Six questions for
Andrés Mario de Varona

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Andrés Mario de Varona.

Artist Andrés Mario de Varona
Lives in La Cienega, New Mexico
Website https://andresmario.com

How do you describe your own art practice?

I would describe my art practice as a three-way intersection between photography, installation, and performance. This practice is a tool to enter the collective human experience, as well as an access point into myself. It is a way for me to measure cycles of indignation and of healing, as well as my growth as a human being.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

The major concern in my work is understanding ourselves (myself and my collaborators) as a living memorial, meaning we are enacting and becoming testimonies to events that once happened in our past lives. By viewing ourselves as a living memorial, we acknowledge a person’s history, what they are going through now, and how they will be moving into their future. In other words, our bodies serve as personal monuments – representing our dedication to time spent healing, accepting and transforming.

What was your first experience with art?

My first experience with art was around the age of 17 when I received my great uncle’s Minolta X-700. It opened me up to a world that I was unable to acknowledge until then. Another similar feeling occurred when I discovered I could make photographs instead of take them, it was then that I realized I was an artist above all else.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My greatest source of inspiration comes from people who have continued to live life and push themselves despite age and all sorts of defeats.

What do you need in order to create your work?

In order for me to work I need space. I shook hands with New Mexico in 2019 and have felt at home ever since then. In a city, there are all kinds of obstacles and loopholes you need to work through before you can actually get to the artwork. But in the desert, you can do anything at any moment. Once you have your idea the only thing stopping you is yourself.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Most recently, I saw a film titled Sweet Bean directed by Naomi Kawase that I loved and was deeply touched by. I am also constantly surprised by Andy Goldsworthy’s work, even though I am quite familiar with it. There is a film titled Rivers and Tides that always gets me.

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