We had the good fortune of connecting with Veronica Ibargüengoitia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Veronica, what makes you happy? Why?
I am a visual artist and what makes me happy is the creative process in my work and go for running. Those two activities somehow are very engaged in my creative and artistic process. I usually run at least 1 hour daily but can do it for longer periods. In that period of time is when my compositions are resolved. I think the repetition of the sound of my steps helps my mind connect and then it finds a place free of distraction where it is very easy for me to construct images in my head. My creative process is equally satisfaying as running. I can be working in my Studio for 7 hours straight without stopping. Usually I work simultaneously in 3 different ideas. I work in sketches, built up works and research projects all related with the same body of work. I think of them as stages using one to feed the other one. I need the construction part to introduce the three dimensionality to my work this stage is more active and loud. My sketches are passive and quiet usually done with color pencils and watercolors, using paper I don’t see them as permanent works more like a transition. Painting is when both worlds come together.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I will say that I am still in my journey this is a never ending one. It was and it is a matter of patience and commitment to your work and practice. Once I read this quote “Everyone is driven by their own talent, heart and instinct. Stop looking what people is doing because then, you will lose clarity of thought. You have to own your decisions and own who you are”, this advice was the best given to me and I share with any artist that asks for one. We are in this field because part of our personna is linked completely with our creative nature. This desire of constant evolving and making is part of us. We have to believe in that and be true to that, no matter how many repetitions are needed to get to one piece that will be unique for us. When that happens will worth all the effort, the endless hours of experimentation or the time waiting. There is not such a thing for me as a muse whispering at your ear for inspiration you have to work, you have to make and you have to believe in your talent and your decisions. My works refers to Architecture and spaces and part of my process is a huge visual library that I have been building across my life. I take pictures of any interesting space, corner, view, no matter where I am and the type of building. Sometimes I shoot really old constructions others very contemporary. When I plan a new series of work, I try to focus on one main idea and start searching in my library for all the images that will respond to that. I build from that my compositions. I may use one, two or even three images for one single painting. I edit every image by hand enlarging or reducing some parts and then crop the image to the proportion that will work for me. I reduce that image to a frame of lines and keep on editing to its minimal and translate to the canvas. At the end the final composition or painting not necessarily resembles to the original source. Often, I keep hints of color of each image, but my palette is not determined by my pictures. At this moment I am working with the collaboration of many people that are sharing their images for my library and probably is what I am aiming to pursue a body of work of visions of many people regardless the difference among them I am searching for a whole harmony between them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I will divide the week in 3 downtown days and 3 long drive visits. Downtown days will be an early breakfast at Tiny boxwoods excellent coffee and fresh baked pastries, I will include a visit to the next door plant nursery. They have an exquisite taste for planters and pruning shrubs in an elegant way. A visit to the Menil Drawing Center, the architecture of this building is part of the treat and the outdoor gardens invite to relax and enjoy. I will propose lunch at Menil Bistro you can enjoy a tapas kind of bite and we will finish up at The Menil Collection the surrealist permanent collection is one of the best ones. Second day we will start later on the morning with a walk at the Buffalo Bayou and lunch at Dunlavy after the lunch if there is an exhibition at the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. In this place they play with the lights and reflections which makes this space a very different one. I will have a french dinner at Artisans any entree you have here is awesome. For the third day we will visit the Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science this will be a different way to experience natural habitats, we will walk to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston have lunch at the cafeteria and enjoy a salad with exotic mixes and a good expresso con panna with a biscotti or a pastry. We will visit a temporary exhibition and we will have dinner at Burger Joint at Montrose. I am already thinking of the BBQ burger with sweet potato fies and garlic aioli dipping sauce. My next three days will be trip days, I will visit NASA is a long way drive but worth it, is a classic visit for outsiders we will have meals over there. Next day we will visit either Galveston Pier or Kemah have fun at their roller coasters, eat fresh catch fish and last day we will visit Historic Old Town Spring walk thorugh that tiny town with old constructions and have a taste of what was the life at that time. We will eat a traditional Texan meal there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
From The Glassell School of Arts Houston my mentors Francesca Fuchs and Laura August and professors and dear friends, Patrick Palmer, Brian Portman and Arielle Mason.
Thanks to Artadia Organization NY for their support, advise and mentorship specially to India Lovejoy, Delilah Montoya, Karen Navarro and all the Artadia team and fellows
A huge shoutout to my friend and great artist Lorena Morales
My LAWAH and Block XX friends and artists colleagues a big shoutout for their continuous encouragement and support the Art community in Houston is the best.
Glade Gallery and Joseph Staley their gallery space and planning is exceptional.
Photographs by Rick Wells