Among the many cultural highlights of ART SAN DIEGO was the Spotlight Artist Program, featuring four visual artists, two designers, and two “LaunchPad” artists. Spotlight Artists: Daniel Ruanova (TJ/MX), Mauricio Esquivel (MX), Hugo Lugo (SIN/MX), Tuca Vieira (SP/BRA) was extremely well received by our audience.
Daniel Ruanova. Tijuana BC, MX
“Daniel Ruanova works with a variety of materials, often transforming canvases and found objects into unexpected forms. Despite his interest in drawing from popular culture, Ruanova is keenly aware of the formal concerns in painting and sculpture, and works to push the traditional boundaries of these media through his unconventional use of materials.” – Abstract from Exhibition Catalogue: Strange New World / Art and Design from Tijuana
Tuca Vieira. São Paulo, BR
“As someone who considers Berlin a spiritual home (my paternal grandparents were married in Berlin’s Gedächtniskirche, before it was ruined) and whose mother grew up in South America, I find the Brazilian photographer Tuca Vieira’s vision of Berlin quite an alluring cocktail. Vieira, who won the 2010 Premio Porto Seguro, captured these images of old and new Berlin at night during a recent artist’s residency, lending a tropical touch to the rigidity and formality of German structures.” – Caroline Hirsch
Hugo Lugo. Sinaloa, MX
“Regardless of the theme or tenor Hugo Lugo’s drawings, paintings and objects attend, I would venture in saying that his grand theme has to do with the construction of memory, or better yet, the way memory feeds from perception; his work dwells with the persistent quality of memories, for his work nurtures from the smallest things that happen in our daily lives…” – Xavier Moyssen
Mauricio Esquivel. El Salvador
…“The formal resource is currently the last of the decisions regarding the work of art. However, although this premise is constant in the proposal of many artists, sometimes, they found in the concrete object motivation: a research resource itself. This is one of the main features that has much of the production of Mauricio Esquivel (El Salvador, 1983), who has become a currency (coin) not only in the media of his work, but in the most ironic symbolic capital. ()
Although it has used other formal areas, is his Displacement line series, proposals from the quarter dollar currency coin, which has allowed him to shape some type of formal certainty. This kind of certainty, may come from the preconceived concrete object and by the culture, does not limit its ability to comment about other formal art structures. So beyond the objectual dynamic, the works of this series by Mauricio Esquivel also imposed from the drawing as conceptual rhetoric.” – Astiasarán, Clara (Havana, Cuba 1973 -). Parable of Gide. Mauricio Esquivel: another counterfeiter
Jonathan Ruiz de la Peña & César Vázquez. Tijuana, BC, MX
NODO is an artist-run gallery established in Tijuana, BC in July 2010. It’s Co-Directors and Founders are by two young and promising local artists, César Vázquez and Jonathan Ruiz de la Peña (both born in Tijuana, BC, in 1986). The idea for establishing NODO derived from an ephemeral exhibition project that took place in Tijuana in the midst of the worst economical-political and cultural crisis the city (country/binational region/world) has yet endured.
Launchpad Artists: César Vázquez and Jonathan Ruiz de la Peña — had a highly successful weekend receiving great reviews from museum directors and gallery owners, and selling almost all their works on display! Since they were present during the four day event, the audience had the opportunity to talk directly to them, get to know them better and hear the artists talk about their own work.
Vieira’s mysterious night-shots of deserted Brutalist Architecture in Berlin, Germany; Esquivel’s poetic wanderings about migration processes and symbolic-cultural value (re)assessments; Ruanova playing with violent icons and Lugo still enamoring us with his lonely human battles, composed a solid yet humanly fragile dialogue around central themes in the contemporary art scene.