JUAN PABLO ZAMORA
"The doctor heals the body and the artist heals the soul."
Juan Pablo Zamora is an artist who was born on November 10, 1980 in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico from a watchmaker father and a housewife mother. He grew up having a happy childhood with his siblings. There was a lot of space in the streets with few cars circulating; hence, football, marbles, and other traditional games were common. Playing chess and watching a good movie gathered around a small coffee table, so as to not lose any details, while the dining room remained deserted was common in his family.
In kindergarten, his teacher was surprised by his ability to create. When he played with his brothers, cousins or friends he preferred to draw or color while the others got bored and went on to play something else. He spent hours watching the colors and designs of the flags in the dictionary that he was quite attracted to, in addition to coloring the cartoons of the Sunday newspaper. As he grew older, he played cards from comic albums with the characters of his choice. He spent long periods of time without going out, something that his friends missed a lot, but he only wanted to draw at home and play chess with his dad.
He is an artist who likes Baroque, Impressionism, Expressionism and the Mexican art school. Each of his exhibitions are important, each of them has been part of his development as an artist. He has been selected twice in the October room, a local painting contest of the city of Guadalajara, and he is part of the gallery of artists -one of the most prestigious galleries in Puerto Vallarta and his work is part of the Múseocjv virtual museum which is characterized by collecting Jalisco art.
Juan Pablo Zamora’s art sends us deep into a trance-like state where we encounter the illusion of different emotions that somehow become one. While the expressions have a tone of rebellion and bluntness, there also appears to be a sense of purity depicted among them. Zamora delivers almost effortlessly a powerful message that leaves us yearning for more. He dares to portray those urges and even shameful desires that society decides to crucify you over. Without a doubt, Zamora offers us a truthful compilation of images that push us into a spiral of emotions that we must face.
Q. What role does the Artist/ Painter have in society?
A. A lot of commitment, the artist is in charge of explaining his time, recording social, philosophical, religious, moral thinking, etc. It has to create awareness, narrate, give peace through beauty, impact, be the voice of the unprotected and transgress.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. The getaways to the fair on Sundays with my dad, I remember enjoying getting into a mechanical game of chopper-type motorcycles.
Q. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A. I really wanted to be a watchmaker like my dad or a chemist like Carlos my older brother. In adolescence, I wanted to draw comics and fate led me along the path of painting.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. When I was four years old I took a wire and on fresh cement on a wall I drew a lone ranger, the low relief of the renowned cartoon character remained for years.
The first oil I signed, titled Heroes of the Fatherland, was composed of human bodies emerging from a tree, who clung to a desert floor with nails and teeth, under a burning sky.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. At 18, when I quit my job in a cafeteria and started working as a painter in a painting workshop, in turn enrolling for a degree in visual arts in the school of plastic arts at the University of Guadalajara.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. I intend to leave a record of my intellectual concerns, my influence of the readings that come to my hands and I'm interested in studying. Now I am at a stage where I want to perform work that heals the soul, that the viewer is reflected in the work and question your own circumstances and help you improve in life, the self that Carl G. Jung postulated.
When I started painting, I was aware of the technical shortcomings. I liked the style of great artists like Caravaggio, Goya, Van Gogh, Siqueiros and Orozco, I noticed that they were technically great artists, but their works were of great expressive strength, so I bet because of the high contrast and the free brushstroke, added to always explaining something with intellectual content, little by little I was debugging the technique and it was getting richer, I like to enrich the paint with gouaches, medium and thick filling, glazes, dry brushstrokes, especially overlapping color blocks.
Q. What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
A. In a matter of art, each painting is a new challenge, and all its technical possibilities must be a pretext to overcome as an artist. However, the male anatomy is not attractive to me, because of the lack of grace, like that of female beauty.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. I dedicate my life to my discipline, for that, I have neglected economic comforts, family gatherings (when you have had to meet dates for exhibitions), social life. However, it is very pleasant and comforting to be an artist, and if I was born again I would be an artist again, since it is full of satisfactions, sharing a gallery with loved ones and the public is a great gift, after having spent weeks or months in confinement working the work.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. I greatly admire great artists in art history, such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya, Millet, Van Gogh, Saturnino Herrán, Orozco, Siqueiros, and Luían Freud.
And today I am influenced by Ady Arízaga, who has invited me to dabble in the relief of plasticine, in addition to being an intellectual stimulus, I am always happy to talk about art or such topics. Especially, in spreading that love by art. Other people who inspire me are Diego Ayala who is an artist with an enviable technical facility, a great management of anatomy, drawing, and color, he is someone who perfectly understands the rigor of the discipline. Roberto Pacheco inspires one to dream and to have the will to grow.
Artists whom I admire from the artistic medium in Guadalajara, in addition to those already mentioned by Sergio Garval, an example of which one can go far, with discipline and effort. Carlos Larracilla, with technical wealth. Humberto Lopez El brujo and Felipe 7 with their dark themes and with the sarcasm and comedy -characteristic of Mexicans.
I am also inspired by what I read, always taking notes, and developing the topics. At this moment I am studying Carl. G. Jung and his archetypes. I admire a lot and let myself be influenced by Octavio Paz, Umberto Eco, and Friedrich Nietzsche, among others.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. I share my home studio with two more artists. To cope with working hours, I like listening to music and watching documentaries, with a cup of coffee. In everyday life I teach Saturday painting classes. After a day at work, I attend MMA classes. As an additional activity, reading is essential for me, it is the source of all the ideas of my work. I am also a cinephile and have a taste of art for cinema, for a couple of years I have been loving Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu, both recreationally and as a sport.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. Art must always be proactive, it must transgress, reconcile and teach. At this moment I find myself in that facet of offering art that heals the soul, a work that when observed, the spectator puts into practice the self that Carl G. Jung was talking about, and grow as a spiritual being. There are doctors who make fun when I tell them that they heal the body and I, as an artist, heal the soul.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Success is to do what you love most every day, it is for the artist to get up with certainty that there will be nothing that prevents you from doing what you like most, having the opportunity to share your work with others and with those who follow your work. Success is not a goal, but how you carry out the processes to continue growing as a person and artist, and be an example in the world by sharing and being an example.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. That the human being is someone who cannot and should not live alone, that it is only a small gear of machinery called society, that if he is a great person he will positively influence those around him, that the family is very important because that is where values are learned.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. My father has always told me that education opens all doors. Those vices only destroy and degrade people.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. As art that always surpasses itself in each of its pieces, each work is a new challenge and must assume as such, discipline will take them forward there are no more secrets, art is of resistance, persistence and not of speed. As for something more general, that the human being was born to serve (not to be served) that always supports others and that they are the role model of others, that they approach people who help them grow as human beings.