On the occasion of his solo show at galeria OMR, we interviewed Mexican artist Jose Davila to discover more about his art and practice.
The exhibition Mecánica de lo inestable is on view from February 6th to March 24th, 2018.
Carla Ingrasciotta: Could you tell us about your upcoming show at OMR? Which are the artworks you’re exhibiting?
Jose Dávila: On the occasion of this show, I’m exhibiting sculpture on the two levels of the gallery. Downstairs, I worked with elements such as steel beams, boulders and a red ballon, that hold and balance each other, articulating all the elements in-situ. These works deal with the force of gravity as part of the sculptoric equation. Finding a state of rest through balance and equilibrium.
I was interested in creating a spatial composition that does only rely on placement. The metal beams form diagonals, which, by the movement of the spectator in the exhibition space, can suddenly present often dramatic angles and perspectives. There is a poetic notion about a possible rupture. A tense calm.
C.I.: Which are your favorite tools of artistic exploration and could you tell us about your practice?
J.D.: My favorite tool of artistic exploration is without a doubt, pushing the limits of materials. My practice involves having around different elements, which I choose because of its symbolism and materiality…having them without a purpose and then integrating them as I go along, in an essay or excersice of placing, displacing, taking away, putting up again, just llike a juggler in a certain way until I find the moment where I know it works. Its like Jenga with a mix of geometric forms, found materials and symbolic elements. I like to draw sketches of ideas and use them as a starting point only, because after that, very seldom the result is exactly like the sketch. I like to improvise along the way.
C.I.: How would you define your concept of art and of being an artist?
J.D.: I think the artist must construct its environment, must define its own rules and create its own universe and rules of engagement. Its like building your own mountain to climb. I think art is a form of knowledge and is ultimately an act of freedom. This freedom is essential to expand the notion of what we see, what we know and what we understand.
C.I.: How is your typical day as an artist? Do you have a studio in Guadalajara? Is this open to visit?
J.D.: My studio is not open to the public but I do like to receive studio visits, because it is not a gallery or an institution, so the work is presented in its origin and I think that is a good thing for people to see and understand. I barely have a typical day, since my activities differ often and are not structured. My studio is in indeed in Guadalajara, at the barrio artesanos.
C.I.: Any upcoming project we could look forward to seeing?
J.D.: The finalization of the public sculpture I’m doing in LA for PST, happening at end of May, where then a cube that was fragmented and spread across LA will come back together as a cube again, in the same place where it started, with all the marks and imprints of what happened to the single pieces when they were alone, should be interesting to see.
I’m also having a solo show in Copenhagen with Nicolai Wallner in June and Travesía Cuatro in Madrid in September and after that two solo shows at the Philara Collection in Dusseldorf and at Joseph Kai 3 space in Vienna.
- Jose Davila, Photo by Saúl Becerra
- José Davila, The act of perseverance, 2018. © Agustín Arce. Courtesy of the artist and OMR gallery