroidery, plant nursery, meteorological station, thermal camera. Variable Dimensions
(I) When you are working on a painting is there a moment when you feel absorbed in what these figures/characters represent?
(L) What makes me feel absorbed is the painting, the relationship with the material, the process, not the representation.
I try to pursue a place in painting where the physical, mental and emotional are blended, without hierarchies between them. I feel my paintings don’t come from the mind in the sense of rational thought. The mind is there too, especially as imagination, and the appearance of the figure comes most of the time as a consequence of the state, or of that process, not the other way around. The material and the body are essential, not only the mind. I’m interested in how my cuerpa-mente (my female body-mind) changes with painting, more than in projecting ideas or perceptions into painting.
Oil, acrylic, charcoal on canvas. 35 x 30 in
To Start Again
Oil, acrylic, charcoal on canvas. 24 x 20 in
(I) Have you ever thought while working on a piece, that it could actually redeem what the character of your piece is representing? I mean, as if by creating it you could set the pain or depletion that has been "a constant" in your work free? (I ask this because your palette is full of joy, as a contrast, as if you confer each work of lightness and beauty)
(L) I appreciate your comment.
I believe in some sort of redemption, or I prefer to call it consolation that can come with art. That is important to me. For me it is not possible to separate the figure from the whole painting, that is part of what I try to do with color and shape. That might also be part of the interest I have in abstraction. So, I think about my work not as paintings with characters represented on them, but as paintings with eyes of their own and personalities of their own. What that does is very mysterious to me. I prefer not to define what people might find in them, but I hope there is something about finding solace, comforting the dying and giving consolation to ourselves.
Oil and encaustics on canvas. 47.5 x 39 in
Lucía Vidales portrait Cristina Medellín
Isa Carrillo portrait Maj Lindstrom