ARTSpeak

It’s only natural that someones heritage and upbringing would in some way influence an artists work. In my opinion, it’s almost inevitable. My childhood compared to some might be considered dull, mundane and probably not much of a childhood in certain aspects. Everything in retrospect begins to slowly clear the foggy image of who I’ve become. I start to think about what my favorite tv shows where, since i was much of a television junkie as a child. I enjoyed dry satirical humor, such as the kind in the “children’s” television show Tales from the Crypt. Subsequently, that taste in genre follows through in much of the media intake from then till now, pulling much of my spiritual beliefs into check, as well. I was raised in a non-denominational Christian home, not putting much stress on church or sector but rather, the direct communication and lifestyle.

I then also start to think about how my parents seldom, or perhaps never let my older sister and i play with kids or “friends” out side of school until we where in 6 or 7th grade and how over protected and alienated we felt because of that, even after we were allowed to go over friends houses. Much of this upbringing is due to my parents carrying over their upbringings which would most commonly be described as “tightly conservative Hispanic households”. This stay at home time contributed to much of  my interest in drawing. Aside from the heavy television intake and being housed much of my life, I’d say i was mostly influenced by my dad’s side of the family. When i was a child living in Elmhurst Queens New York, I had two male artist figures in plain view. My grandfather, well renowned comic book illustrator [Pablo Marcos] and My father [Paul Marcos] an Interior Designer. I would watch them draw meticulously for hours. My father had precision and my grandfather had exaggeration of forms with in his work. I would see them make some thing beautiful out of  blank sheets time after time and that alone was enough to start me on drawing television characters or even my own small line of home-made books titled “stick world” filled with much dry humor. I would then carry this into the class room which in most cases academically wasn’t so good. I struggled in all subjects, especially math. Never wanting it to have any part in my art work, even till today.

It wasn’t until years later in high school where i realized this illustrator and this interior designer who i grew up with had influenced my “style”, if I’ve ever had any. At least the approach with my work was similar to their’s, I used the harsh contrast that would border line make my work look graphic at times and i always tried to keep my work as precise as possible, as did my father. I know my father, grandfather, television and religion influenced whatever work i did greatly because I didn’t really look at any artist other than Dali when i was younger. Dali, was the artist that i had a work of hanging up in my room for much of my child hood. It was a mock painting of “The Persistence of Memory” that one of my dad’s friends had painted. I ended up keeping it because i had noticed whoever had recreated it had failed to include the ants dispersing from the pocket watch and the fly on the melted one. I ended up painting it in and my father then saw fit to give it to me. It hung from house to house from when i was  7 until i was 17. I would remember looking at the recreation most nights and still thinking of Dali as some kind of saint for thinking of something so dream like yet so defined and breaking from literal interpretation, which for me has always been hard to do.

Much of the art work I did in high school i guess one could say was very “academic.” I found that i always had trouble making something that was imaginative or innovative in some way. I stuck to attempting to paint or draw as literal and as precise as possible, I would become obsessive with it and would only then incorporate remnants of the my spirituality and my appreciation of theatricality within moments of my work, I tried to do this without having it over power the piece.  My work won me much recognition in my school, and In turn i felt safe and appreciated there in the art wing. Instead of going to lunch or study hall I’d stay in the studios with my art teachers who became my friends. In the end I wasn’t ever crazy about the work i did so it was comforting to see people gain some satisfaction from looking at it, and that’s really why in the end I was sure there was nothing more i wanted to do with my life. When i started doing artwork outside my house hold and began to see that it could actually mean something to people or still at most a person, there was no going back and saying “I definitely want to be an artist but maybe I should think of a back up plan.”

“Best Wishes”: 28 x20 Oil on Wood, Hot glue

Last piece out of Longwood High school/ The first piece introducing me to oil paints.

I still continue to be somewhat obsessive compulsive with my work, however what has changed is the realization that i would often over work or over literalize, my pieces. Not leaving enough universal meaning or any room to perceive something different from a piece. I’ve learned to and continue to try and discover ways that allow me to be obsessive with my work, all the while leaving some mystery with in one piece, as well. This perhaps came from my adolescent state of mind of wanting to make my work imaginative or crazy. I then in turn stopped worrying about that and started to let my mind be fascinated by things. I was confused on how to pursue creativity in a sincere way, since sincerity with in my work has always been a first. My motto has always been to not do a piece at all if it’s not 100% sincere, as ambiguous as that sounds. That’s to me is the highest responsibility an artist has.

Upon entering college, i began to focus on materials and the different uses of them. My exploration of various materials exposed me to working with and depicting the nature of them by not suppressing them with paint as i would usually do in the past. I enjoy allowing the materials to express their disposition. Having them work in unison with the other materials and or pieces of ideas or forms that i decide to attach, to spark thought and to draw visual analogies, between both subjects.

Perhaps my fascination with materials is also due to my father, who’s rather obsessive with form as well and talked to me a lot about it as a child. I never felt i observed life with an eye for color but for form. Growing up in a Hispanic home [half Peruvian, half Guatemalan] i was very exposed to color with a bunch of traditional textiles lying around in my home. All of them used color in an over powering way that I’m guessing it made me somewhat desensitized to it’s uses. What i found always most interesting where the structures of indigenous masks hanging in my home, or the relief sculptures. Even with painting i used color through a means of values and it wasn’t until my first year of college that it was brought to my attention that color was never really stressed onto me. Frankly, I don’t know why it should be. As I feel that comes on its own, I view color as a means of emotional and subjective interpretation. Form to me has always been hard to create entirely subjectively but ultimately perceive completely subjectively.

I am now finishing my courses to receive my associates in Fine Arts at FIT In New York city and I will hopefully transfer to receive my masters in Fine arts at CCA in San Fransisco. I don’t worry so much about trying to make my work innovative or imaginative anymore so long as I’m proud of it, can identify with what i want from it and ultimately, shows and communicates to me and others an interest, thought or feeling.

Current muses in my work are wood/ wood grains and the variations of them, decay, phobias, visual analogies and blurring the lines between the materials being used and the subject matter.

Self Portrait: Oil on wood 30×26

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