Q&A [Question & Artist]: Carlos
This year, over 1,700 pieces of artwork from various artists and all mediums were submitted for the 32nd annual Made in California Exhibition. Among them, some artists submitted collections of work for a solo show during Made in California. This year's solo show winner is Carlos Beltran Arechiga. We sat down to chat with Carlos about his life as an artist and artistic endeavors.
Interview with Carlos:
BAG: Tell us about yourself.
Carlos: I was born in Mexico City to a family of 11 siblings. I studied Fine Arts at the Universidad de Guadalajara and migrated to Southern California in 1990. I have always satisfied my curiosity in learning what moves me. I worked in architecture for 12 years while maintaining my studio practice. My biggest accomplishment is the beautiful family my wife Patty and I have nurtured.
BAG: Can you describe yourself in one word? Why that word?
Carlos: Researcher – I’m a curious person, I’m interested in subjects big and small.
BAG: Tell us a little bit about your background; what made you interested in art? Who were your early influencers?
Carlos: I believe we all are born creators, during our formative years most of us lose the nourishment/support required for creative growth. I attribute my early life engagement with the arts to my mother’s support and encouragement. At the age of 10, I went on a European tour with a choir. There, I discovered art history in a wide range — it was inevitable — I’m here to create! My early influences were many. At as early as 6 years old, I remember devouring my grand father’s Art Encyclopedia. There and at the venues where I would later perform, I discovered many appealing works and ideas. My top 5 early models are Rufino Tamayo, Manuel Felguerez, Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Miro, and Arshile Gorky.
BAG: Name three of your favorite artists.
Carlos: Jonathan Lasker, Adrian Ghenie, and Isa Genzken.
BAG: What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Carlos: I've been in Environmental Design, Architectural Design, and K-8 Visual Arts Program Management.
BAG: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Carlos: Consider the “why” when creating.
BAG: How do you think/want other people to respond to your art?
Carlos: It is difficult to guess what the responses are, my ultimate goal is to create “mirrors.” I want the experience to be self-reflective; I want the stories my work shares to be as wide as the audience.
BAG: Tell us about the work in the solo show.
Carlos: These pieces are proves of my inquiry regarding two things, the environments we inhabit — both natural and man made — and the reconciliation with the parallel realities we live in — the physical and digital worlds where we are constantly redefining our identity and perception of place. I experiment with construction materials to build paintings beyond the image.
BAG: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Carlos: Having it be included in a contemporary art survey by the Torrance Art Museum.
BAG: Where do you see your work taking you?
Carlos: To broader opportunities for exposure, it is my ultimate goal to share my stories with all people, my practice is meant to serve opportunities for self-discovery.
BAG: What advice can you offer to someone who is considering submitting artwork for MICA next year?
Carlos: Be bold, MICA is interested in showcasing new ideas in the Californian practice!
To learn more about Carlos and his artwork, visit his website.
The 32nd Annual Made in California Art Show is on display at the Brea Gallery May 6 - June 30.