Self-taught artist Mauricio Ezequiel Paz Viola (b 1985; Carmelo, Colonia, Uruguay) embarked on his artistic journey early in life. Inspired by Matta, Miro and other pioneers, Paz Viola’s works are a constant quest to represent and re-create personal, inner worlds where objects and shapes seem to take on lives of their own, inviting the viewer to give them new meanings and use them to reflect the viewer’s own, inner truths.
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 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 in 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…
However, it was not until my teenage years that I began my artistic training. I studied at 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.
My work focuses 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 a 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.
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.
Paz Viola is self-taught. Exhibiting his work since age 14, Paz Viola has shown his works in the Consulate of Argentina in Colonia, Uruguay as well as participated in collective exhibitions in Romulo Raggio Museum of Buenos Aires Fine Arts Museum of Parana in Argentina, as well as a plethora of art galleries and cultural centers. Paz Viola’s artworks have also been featured in art books, magazines and articles around the world such as Latin American Art Annual Review (Argentina), Hidden Treasure Art Magazine (UK) and have graced private collections in the United States, Panama, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Spain, The United Kingdom and France
His artwork is now available online on www.goglobalart.com.
EXHIBITIONS & SOLO SHOWS
5 August 2015 |
IL MEGLIO DI NOI Group Exhibition “The Best of Us” by the Italo-Chilean group Achiart, Hall Building, Valparaiso.
6 August 2015 |
ACHIART Open Show “The Divine Comedy, the 7 deadly sins” in the center Culturale Scuola Italiana, SANTIAGO.
30 July 2015 |
Open Door Group show at 561 Vaisse Emillio Workshop.
May 2015 |
Cultural decorative panels “The hands that want to reach the sun” Santiago de Chile
April 13 to May 31, 2014 |
Collective exhibition “Encounters in Twentieth Century”
14 April – 27 March |
The Italian Cultural Institute of Santiago and the Chilean Association of Italian Artists (Achiart) mounted an exhibition celebrating the 40-year history of the Gallery Bucci.
9 – 24 April 2014 |
“Water Worlds” at the house of culture of Providencia, Irarrázaval 4055
November 2014 |
Group show at the Italian Ristorante “La Finestra”
November 27 – December 26 2014 |
“La Bellezza dello Sguardo” Scuola Italiana, Santiago,
October 10 2014 |
Group show in Valparaiso Chile “GLI DEI ANTICHI”
Equinox Festival 2014, Group Show
11 to August 30 2014 |
Recoleta Cultural Center Santiago de Chile
August 4 2014 |
Art Gallery Thirteen “Essence of Pan” organized by Lesaffre Group, Santiago de Chile
Show at Gallery Space Ten Buenos Aires Argentina
Young Group Show Image, Museum of Fine Arts Dr. Pedro E. Martínez.Paraná, Entre Rios Argentina
Solo exhibition “The Nothing in the Void” in Gallery Space Oops! Santiago de Chile
Collective exhibition of young art, Museum MAJO Romulo Raggio, Buenos Aires Argentina
PUBLICATIONS & PRESS
- Full interview by Vilches Felipe Rubio, for Artifact International magazine.
- Publication in the Latin American Directory of Arts
- Book cover illustration of The Dominion Fallen
- Illustration of book cover love and thoughts of the writer Paz Mirna Viola