The “Ba Zasa” exhibition presented at the Mexican Culture Seminar (SCM)shows the recent work of the Mexican artistRicardo Mazal (1950), in collaboration with the Zapotec artist Moisés Martínez Velasco, a a weaver, producer,, and marketer of silk in San Pedro Cajonos, as well as work created openly.
“The last time I exhibited in Mexico was in 2020, an exhibition at the Estación Indianilla Cultural Center, and it was a series called ‘Prague’. Then the pandemic came and I couldn’t exhibit, and and then this new series emerged, where I worked for an exhibition that took place in October last yearat the Sundaram Tagore gallery in New York,” said Ricardo Mazal.
The installation presented at Presidente Masaryk Gallery # 526 until March 17consists of large and medium-format paintings created for the space, along with a smaller-scale series of silk paintings glued to aluminum.
In an interview about the origin of these dyed silks, Ricardo Mazal recalled that in the context of the pandemic he found some videos of flocks of birds, where he began to work on screenshot images withhe purpose of abstracting the movement and converting the masses. intoto painting movements.
For the artist, these strokes have a sense of migration and movement, “in the broad and personal sense of the word.”
“I’ve been outside Mexico for 30 years, first in Barcelona, then in New York and then in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I have my studio and my home,” he explained. Back in Mexico, Ricardo Mazal has been coming and going for about a year and a half and plans to stay.
“More and more I settled here to work and live with my daughters.”
“He made the silk, from the worm to the ink, the whole process. I decided to work with him and then find a way to intervene in silks,” he said.
The project will be difficult, according to Ricardo Mazal, “to respect the silk and not change it even a little and still be able to intervene in it so that there is a balance between his work and my intervention.”
Throughout his career, the Mexican artist considers himself a character who changes techniques, “depending on what I do, on the series I paint, I have to change, not only the series, but the technique for the series.” new too.”
One of the techniques that he uses and that characterizes him is the use of pure, very transparent colors. “The result of that is that many people tell me that it looks like fabric, some fabric or silk. And yes, although it is not my intention to copy or create silks with paint, my intention is color, transparency , movement, texture.”
That’s why he looked for Moisés, Mazal explained, “as what I accidentally painted – silks without meaning – and then I looked for this artisan and that’s how the series happened,” he added .
-What is your position on the art vs crafts discussion and the place with textiles?
“What is art and what is not, everything is a continuum, there is no place or line and from here to there it is art and from here to here it is not art. As long as the process is creative, for me, it is art. If the process in craft automatically and in production, maybe not. The important thing is creativity, that’s what defines for me if it’s an art.
Previously, Ricardo Mazal presented this collaboration in New York. SCM is the second place where “Ba Zasa” is shown, although the work is new because the pieces from the first one are mostly sold. “I will be doing the third reading of this series in San Francisco, in October,” he said.
Likewise, this series is also in Zona Maco, where the Mexican artist will be represented by the Sundaram Tagore Gallery (New York, USA, Singapore, London).
As with other current projects, Ricardo Mazal expects that he will soon be able to turn his work into a virtual catalog.