Meet Mauricio Paz Viola

Self-taught artist Mauricio Paz Viola (b 1985; Carmelo, Colonia, Uruguay) embarked on his artistic journey early in life. Dabbling in plastic art since 7, he has participated in various art competitions in his native Uruguay and abroad.

At 14, Paz Viola began to participate in group shows and individual shows nationally and internationally in galleries and museums in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, United States, Italy, among others.

His work has been featured in doctoral studies, programs in art, in universities in Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Spain, and are frequently featured in magazines and art books, among which are Latin American Plastic Art Annual Review, High Impact: the Art of Visual (New York) as well as books in Spain, Argentina, UK, France, etc.

The style of Paz Viola has evolved from realism, landscape and portraits in his youth to surrealism and expressionism. Since his arrival in Chile in 2008, he started to focus on abstract expressionism.

The most notable influences of Paz Viola are Roberto Matta, Maurits Cornelis Escher, Joan Miró, Vasili Kandinski, Max Ernst, as well as Uruguayan artist and friend Javier Gil, who imbued a sense of motion into rigid objects as if everything had a life of its own – a concept expressed in Paz Viola’s series “Nothing in the Void”.been working on the 7 series (some are sub-series).

Mauricio says: ‘Since I am a compulsive obsessive person when I am in the heat of creation. I try to channel all my energy in my works and series as much as I can in a short period of time; in a sense, I surrender to the muse and let her lead me.’

In terms of what inspires your work?

In fact I refrain from saying too much in my paintings. It has never been my intention to talk about politics or social matters in my paintings. My work is more than anything an invitation for viewer to enter dreamlike, sometimes surrealistic worlds.’

I want the viewer to escape for a few seconds from their day-to-day reality without asking questions, only enter and dream, like a type of hallucinogen.

What inspires him the most is sex.

Not merely the act that shows the carnal animals that we are, but sex as a divine action that is repeated in all creation. The term ‘sex’ derives from the Latin word ‘sexus’, or ‘sectus’, meaning section or separation.

Sex is an action constantly repeated in order to create and re-create, from mathematics, physics, chemistry to theories on the creation of the universe. If one pays attention, there are sexual actions everywhere, not only in creations of human beings.

It is beautiful, unique, good. Maybe I see it this way because I am a follower of Gurdjeff’s theories, which argue that all manifestations of the self is sexual in nature, and that sex is the most important archetype in the human machine.

Another thing that inspires him is ancient civilizations

The ones buried by history, true stories of Mayan, Egyptian, and South American civilizations. It seems like the true story of humanity is much more incredible than science fiction.

I constantly absorb information from mystery, hidden worlds, aliens, UFOs, parallel universes. I think these are the most important topics in life, but nobody seems to want to talk about them or know about them much. In this case we are face with the same, timeless questions: where do we come from? Where are we going? And who created life?

In a word, I am inspired by life itself, by nature, the universe(s), the infinite and inexhaustible worlds completely unknown to us… biology, sciences, arts… ultimately, LIFE.

What is your earliest art memory? 

I have always been interested in artistic expression since I was born in a family with a love of letters: my father wrote folk songs, my mother wrote poems, and my two sisters are published authors.

However, I am the only painter in the family. Luckily, I have always had unwavering support of my family. Motivation and enthusiasm are the most important things for children, and later in adulthood it is the need for expression and communicate the real “self” through art – these are the two most important factors in the life of an artist every day.

Art has always had a presence in my life. I have been painting and drawing since I was a child. I was 7 when I saw in a language textbook an image that marked me for life: it was a painting by Roberto Matta.

I still remember how I sat at my school desk as a child, completely astonished by the colors and shapes. However, it wasn’t until my adolescent years (at 13) that I began to participate  in painting workshops

Connect with Mauricio Paz Viola

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