Bluebee met Jesús Hdez-Güero to talk about his opinion about art galleries and how European art is different from Latin American.
By Stefan Finsinger
Jesús is a conceptual artist from Havana. For him, art is the best language to communicate in life. It is vital for him as blood or oxygen. The reason he is in this world.
Your work always starts with an idea. The medium is secondary and the message is always essential. His previous works included paintings, collages, videos and installations.
Jesús sees himself as a political animal and is very vocal in his works of art. Coming from a Latin American origin and having lived most of this life on this continent, he says that there was always enough content to take advantage of.
His passion for art actually began when he watched the boats from the window of his room in Havana that overlooks the sea. He captured these moments and drew ships in the ocean. His grandmother was a very early supporter and pushed him to consider art as his profession. Without this momentum, I wouldn't have known about the art world to really consider a career in this field.
While at the art academy, Jesús's work was even more settled and quieter. This changed when he entered the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) and later matured when he moved to Venezuela, where he also obtained a representation of a gallery (former Office # 1) well respected at that time. Unfortunately, this gallery had to close and mutate another. Jesús moved to Colombia in 2017, after 7 years of living in Venezuela, where he worked primarily as an art teacher and made his personal exhibition: Proteus Syndrome. Since then it has not been represented by galleries. But he does not have a gallery at this time does not affect him to continue his artistic research and continue creating. This allows you to avoid the mainstream and freely develop your artistic style to another level.
Jesús understands that galleries are important in the art world and that most of the important artists in history were represented by some. Despite not being represented by a gallery, you can live on art and other works derived from it. However, art critics, curators and international art professionals appreciate the new artistic expression of his voice with political influence.
In addition, he thinks that the relationship between a gallery and an artist is normally complicated and the interests are not always the same. But, he is open to sign with a gallery, if the perfect opportunity arises. A gallery is a good platform to showcase new projects and, therefore, can develop art and ideas.
Sometimes they open the doors to collectors. For Jesús, collectors are important to support the ideas of artists, their production and career. It is important that an artist be included in a good collection and this is an important part of the circuit. It's fundamental.
Currently, art collectors mainly find out about it through their international exhibitions, social networks, the website, among other alternative forms. But most of the time, Jesús meets them at events, exhibitions and inaugurations. Sometimes, through friends or acquaintances.
Jesús has observed that collages and their previous engravings are more popular with their broader base of collectors. While the most expressive pieces, such as a video of 8 shot bullets that cross a Venezuelan flag or an installation of a bent flagpole that places the Venezuelan flag on the floor, resonates more with art critics and awards, the latter being a finalist in the important Laguna Prize Art, to be held soon at the Arsenal di Venice.
Since he moved to Europe, a year ago, he can see a big difference in the artistic scene and the themes. For him, Spain is a kind and safe country, although not without political controversy, but different from its not-so-distant past. Currently, it still reflects mainly on issues of a Latin American culture, but does not rule out an evolution to a further exploration of the European context in the future.
His advice is to be true to yourself, to your thoughts and ideas about art and the world. The obligation and responsibility of the artist is to be honest with his thoughts about life and its existence and make them public through his art.
Interview published in Bluebee Magazine, Volume 3, London 2020. pp. 14-15.