Horacio Quiroz . Complexity and madness

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Photography by Karla Acosta


Based in México City. After working for several years in advertisement industry, I began my self-taught painting studies in 2013.


My work is a reflection on the human condition, linked intimately to my psychological and therapeutic evolution. I view the body as a mechanism that not only functions physiologically but as an emotional vessel that contains our entire temporal and spiritual history. In this way, the body perceives matter and space, through which it learns to experience its own humanity. 

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul; you have a body.”  - C.S. Lewis


Everything around us has a dual manifestation. We have day and night; good and evil; feminine and masculine, love and fear, etc. This is so obvious that it is taken for granted. Consequently, everything, absolutely everything that exists, has to be composed of the duality of these opposites. In my work, these apparently discordant forces are expressed in the flesh as a single dynamic unity. 

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. “

- C.G. Jung



Starting with the body’s emotional fluctuation, I explore the oscillation between love and fear as primary antagonistic vital forces, using the human body as a tool to represent the constant movement of our reality. This permits the incarnation of mutant emotions through the creation of impossible anatomies, similar after a fashion to x-rays of the experiences that we undergo as people while evolving. 

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -” 

-  Heraclitus


In the same way, my painting explores the boundaries of the tensions between the aesthetic and the non-aesthetic counter balancing each other. It probes the resulting dichotomous movement between the beautiful and the grotesque. 


"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it" 

- Andy Warhol






Photography by Karla Acosta


Describe your path to becoming an artist.

I’ve always known that I wanted to be a painter even though the road there has been filled with doubt, societal stigmas and clichés surrounding artists in general. This road, which reveals itself to me daily, remains an uncertain one, trying to navigate its course, learning from past mistakes and also gratefully accepting happy accidents. In my opinion, being an artist is a lifelong process of reflection and expression, where you owe yourself loyalty as a principal objective, so that between your life and your work there is some harmony/balance.


Tell me about your background. Where did your life as an artist begin?

I think my path started at a very early age, I can remember drawing for hours on end all throughout my early childhood and adolescence. In particular, at 5 years of age, I clearly remember the moment when an older cousin taught me how to draw the human body based on geometric figures. I can still feel how revealing that moment was, the emotion I felt at being able to represent the human figure in a drawing.

Given my personal history, drawing became both a refuge and an environment where I could easily express myself, helping me make sense of my world in the early years of my life.

I practiced constantly every day until I was 15, when I quit painting classes and it was only 20 years later that I rediscovered my self-taught abilities and somehow managed to resume what used to be a spontaneous, childhood activity.




Can you talk a little about your formative years as an artist?

As I just mentioned, the years of childhood practice were very important for me. I went on to study a degree in Graphic Design and subsequently worked for 12 years as Art Director in advertising agencies. Somehow through this I developed both an aesthetic sensibility and an educated eye.

Actually, I consider that as a painter my training continues is ongoing, that you never really stop learning. I have dedicated the last few years to exploring technique and defining my posture as a self-taught artist. Although my career has developed in a rather untypical manner, I think those years of not painting have helped form my character and given me a greater self-awareness, which is now reflected in my work.


What motivates you as an artist?

Being utterly frank, at this precise moment I have to say that I am most motivated by the fear of having to do something other than my passion for painting.


Was creativity a part of your childhood?

Yeah totally! I had the opportunity to live in an environment where I was encouraged to stimulate my imagination in a wide variety of ways; games, costumes, dances, crafts, talks, stories, travels, video games, cooking, art exhibitions, theater, puppets, singing, etc.

I seem to have been a child who lived in an imaginary world of my own inventing. In my childhood home our storage/junk room was huge. I could find absolutely everything from my grandmother's hats to carpentry tools, so I myself created all my own games and worlds.



You do have a very distinct, recognizable style.

For me, it’s not easy to see. I simply paint as honestly as I can, although sometimes it can be quite a struggle.


You said you grew up in Mexico. What was the culture like there?

Mexico has a very stimulating and contrasting culture, undeniably resplendent in folklore, history, food and art. However, growing up as a gay man, let me tell you that I came up against a very moralistic society, full of taboos and fears towards new forms of coexistence and expression. 



Did you have any mentors along the way?

Right now, I can’t remember anyone in particular. However, I can say that on this road that I now travel, I have come across a number of great people who have helped me a lot with both advice and opportunities. It’s because of them that I can keep travelling along this journey.


Are your family and friends supportive of what you do?

Yes, I have all their support and for me this is very important. At first, my family was skeptical and didn’t understand my work, but over time they have assimilated both my new life as a painter and my body of work.


Photography by Karla Acosta 


What advice would you give to a person starting out?

I would tell them, apart from the persistence and tenacity they need for any career they choose, that it is essential for artists to never compare themselves with other artists. The path of each is unique and therein lays the value of artistic practice, in the transparency, unrepeatability and uniqueness of what they can contribute. 

Another important thing to say is that success isn’t based on fame, sales, exhibitions or catalogs. Rather, it is measured in terms of the satisfaction that their work brings to their lives and how they feel in those exalted moments of creation.



How does where you live impact your creativity?

Having always lived in Mexico City it’s difficult for me to answer that question, because I don’t have a point of comparison that allows me to make a judgment about how my city and my country influence my work distinctly. However, I can respond by saying that it is more than just a topographical space. Observation and analysis of the people around me is closely linked to what happens in my work. My environment is always reflected in what is happening on canvas, it can’t be otherwise. 


What is your favorite genre of music?

I listen to a little of everything, whatever I find on Spotify, depending on my mood.


Do you have a favorite book?

“The Power Of Now” by Eckhert Tolle, is my bedside companion, I’m constantly rereading it. 



Who is your role model?

I don’t have one.


What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Stay true to your beliefs and plan your finances.


What is your dream project?

Actually, I don’t have a specific dream that needs fulfilling, I prefer to just work and be prepared for when opportunities may present themselves.










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