Being here with you
Jill Dawsey and Anthony Graham
Juan Villavicencio has dedicated his artistic practice to the exploration of clay. His ceramic sculptures interrogate the boundaries between high and low, between fine art and craft. Inspired by the curio shops and souvenirs in Tijuana and the border region of northern Mexico, Villavicencio considers the role these crafts have in constructing, representing, and commodifying notions of Mexican identity. His work playfully deploys visual elements sampled from pop culture, traditional ceramic patterns, the natural world, and even graffiti, creating disjunctive and humorous juxtapositions with his materials. The artist often contrasts ideas of authenticity associated with handmade ceramics with the reality that many so-called crafts are mass-produced, bearing little relationship to the region.
In his Frutos series, Villavicencio creates intimate works composed of simple, biomorphic forms. With a nod to the organic, earthen qualities of the clay, sprouts and blooms emerge out of the smooth surface of the sculptures, as if they themselves are alive.
Texto publicado en el catálogo de la exhibición Being here with you / Estando aquí contigo, 2018.