MARIANELA DE LA HOZ
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My artwork is created in the essence of the aesthetic literary movement called Hemofiction in which blood, consciousness, irony, time and space are its structural axes. The dominant instincts of the characters I depict help them find their inner lives; an encounter with their individual identities.
My work is nurtured by literary discourse, not to produce illustrations for texts, but as a source from where the internal struggles of human beings emerge. In literature I find those extremely unusual visual codes that allow me to depict the human side that we persist in hiding, the "unpleasant" face of real life. The stories drawn from immediate familiar surroundings, where vicious or perverted characteristics, seemingly unnoticed but present, are relevant and induce shock in the viewer of these portraits of what we all really are.
Inside this pictorial and literary world strict boundaries do not exist, the contents I find there unleash my imagination. As a result I am given an inexhaustible source of imagery. I deal with the material and immaterial, the ordinary and extraordinary. I think about the knowledge we have of ourselves, the way we live, love, and dream. In my work I talk about love, death, hope, the present and the past. Above all, the visual iconography that I work with is terrifying with magical details, zoomorphism, disproportions and exaggerations. The results reveal realistic characters that speak openly about themselves, without guilt, myths or commonality.
In order to express mankind's problems I search for reactions, I dig for the feelings, hopes, anxieties, and secrets. I investigate and draw them out in order to recover that childish fantasy for the adult, who still has the urge for magic. I need to depict "stories" that will satisfy these perverse tendencies through fantasy. I find specific models to express them as a child's imagination would.
I use black humor and sarcasm, to express violence, destruction and sadism, through fantasy and I call it "White Violence." Within small formats I portray characters with perfect teeth, whose hair is properly combed and, only when necessary, a tiny drop of blood for an extreme situation.
The content of my work is based in the reality of the world in which we live. To avoid the issues of these troubled times, I believe is to be decadent. Many artists choose not to challenge or upset viewers, instead flattering them. The result is devoid of challenge or catalyst to the examination of the human experience. The result of which might provide a cathartic experience. Instead people are led to follow pleasure, fashion or prestige. My intent is to provoke the viewer as a total being, not pure sensibility, nor pure reasoning.
The paintings, because of their size and detailed brushstrokes, are to be viewed up close in order to examine human gestures, the environment, and symbols painted with delicate precise brush strokes; but above all, to trap the spectator as in a spider web. The text is integral to the whole composition, reminiscent of ancient manuscripts, with allusions or cryptic messages about the imagery. Every visual element is related, possesses its own life, even the inert ones.
My art could best be described as reality portraiture set in fantastic theatrical scenes, an intimate and sometimes terrifying mirror in which I look at myself and you look at yourself, perhaps finding some personal connection in that nearness.
--Marianela de la Hoz, 2008