Isauro Huizar

Studio Visit

Isauro Huizar (Culiacan, 1985) is one of the most remarkable and productive artists from his generation. Educated in architecture, his production is as multifaceted as accurate working not only as an artist but also as museographer, designer and even curator across many several projects. Huizar’s approach is always meticulous, systematic and well researched. He barely leaves anything to chance while always tacking care of the most minor details and consciously looking for the best registration of each of this works. 

His uprising is certainly referential to understand his work, being born in a city in the north of Mexico not only known for its food and beaches but also for being the birth of drug cartels whose actions have shaped the life of millions in the region. Back to Mexico City, Huizar shaped his career at the renowned local centre for art professional development called SOMA and his since graduation he has constantly worked across many spaces and fields. His short but constant vocation as an artist can be devided in what academic Juan Pablo Ramos from the National Auntonomous University of Mexico considers five essential discourses: scale alterations, collective inventories, the frenzy need to order the chaotic, the reinvention of the domestic, and the agnarosis of routine.

Huizar is always generous in sharing his references not only in person but also through his influential Instagram account @isaurohuizar which not only show his works but also his direct references and other writings. He also host @abstractpaintingmx a platform for the promotion on abstract Mexican painting. While we converse on his influences and go around his studio close to the historic centre, it is impossible not to mention his most recent participation at  Untitled with Galería Enrique Guerrero. 

How do you think your training as an architect has had an impact on your creative production?

I understand the practice of contemporary art similar to architecture. In the sense that, as an architect you do not necessarily have to execute the door, the wall or the window personally; it is necessary to articulate the total project and coordinate its execution; consequently, you declare or express an idea or position based on that project. 

In practical terms, part of my methodology can find parallels with the practice of architecture: to formulate an idea, to explore its limits, to review the existing context and resources, to make sketches (analogue or digital), to plan and to review its implementation, to execute considering (again) context and resources. And finally to test this idea and its relevance, being crossed by the passage of time.

You are one of the most productive and congruent artists I know, you are always working on several projects at the same time. Could you describe how your creative process works and how you develop in the studio?

I understand it as a productive procrastination, alternate between projects and tasks apparently outside the projects, I execute according to priorities of time and space. This way of working helps me to rest from one project to continue working on another, even when “working” on another project involves “doing nothing”, or reading, or walking.

I help a lot of organizational structures to produce and store ideas, I also resort to work routines (and life) that I am constantly updating. My study can be summarized in a digital file and another analog as the main instruments of work, this helps me not to depend on tools and means of work. The analogue file is based on jotters of: Notes, Production and Concepts.

Besides thinking my process linearly, that is, beginning, development and end. I like to think that the progress of my work is a palpitation, a contraction and constant expansion. A system of cells that live and grow each according to the attention and resources offered by the context.

The first series of work focused on experimentation with the order and display systems that reflect on the environment in which they develop. What objective do these interventions have in modifying the places we inhabit or where we produce? Why are they necessary?

I like to think that these works offer a new reading of what is already there but goes unnoticed, which suggests questioning whether the current situation is efficient or can be improved, it is an invitation for the viewer to participate, not playfully, but being aware of their reality, of its surroundings, aspire to reach a kind of Satori *.

* It is a moment of no-mind and total presence, a Japanese term that designates enlightenment in Zen Buddhism.

Your most recent series of pictorial work is constructed from the notion of the limit and its repercussion everything that is considered as “space”, what is your definition of space and how do you approach it in this series?

In that project the space is indicated in an abstract way, the space arises precisely from the division and the initial limits of the support. I like to think that it is a visual description of my way of working: configurable systems that adapt, linking the general with the specific, the exterior with the interior.

For me, space has to do more with time, a moment, an event that is perceived, that is, space is already there, it is a constant, it is one who artificially points it out, divides, appropriates, uses at a certain moment.

Why is it that so far all the pieces of that project are named from the scientific nomenclature of birds?

Not at all I consider the paintings to be illustrations of the birds, the little link that exists is due to the shades of the feathers: black white and gold. It is somewhat arbitrary, a recent taste for learning about birds and sharing it with the viewer. Anecdotally, the decision came during an investigation about Nezahualcóyotl and his fondness for poetry, flowers and birds.

Constantly in my projects there is a confrontation of rational and structured systems against accidents and uncertainty. There is also an aspiration to find links between fiction and reality, between the artificial and the natural.