We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Aranda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was brought up by a catholic middle class family from Mexico City. Even though I have always loved expressing myself through art, growing up in such a conservative community, made me dismiss art as a career, so I studied Architecture instead. That was when I realized that I was deeply unhappy and unfulfilled. I dropped out of school and started painting in different workshops. It wasn´t a continuous situation, since I had to work and pay my bills. After a few years, I finally got to a place where I could balance my job with my art production, I finally had my first solo showand hadn´t stopped producing what I love, ever since. I believe that freeing myself from my catholic and traditionalist upbringing has shaped who I am as an artist today, One of the subjects I like exploring the most is death, I think that when I decided not to be a religious person anymore, I had to find meaning in my life in some way and started reading about Existentialism. Working with Death, makes me feel like I own my life and my destiny.
One of the art movements that have inspired my work is Expressionism. I love the way distroting reality can help you express a feeling. I also like moving my whole body while painting, it makes me feel free. I was not used to express my feelings growing up (specially negative ones such as anger, fear or sadness), painting has been an outlet and a way to channel those feeling without using any words.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My paintings are like taking a dive inside my brain. I try to translate my ideas, feelings, concepts that trouble me, nightmares, etc. into my work. I explore with different mediums and materials, study various artists and thinkers. I take inspiration from many sources, so that my pieces represent what goes in my head in that period of time. I like to place my art in the intersection between abstraction and figuration, using a lot of material and quick gestures at times, bold colors and thick textures at times and detailed drawing and construction at others, resulting in a very interesting yuxtaposition. As am artist, I have to be honest and true to myself, trying not to follow specific trends or staying still in one style. Even though I do use references from other artists, I like to move and evolve from painting to painting.
One of the greatest challenges I have faced is to find galleries or spaces to show my work, you need be persistent and have a high tolerance to frustration. One way to overcome these issues is to create of look for alternative spaces.
Right now I am very excited because one ot the first projects from Colectivo Habitacion Propia is finally having an ahibition after three years of work. It is a homage to different female artists from Mexico who were not recognized during their lifetime.
Another thing that interests me is being in contact with nature. For this reason I mixed these two passions and created an experience that includes a waterolor lesson surrounded by nature, followed by a picnic with wine. Hopefully, the result will be interacting with people interested in art and particularly in watercolor art, getting them excited about the the amazing natural parks we have in Mexico and having a great gastronomic experience while in a magical atmoshpere.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I was born and raised in Mexico City, so I would love to show my friend my favorite spots in the city. I would take them to many many museums, including MUAC, Museo Tamayo, Museo de Arte Moderno, Museo Jumex, among many others. We would go to downtown CDMX and have lunch and drinks at one of the many terraces it has to offer. I would also take them to some of the many galleries that are set in trendy neighborhoods around the city.
There are algo parks and natural reserves that are worth taking the time to visit, such as Los Dinamos or Desierto de los Leones.
I would probably take the for a short trip to one of the magical tows near Mexico City, like Tepoztlan or Mineral del Chico, so they can experience life outside the megalopolis.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are a lot of people responsible I would like to dedicate this shoutout to. First of all, my friends from university pushed me out of my confort zone to give art a shot. My teachers and mentors along the way, such as José Barbosa and Lorena Mata taught me everything I know about the basics of painting; from drawing, mediums, painting styles and techniques. I would also like to mention my friends and colleagues form Colectivo Habitacion Propia, the art collective I collaborate with. They have always walked right by my side and together we have created the most amazing projects.
My family has always respected and supported my life choices without judgment and are there with me in every exhibit opening or art event I have.
Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank Andres, my love. He has stood with me and encouraged me through every success and frustration, he has supported me when I needed and helps me when I need a little push to keep going.