Literature has been intrinsically associated to my existence, and it should not be surprising that it corresponds to one of the most influential aspects of my development as a craftswoman. I come from a family of avid readers, and my encounters with books allowed me to give perspective to the understanding of the human experience and its universality, permitting me to understand that in spite of historical periods, nationalities, languages, religions and inevitable circumstances, in essence the human race is suffering from the same struggles with the never-ending and naturally, ancient existentialist questions ("where do we come from?", "what is the purpose of this existence?", "is life ephemeral, transitory, or eternal and cyclical?", "is happiness attainable?", "is there free will?", "why do we encounter those that we encounter?" and most importantly, "what is truth?").
However, I am well aware that literature has its limitations. Many of the greater masterpieces of literature suffer and get lost in translation, in spite of the accuracy of the translator. I witness a similar effect every day with casual conversation, given my Mexican background.
The visual arts, when representational, do not suffer from this condition. "The Return of the Prodigal Son" by Rembrandt, for instance, could be interpreted in any part of the world as a tender embrace in spite of the ethnicity, language spoken or philosophical view of the viewer, as long as he or she is able to see.
Perhaps it is really ambitious, but I am certainly seeking for universality and the ability to make my work relevant to others living in vastly different settings and eras, and at the same time, to be able to build a bridge with the viewer, and to show him or her what I saw when I read these books, hoping that I will be fair to the authors.
It could be arguable that this idea has been done before. I have no interest in being original or unique. I am not seeking for a personal style. I do not plan, with my art, to reinvent the wheel. But with it, to emphasize the similarities of a collective human experience in this sea of individualism and most importantly, to contribute with the ride of History and Humanism, where I am only a passenger.
Alejandra “Kitty” Zertuche
Collect, Observer, Analyze, Notice Patterns, Compare
As a child Zertuche loved to explore her surroundings, collecting small objects, rocks, and bugs, which she would observe then release into her front yard. She always had an interest in science. Now, as an adult she is on a never-ending state of exploration of her un-natural environment. She surrounds herself with trinkets and collections that occasionally form part of her work. Experimentation is a big part of Zertuche’s work process, working intuitively while using non-traditional mediums opens the door for new learning experiences and improvisation. She draws her inspiration from everyday life, recording and taking note of thoughts and instances that catch her attention.
I have found that I have inadvertently opened my heart and have chosen to show how the world is seen through my eyes. I am a people person and a true believer of mankind therefore most of my paintings involve portraiture, especially of those closest to my heart. Though I have a propensity to follow proper proportions and obvious physical features, I like to play with the idea of a plethora of surreal skin tones and dreamy backgrounds. I use bold colors to convey a definite feeling while holding the viewers eye.
My art work is very meaningful to me, especially when my family is the focal point to the piece. It is created with love and much sincerity and the goal for my work is for the viewer to feel what I feel when they see the world through my eyes.
I am a true advocate of “Flor y Canto”,the Aztec philosophy of art in which it is said that though our bodies may perish with age, it is our flowers and our songs that will remain on earth and we will live through them forever. By flowers and songs, I am referring to the contributions we give to our society which is not limited to but includes our art work, music, family, honesty, and all that is sincere and comes from our hearts. I have chosen to portray this in my work not only because it is important to me but because I believe that it should never be forgotten. Flor y Canto is not only a philosophy of art but a way of life in which everyone and everything on Earth is connected and uniquely equal and beautiful in its own way. Mi flor y mi canto is what keeps my body going, my thoughts flowing and gives my soul and artwork life.
This series was created to show what I feel are some of the important things in life, such as children, family, and the elders who have made a significant difference in our lives. It is a celebration of a new life, a shared life, the evolution of living and the journey we take to go back home. I chose to use music as a focal point to some of my works not only because it is universal but because music, like visual art, stirs up a multitude of feelings and memories within us making it a powerful source of communication. Throughout my apprenticeship as an artist I was told that in order to be a good artist one must learn “to see”. Well, I’ve spent many years trying to do just that, learn how “too see” and never really found out if I accomplished that goal. What I do know is that I see things differently than most people I know. Maybe because I tend to be a “believer” of just about anything, my world seems to be a bit peculiar and that’s the way I like it. My work is honest to my soul and true to my heart. I paint what I see but the question still remains and I would love to know if you see what I see.