JOSE ANTONIO AGUIRRE
Mediums: Bronze, Experimental / Multi-Media, Glass, Interactive, Mosaics, Murals, Painting, Paving, Sculpture, Steel
José Antonio Aguirre (born in Mexico City), has studied and lived in the United States since 1976. He obtained a visual arts degree, Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in1982, and a Master of Fine Arts at California Institute of the Arts in 1990. He has lived in California since 1986.
Aguirre has designed and fabricated over 35 permanent works of public art for civic art programs, educational and private developer’s projects in Southern California, Chicago and Mexico. Throughout his art career, Aguirre has also been an installation artist, a cultural journalist for Spanish publications in Los Angeles, Austin and Chicago. For over 30 years he has established a strong reputation as a cultural worker and a visual arts educator.
Aguirre works on paper and paintings are included in permanent collections in various institutions and museums in Germany, Mexico, Scotland and the United States. His most ambitious glass mosaic mural (2,200 sq. ft.), Our Legacy: Forever Presente…; was completed in 2004 for the East Los Angeles Public Library. During the past six years, Mr. Aguirre has produced Public Art Projects for private developers in Los Angeles Metropolitan area. Also, various educational mural projects in Pasadena, Santa Fe Springs, Lancaster and Los Angeles (California), Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana–Azcapotzalco in Mexico City and most recently in Colima, Mexico.
“As a visual artist, I am dedicated to nurturing the development and production of an ongoing body of art that utilizes a variety of traditional mediums, materials, and techniques in combination with an experimental approach to contemporary technology and social issues. I seek to explore the application of space within an installation, painting, print or public environment that invites the interaction of the viewer with the elements of the composition; the spectator is to be engaged as an active participant and not a passive observer.
The nature of my art is dependent upon the exploration and exportation of images, icons, symbols, and signs that have been contained within the continuity of creative expression in Mexican art from 3000 years ago until today. The essence of my iconography is traced from my personal pre-Columbian roots and its mixing with religious symbols of Spanish colonization, and compounded by the contradictory reality of “modernism” in Mexico and the United States. The content is inspired by the duality of history and social experience; the color palette inspired by the richness of the folk artists hand and the local regions natural landscapes.
Reflecting upon my place of origin (Mexico) and its impact on the recent history of my experience in the United States, I probe the aesthetics of an artist that exists in two cultures bound by bi-national implications. I create a visual imagery that provokes definitions and questions that attempt to integrate the tentative everyday experience of human nature and its social implications with the cultural diversity of living on the border of two worlds that exist in the time of expanding globalization”.
Mr. Aguirre received a Fulbright-García Robles 2010-2011 award to implement a Public Art project at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco in Mexico City