Transformations: A dialogue with Horacio Quiroz

With: Juan Pablo Torres Muñiz
The body as cause and stage of a confrontation, both the territory of a dispute and a territory in dispute. The violence is manifest in the abrupt transformation of the members, of the general layout of this “new body” in process of change. Movement. 
Paradoxically, Horacio’s images look transparent as representations of a constant change; it’s in the acceptance of this change wherein true serenity resides. 
His work disturbs, challenges. He allows it to tell its own truth. And meanwhile he converses with a quiet voice.
More lights…

Well, yes, painting… It couldn’t be otherwise.
Since childhood I had this innate interest in drawing. I remember myself at a early age making and making drawings; thus my days went by. I saw that my friends had other hobbies; I locked myself to draw. And it was a great way of learning. At the end, well, I became a painter, a self taught one, and to draw at an early age has been a very good foundation.
Much later I studied graphic design and worked in advertisement for 12 years. Only five years ago I resigned in order to paint full-time. I never did oil painting. I knew that I was able, but didn’t devote myself to it. I did wish it very much, though; something inside me, like a worm, leaded me to explore new means to express all that which I had to say.
The own voice. The proper eye. The vision, that in the end establishes its proper language, depends on the way reality –or rather a facet or aspect of it– is perceived, processed, transformed through ourselves, shaping in return a differentiated beam: a new peculiar, eloquent light.
I resigned and locked myself to learn to paint. It was a very pleasant process and at the same time a very painful and tiresome one…
(On the other hand, the complexity of the personal prism should impose itself to the natural complication of the way. This requires time, and pain. All which is learned must be useful for walking ahead, with new questions. In this resides the difference between to nurture oneself, savouring the sweet and [more often] the bitter and to gobble, without much chewing, inevitably indigesting oneself.)
I was rebuilding my life and doing that which I wanted to do. And, then, I was 38 years old, not a kid anymore.
The key is to encounter a path, not the particular imagined destiny… Then, indeed, it can be said that one has found oneself.
My creative process changes from painting to painting. But in the beginning I think I was trying to make the canvas come near to the image in my head; but this used to be very frustrating; and tiresome. I have learned, during this time, to let the painting flow. I start with a concept, but then, as the work progresses, I let it talk to me and change itself, even to the point of ending in a very different way than the initial concept. The important thing is that it fulls and pleases me.
Surrendering to the own work is based on total attention; it’s also the beginning of the so yearned detachment.
It’s not an easy process. You must be vey attentive. And know how to let go, not be attached to your initial idea, but to cast off your ego and to accept that the painting may invite you to lend it life in a new form. To get truly inside this flux of creation. It´s useful to me… Spontaneous moments. Instants of wonder at the own production: you turn around y lo, there’s that which you had been pursuing; but you didn’t know how did you do it.
Although from diverse origins and with different meanings in accordance to the circumstances, such forces congeal and work always through us. When this phenomenon is carefully observed, we find that time’s notion dissolves in the own acting it provokes. It is the end of the measure, the necessary limit for the quantification and, therefore, of the own finitude. Trascendence finds its place in communication.
More than a not knowing, than a abandon, it’s all about an amplification of the scope of awareness. In the misterious development of motifs beyond reason.
The way into this emptying, nonetheless, procedes through a multiplicity of knowings.
Memory, other echoes, signs. Other sources, of course.
For me photography is like a creative trigger. I look at the works of many, many photographers. I soak myself in images of bodies, all day long.
And there´s also the feedback. The critic.
There’s a sentence I like so much, though I don’t remember who pronounced it: “Criticism ceases to matter when praise is no longer a concern”. 
I try to disregard compliments and negative criticism. Nonetheless, when there’s a deep observation, that goes beyond a mere enunciative judgment, I appreciate it. But, without losing my way. Truly, it’s too easy to slip into a course of satisfying the others’ expectations. You must be very attentive. To remain faithful to your initial purpose.
Let’s go back to the territory on reference. Provocation resides not only in the disorder of the organs; it says a lot that, finally, this expression is so eloquent and complex by means of the same tissues, with barely one or two accesories, no more. The body here constitutes a sort of open condition.
My painting speaks about movement. About the yin and yang wherein we live. Inside and outside. Everything flows between two poles. We are locked inside this dualism. I think that my aim is to clarify that bad is not too bad, and good is not too good. Things are as they are y we don’t have to judge them; we must learn from them, accept them.
The ability to get filled with wonder, always present…
At hand the possibiliy of make each election in this fluctuant life. I repeat this to me constantly –because I need to put it in practice and I’m always learning–: not to judge.
Logically this acceptance and the total surrender to the creative process impinges everything…
First I paint and then I look for an explanation. I cannot plan in detail my work. I do it as I feel it. Therefore, I cannot work in large series of canvasses. Even more, I don’t know what I am going to paint, I cannot see anything in advance. All appear step by step. 
Only a few months ago I wasn’t able to define many aspects of my labor as an artist; I needed a couple of years of reflection. To understand why did I this paintings, without reasoning. It’s something that surges in a way as a catarsis.
But only in the beginning…
I’m more interested in the possibility of a connection with some painting of mine, that it makes the viewer question himself, confront with something inside him, that makes him move: why is my life this or that way?
What comes now is going to follow this same cue: to be faithful, and ready for new opportunities. To work, work and work.
To walk attentively… 
Very attentive, all…
(Translated by Roberto Zeballos Rebaza)


  1. Amazing work. Great interview.

Leave a Reply to La Anábasis Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *