I am a painter who lives in the mountains in the rural Milpa Alta area of Mexico, in the village of San Salvador Cuauhtenco. Here, my studio sits in the midst of cornfields and forested areas. In this remote area, I have no urban services of water, electricity, sewage, streets and/or highways. I am removed from all news of the outside world and from viewing artistic trends and commercial themes. This distance has allowed me, without prejudice, to reflect and mature in silence and to isolate my ideas about what is significant which for me is my art and specifically my paintings.
I remember that on one occasion, an art magazine was delivered into my hands. In this magazine, I saw articles about art; conceptual art, object art, installations and about essential works of current contemporary art. I reviewed this magazine, and nowhere in it did I see an artistic image, or mention of a painter. In this moment, I felt like the monk in Nietsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, who because of his isolation had not been made aware that God was dead. In just this manner, I thought that perhaps painting was dead. From this moment forward, I ceased to preoccupy myself with artistic vanguards, and began to reflect in earnest upon the need to be art and of the function my paintings needed to play in my life and in society.
From this point in time, images of death, of women giving birth, hearts, brains, masks with penises, large breasted women, vegetables, snakes, flowers and cactus began to emerge in my paintings. All of these themes, this imagery, emerged out of the need to create a world of ideas and concepts with a scale as grand as the duality of life and death. This theme has been present since the times of ancient cultures such as the Olmeca, the Teotihuacana, the Toltec and the Mexica. These cultures were closely tied to the agricultural cycle. Life and death depended on the benevolence of the gods of water, sun, moon, mother earth and fire.
As a child in the rural farmlands of Mexico, I observed the life cycle of the corn, from the preparation of the soil through the harvest, much as my ancient ancestors living in this same area had. I witnessed the birth and the death of the crops I lived among.
This fact has influenced the conception of my paintings. In them we see the duality of life and death. I have returned to this theme from the beginning through completion of my paintings. That is to say, that my paintings contain the same cycle of preparation, planting, cultivation and harvest, of birth and life. The imagery in my paintings is conceived and permeated with this timeless, universal concept of duality. In the coming years, this concept will continue to guide my work, as this allows me a very wide range of possibilities within which to work.
Currently, my painting is in a period of complete maturity in both theme and in the realization and execution. In my opinion, I'm making significant contributions to the art world. At this moment one of my greatest concerns is that my paintings be absolutely creative, no matter whether they are decorative or repulsive and can even be painted with different styles as subject matter dictates. It is my intention through my paintings, to completely seduce those who view them. With what I am creating enrich my life and the lives of those who see my paintings. This is my contribution to the contemporarary art world.
Rubén Rosas Gallery l Top