Alfredo Arreguín is a famous painter with many rewards. He lives and works in Seattle but his paintings are full of inspiration from Mexican culture. His art is sensual and fulfilled by beautiful colors.
How did You start artistic journey?
My professional training took place at the University of Washington, in Seattle, where I got my BA and MFA degrees. However, my journey into the world of art began when I was a young child and my maternal grandfather convinced the authorities of the School of Fine Arts in Morelia, my hometwon and the capital of the state of Michoacán, to let me take classes there, along with the grown-up students.
What Art means to You?
Art is life. it is a vessel that allows me to express my perception of the world, my sense of beauty and my social concerns–which, i believe, are shared by many other persons around the world.
What is Your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from many sources. Clearly, Mother Nature has always occupied an important position in this regard, which is tied up to my early experiences in Mexico. In addition, the patterns used in Mexican arts and crafts—ceramics, textiles, tiles, masks, etc.—also have been present in the development of my mental and artistic imaginary from the very beginning. Other elements that I can mention are indigenous myths and legends, the expressions of other artists from various cultures, iconic historical figures, and the works of poets and other writers, some of whom are my friends. Obviously, my surroundings are also a big source of inspiration, as my series of paintings on the Pacific Northwest clearly show.
What do You like to say by Your Art?
I prefer that other people say something about my works. I only hope that they will like my paintings and find them compelling.
What is Your favorite subject or topic in art?
I suppose that the natural world, especially the rain forest, but life and nature in general, are my favourite subjects. Certainly, the critics have noted that my most readily identifiable works are those making up my JUNGLE series. Nature is also present in other series, including my MADONNAS, my ICONS and, as already stated, the PACIFIC NORTHWEST paintings.
What branch of art is the closest to Your heart?
Painting. Even though I’ve tried my hand at drawing and ceramic sculpture in different moments, the vast majority of my works are oil paintings.
I love Your colourful composition, what meaning have this feeries of colours for You and Your art?
Colour and patterns are two fundamental elements in all of my compositions. In a certain way, many of the colors I use come from my cultural heritage. But I also use them to try to capture the mood of the particular subject I am treating at any given point, whether in a jungle or a portrait.
On Your paintings You create deep and sensual surface and on the reproductions they make illusion of mosaic or kind of fabric. How do You achieve that?
All of my paintings are composed on the basis of a grid. On top of that grid there are several layers of paint. The paintings in which I adhere more to that framework, i.e., those in the series denominated PATTERNS, are perhaps the ones in which that mosaic effect is more palpable. But I also use the tile patterns in the forground of many of my JUNGLES, and also in the MADONNAS and ICONS. I guess that the manipulation of the patterns in combination with the use of color tones to create depth and perpective translates into a flatter view in the reproductions, thereby accentuating that mosaic or textile illusion.
When I am looking on Your paintings I consider if there is any inspiration of Mexican culture? Do you feel connected with Mexican culture?
Yes, as stated above, my native Mexican culture, history, and landscape are all essential components of my artistic expression.
Artistic success is mostly talent or hard work?
I think that a minimum amount of talent is necessary to be successful. The rest of it is hard work and full commitment to your craft. On the other hand, even though it may be physically taxing, if you have passion for what you do, it doesn’t really feel like hard work.
Any advices for young artists beginning their professional life?
Work hard, find your own voice, and persevere.
Interview with Alfredo Arreguin by Paulina Kamińska/ Artophilia