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22 Kasım 2015 Pazar


Mauricio Paz Viola, "Winter Trees Series", 2015, contemporary watercolor.
Uruguay’da yaşayan Mauricio Paz Viola, facebook sayfam üzerinden bana ulaşarak, sanatı hakkında küçük bir habere yer verip veremeyeceğimi rica ettiğinde, ‘niye olmasın’ dedim. Dünyanın farklı bölgelerinden dönem dönem bu ricaları alıyorum. Paz Viola’nın sanat hikayesini ve “Kış Ağaçları” serisini çok sevdim ve kendisini hakkında bu küçük yazıyı yazmaya karar verdim. Güney Amerika’dan, Uruguay’dan sayfama misafir olan Viola’nın çalışmalarını umarım siz de seversiniz.

Mauricio Paz Viola.
1985 yılında, Uruguay, Colonia’da, deniz kıyısındaki Carmelo şehrinde doğan Mauricio Paz Viola, 7 yaşından bu yana plastik sanatlarla ilgilidir ancak, gençlik yıllarına kadar resmi sanat eğitimi alamamış. Museum and Archives of Carmen’de Profesör Juan Jose Gonzalez’in stüdyosunda çalışmaya başladığı ilk yıllarda, çocuk resimlerindeki gibi portreler ve natürmortlar çizer ama kısa zamanda kendi stilini oluşturmayı başarır. Kurallara bağlı kalmayı sevmez ve içinden geldiği gibi boyar.
14 yaşından bu yana sergiler açan Maurice Paz Viola, Colonia Arjantin Konsolosluğu, Uruguay’da kişisel sergiler açmış, birçok karma sergide yer almış. Viola, yurtdışında ve memleketi Uruguay’da çeşitli sanat yarışmalarına katılmış. Matta, Miro ve diğer öncül sanatçılardan esinlenen Viola’nın eserlerinde, temsil ile ilgili sürekli bir arayış vardır. Nesne ve şekillerin kendi yaşamını bulduğu kişisel ve iç dünyaları yeniden yaratır ve onlara yeni anlamlar vermek ve kendi, iç gerçeklerini yansıtmak üzere seyirciyi davet eder.


Mauricio Paz Viola, "Winter Trees Series", 2015, contemporary watercolor.

How did you become an artist, and did you know early on that you would be in the arts, or did you begin as something else? Were there other artists in your family?
I was born in 1985 in Colonia, Uruguay – specifically in the city of Carmelo, which is situated on the shore of La Plata River. I was born prematurely, hardly breathing… in a way I was like a phoenix rising out of ashes to give the world the images of my fantasies, to bring beauty to the eyes of women and men who know how to see with their heart.
Artistic expression has always interested me since I come from a family of writers: my father wrote folk songs, my mother poems, and my two sisters have both published books. In terms of plastic art, however, I am the only painter in the family. I remember that since an early age I would get a ball of mud and make replicas of whatever object there was in our yard… I painted and I made castles out of books – and I enjoyed myself very much. Fortunately, I always had the support of my family. Motivation and enthusiasm are the most important things for children, while for adults it is the need for expression and communication of one’s true self that become the most important objectives in art, and have been the life force behind my artistic creations every single day. 
Art has always been present in my life. As a child I drew and painted. I remember when I was 7, I saw from a linguistics textbook an image that left a permanent mark on my life: it was a painting by Roberto Matta. I still vividly recall how I felt that day sitting at my desk, drowned in shock by those colors and shapes…

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Winter Trees Series", 2015, contemporary watercolor.
However, it was not until my teenage years that I began my artistic training. I studied in the studio of Museum and Archives of Carmen with professor Juan Jose Gonzalez. In the beginning I painted portraits and still life just like all art pupils, but it didn’t take long before I created a style of my own, breaking all the rules (I never followed any to start with) and painting my inner worlds and who I was. Later I joined an art troupe “De La Vuelta” led by Maximiliano Garcia (Salvador Biko) and Alvaro Acuña. Together we organized all kinds of art events: theater, juggling, circus shows, rock concerts, painting and sculpture exhibits and a variety of social events… there were many memorable moments that played a part in forging my artistic identity in my teen years.

Each artist is so different when it comes to approaching their work. How do you approach your creation- can you elaborate on your working process?
I have never gone to art school – I am mostly self-taught, which is why I have a free-spirited approach in my work. When creating a new painting, I focus on freedom, fluidity, and movements… I do a dance before I paint – I usually do some kind of rituals before I create, and I usually paint after 2pm; my other ritual is listening to music to develop an approach to a new work – it can be ambient music (such as Kitaro), and lately I’ve also been listening to electronic music, sci-fi movie and video game soundtracks to get myself in the mood of creating fantastical pieces – if music be the food of imagination! Recently I’ve also been creating series of painting, and also mini series within series to manage my creative anxiety, and results of these have formed “Mundos acuáticos” (underwater worlds), “Essentia” (essence) within the series of “La Nada en el Vacio” (Nothing in the Void). My style can be characterized as “action paint”, but I also experiment with other styles such as deformism and surrealism, using pastel, charcoal, ink, oil painting techniques – such as can seen in the series “Retratos Deformistas” (Portraits, deformed), of human faces in 2004, and “Dark and Black” created last year.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Winter Trees Series", 2015, contemporary watercolor.
What are the primary themes of your work?
My works focus on the spiritual, the essential, on the cosmic union, the future… I aim to create paintings that can help the viewer in their spiritual growth, and I believe that to be the direction of art in this millennium – spiritual growth more than social or political critique, as art is an manifestation of the spirit, which is the truth and the future of art.
There are lots of recurring elements in my works, such as transparencies, overlapping images or colors, repetitions of lines, elements and objects… Additionally, there are the weightless objects and elements, floating shapes, circles, spheres and cubes. Saturated colors and different color schemes can also be found in one painting, such as in the ones of “La Nada en el Vacio”, which I started in 2011 and continues to work on until this day.
One of the recurring themes in my work are images of a erotic, sensual character. In the majority of my works, elements alluding to feminine and masculine sexuality can be seen, resembling curves, ovaries, phallic symbols, and other visual narratives having to do with the concepts of fertility, reproduction and creation. I believe that sexual energy is one of the most important creative forces of the universe (a point also shared by Hindu teachings), and I represent this vital force in a physical way to capture and express the creative part of being and the divine spark in one’s self. I am most fascinated by sex– not only the carnal act between the animals that we are, but as a sacred act present in all creations. The word sex comes from Latin “sexus”, or “sectus”, meaning separation. Hence, it is an act that repeats itself perpetually to create and re-create, in the realms of math, physics, chemistry and even in the field of cosmology. If one looks close enough, there are sexual acts everywhere – not just in human beings, and it is beautiful, unique and good. Perhaps my point of view is inspired by Gurdjeff, who holds that all manifestations of self is sexual as sex is the most important prototype of the human machinery.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Winter Trees Series", 2015, contemporary watercolor.
I am also inspired by ancient civilizations, especially the ones buried underneath history – Incan, Egyptian, and Sumerian Civilizations. It seems that the true story of us humans is stranger than science fiction. I devour information on these forgotten histories insatiably, exploring mysteries, hidden worlds, aliens, parallel universes – topics of importance in life and yet no one seems to be interested in discussing or knowing, perhaps to escape from the constant prodding of the age-old question of where we came from, where we are going and who created life itself.

In a nutshell, a constant theme of my work is life itself as it is manifested in nature, the universe (or universes) and the infinite worlds and dimensions of which we know nothing, towards which biology, science, art try to grapple… in a word, LIFE.

Who are your favorite artists and why?
One of my favorite artists is Van Gogh. I admire him for his brilliance, his life story and his powerful work. I also like Picasso who revolutionized the art world… Goya, Rembrandt, Kandinsky, Miro, Max Ernst with his wondrous landscape paintings… My favorite perhaps remains the surrealist Roberto Matta, whose art I saw for the first time at 7 years of age, but I never tried to imitate his work nor is there a noticeable influence of Matta in my work. There is also Javier Gil, friend of mine and a painter I admire; he does a lot of futuristic landscape paintings and taught me a lot about art.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Winter Trees Series", 2015, contemporary watercolor.
Why do you think art is important for the world, and why is it important for you as an individual artist?
Art is of utmost importance for the world: it is an instrument and an important form of human dialogue.  Art is the cornerstone upon which culture is built, and throughout the history of art we see the most significant manifestations of being. Art has transformed, from political and social critique and voice of advocacy to a more universal, spiritual and cosmic expression.  If we pay attention, we can see that art has gone back to focusing on its prehistoric roots, on abstract forms, on collective intuition more than reasoning.  The artist who is best at revealing this development is Gerhard Richter, who has gone from a rational and academic approach to a more abstract, intuitive one that is at the same time more primitive and emotional. Picasso has also said that he painted like Goya when a child and then had spent most of his life learning to paint like a child again – to me, this is what new art is about – art of the new millennium, and it is my quest and what I hope to give. As a fully committed artist, I hope to help people learn about themselves and to grow spiritually through my art.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Winter Trees Series", 2015, contemporary watercolor.
What you hope to communicate to the viewer and how does this specifically affect the final result?
I hope the viewer can enter my dreamy world of ethereal, weightless landscapes and leave behind their everyday existence even for just a while; I want to convey positive vibes through the colors and shapes I use and the love and kindness embedded in every stroke but above all, to show a world a endless possibilities and give a glimpse of the divine spark, inspiring the viewer to create, to make something out of the most beautiful and sacred part of human existence.

I would define my work as a manifestation of self, an extension of my spirit or sub consciousness, which is still beyond my grasp and lies at the deepest sphere of pure self. In particular, I try to minimize intellectual inclinations when I create to prevent the ego, the fictitious self from intervening, and hence my works are the most loyal reflections of who I am (dreamer, fantasy-prone, sensitive, sexual and a bit dark and gloomy sometimes), and my work is who I am.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Nature dancing", oil on canvas, 120x100 cm.
My works feature images of imaginary landscapes, empty or inhabited by unknown beings – landscapes that externalize a constant inner struggle of being human, that visualizes conflict between good and evil, between light and darkness… hence, the best way to describe my work is – landscapes inhabited by my own self, where a step forward is eternal light and a step backwards is total darkness.

In reality, my work refrains from saying too much: it was never my idea to talk about politics or social matters in my work. More than anything, my paintings are an invitation to enter the world of dreams, where the viewer can escape from the mundane for a few moments – like some kind of hallucinogen – being in there and being as oneself, and see things in a different way. This is why I have chosen an abstract approach which provides such resources. I am convinced that these images exist somewhere in the universe, and that I have seen them in the many previous lives I have lived as a particle of cosmic dust and am now only re-creating these worlds, never before seen by others, with luxurious details and narratives. 

Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite, or have been most significant to you as an artist?
For me there are many significant pieces. “Mujeres destrozadas por el tiempo” (Women, shattered in time) is an art piece I started in 2003 in Uruguay in charcoal. In 2005, I added collage to the original artwork and in 2012 in Chile, I decided on the title. It was a very significant piece being the first creation after a hiatus of two years (fortunately I still have it with me).

Another significant one is “Gato” (Cat) in 2004 from the “Retratos deformistas” series depicting deformed animal and human figures. It was at that time my favorite piece and the one most loved by the public.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Le papillon (butterfly)", 2015,
oil on canvas, 100 x 90 cm.
I have another piece, “El Beso” (The Kiss), a pastel work created in 2004; “Mujer con escalera” (Women with stairs) of pastel on paper created in 2005, “Tercera Guerra neurologica” (Third Neurological War) of mixed media on paper created in the same year and dedicated to a friend who had committed suicide, and my first large-scale creation; “Dragon de agua” (Water dragon) of 2005, oil on canvas, and “Cascada boreal” (Aurora falls) of 2012, “11 seres” (11 beings) of 2012, “Flor de caverna” (Cave blossoms) of 2013, “Garganta roja” (Red gorge) of 2013, “Graine du ciel” (Seed of Heaven) of 2013, “Fecundidad de las Hadas” (Fairies: be fruitful and multiply) of 2015, “Le papillon” (Butterfly) of 2015, as well as a series of illustrations called Dark and Black which I did in 2013.

I can’t pick out one most significant work because every piece reflects a specific and unique moment in my life, some simple, some complex, all distinct.

What is the biggest frustration for you being an artist?
The biggest frustration for me being an artist is that I feel lost vis-à-vis today’s contemporary art scene. Most galleries in Latin America focus on installations, brushing aside plastic artists – painters, sculptors who hardly get a chance to showcase their work. Installations are not always easily understandable and can sometimes be elitist. On another hand, being an artist today requires one to have formal training, sometimes even a Masters degree – in curating, cultural management, et cetera, and the focus on a genuine art is lost, which is hard for a self-taught artist like me.

How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently, or is there one primary thing you hope to have the viewer experience?
I enjoy it when viewers interpret my art according to their own prototypes, dreams, fantasies, fears and limitations – the power of modern art lies not only in the freedom to choose themes and but also in the liberty of interpretation. We are all multi-faceted beings that it is ironic to ask of a painting to be viewed only a certain way.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "The truth everlasting", 2015,
oil on canvas, 80 x 90 cm.
For example, some people see phallic symbols in my paintings and others see horses, water plants, mushrooms, just to name a few, which is why I have stopped labeling a lot of my art pieces to give the public free reign and be more inclusive – women and men, young and old, heterosexual and queer, public of different socioeconomic standing have all seen my work and generated lots of dialogue – and it is precisely this dialogue of freedom, of expression, and of interpretation that I hold dear to my heart.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
First of all I would advise parents of artistically inclined children to motivate and encourage them, take them to art studios, buy them art supplies… and secondly, I’d tell teenagers that if they like art and believe that there is a path in art for them to participate in seminars, lectures, visit other artists and go to museums and galleries. But more than anything, I’d tell them to get formal training, and to refrain from the temptation of drugs and alcohol – there will be plenty of time to dabble in that later in life, just saying. (laughs)

To aspiring artists, especially ones whose families are against their career choice and the self-taught ones, I’d say to trust in their own capacities, their intuition, their higher self. Absorb everything museums and galleries have to offer, see other artists’ work, share their own work without feeling ashamed, because only time and talent will tell. Van Gogh could finish 3 paintings in a day and yet sold none in his life – so just go ahead and paint. One must be loyal to their heart and recognition will follow.

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Essentia series", 2015, contemporary watercolor, 30 x 42 cm.
2015    exhibition alongside Guillermo Grebe Larraín and Soledad Omeñaca in Atelier4 Gallery
2015    Group show in Mundo Sur Gallery, “Alec iacta est”
2015    Solo show in Cultural Center of Ñuñoa
2015    Group show in Bussi Gallery in celebration of its 40th anniversary
2014    Group show "GLI DEI ANTICHI” in Chilean-US Cultural institute of Valapraiso, Chile 
2014    Group show in Equinox Festival in Matta House,
2014    Solo show in Cultural Center of Recoleta during “Uruguay week”
2014    Group show – “Essence of bread” in Arte Trece Gallery
2014    Group show –“Encounters” in Siglo XX Yolanda Hurtado Gallery
2013    Group show in Espacio 10 Gallery (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
2013    Group show “Imagen Joven”, Museum of Fine Arts in Paraná, Argentina
2013    Solo show in Oops! Gallery
2013    Group show in “Arte Joven MAJO 2013” at Romulo Raggio Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2013    feature and tour with Latin American Annual Art Review No. 17 (Argentina & Uruguay)
2012    Group show in Fifth Visual Art Fair, Fobeju Foundation
2011- 2012     tour “country” with national prize winner Guillermo Núñez, Mexican painter Uriel Parker and Chilean painter Martín Astorga Camus throughout Chile, receiving over 7,000 visitors
2010-2011      creation of project “Artivism for Peace” (affiliated with UNA Art Miles project in the US), including community art/intervention workshops for children and mural painting in southern Chile
1999-2008  Annual solo show of paintings, drawings and sculptures as part of “De la Vuelta Group” in Uruguay, along with concert tours and community events
2005 Group show in A.P.E.U en A.F.E. Colonia (art festival held in Colonia Department), with works making into the permanent exhibition throughout the year
2005 Solo show in Torres Garcia Hall of Consulate of Argentina in Colonia
2005 Solo show in Four Seasons Resort, Colonia
1999-2005 Annual group show with studio art students of professor Anselmo Cabrebra, Cultural Center of Carmelo
2004 Book cover design for “Miseria” by Uruguayan poet Maximiliano Garcia.
2004 Group show “Homage to Torres Garcia” in Plaza Artigas with professor Anselmo Cabrera
2004 personal show in Cultural Center of Carmelo

Mauricio Paz Viola, "Essentia series", 2015, contemporary watercolor, 30 x 42 cm.