Following the Light

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:54 Written by Angélica Abelleyra

Painting took her by surprise. As a child she dreamed of becoming a writer, then a philosopher, but never a painter. As a matter of fact, her first search was a reflection on Nature and the causes of the existence of the universe, humans and society. Though she maintained these philosophical concerns, Ezban (Mexico City, 1955) expressed them not through words but the sensual, the artisanal, the pleasure of working with one’s hands and giving voice to color, textures, lines, the hidden and the uncertain.

Ever since, her starting point has been uncertainty, a term taken from her high school microphysics studies, which became a creative exercise full of questions, few certainties and numerous interpretations.

As a child Ezban wondered about the meaning of life, why and how things happen and what humans achieve in life. She was fascinated by logic and ethics, and even came to think that she could study psychology, inspired by a charismatic teacher on whom she and her friends had a crush. However, she realized that is was an illusion and began to study philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Despite her father’s disapproval, she secretly attended classes and completed half of the degree before rebelling and seeking other forms of reflection. She felt that words were not her thing.

Feeling lost, Ezban decided to drop out of university then, remembering having taken private painting classes at the age of fifteen, she visited the old Academy of San Carlos and “La Esmeralda” Art School and met Sergio Hernández, who was deeply impressed by her sketches and promised to teach her to draw. At San Carlos there was great admiration for Vincent Van Gogh. Ezban and her classmates saw him as “Saint Van Gogh”, not only because of his pictorial qualities but also the image of the dedicated painter living intensely and without concessions. During that period, a strike was held at San Carlos over the revision of a study plan, and, by an incredible stroke of luck, she joined the workshop of Gilberto Aceves Navarro, a dynamic, inspirational figure. This was a life-changing moment, as one of the premises of the class was to work fearlessly, giving free rein to creation.

The figure was a central part of this training and so as well as life drawing Ezban worked carefully on composition, history of art and more conventional skills. However, when she graduated she rejected all this and instead pursued purism. Taking the path of abstract art, she sought to discover the essence of painting and came to understand that content is favored over the subject in every painting. She achieved pure color, through raw brushstrokes.

When the artist began exhibiting her work in 1986, abstraction was her leitmotif, the combination of gestural strokes, thick brushstrokes, straight lines, textured bark paper and the use of color – blues, yellows, grays, whites, blacks and silvers - as existential states in which she is trapped until she incorporates and interiorizes them. A landscaper of emotions, she sees herself more as a child travelling through galaxies in her paintings called Quasar, Neutrino and Gravitation, in which stars, particles and neutrons are brushstrokes of light, demonstrating her conviction that abstract painting is inexhaustible, the object of her constant quest.
Read 1318 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:57