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IRENE ZUNDEL

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Could you share with us how you became an artist and started working with sculptures?

 

I studied to become a Graphic Designer at the Philadelphia College of Art. After graduating, I decided to return to Mexico and started working at Alfonso Capetillo y Asociados graphic design company. As years went by, I chose to become a freelance professional.

 

Sculpture came to me as a need to create. Art has been a tool to overcome many life experiences for me; dreams have also served the same purpose.

 

After working as a freelance designer for a while, I decided to put it aside and take sculpture lessons. My formal education on this technique happened mainly at the workshop of the sculptor Enrique Jolly. Jolly was a very important person in my life, he taught me everything I know about sculpture, and he was also a role model for me. I was convinced that figurative art was important for the development of my career as a sculptor; however, I realized that it wasn’t necessary and that transcendence could be reached without figurative sculpture. From then on, I focused on abstraction and a world full of possibilities opened up before me. Enrique was a teacher who gave me all the freedom I was looking for, and still followed guidelines, challenging me every step of the way. My time with him was very important in my development, since it gave me the wings I needed to fly.

 

For a while, I taught sculpture lessons to children. I spent many years working on my personal development. However, I never gave up on sculpture completely. Since my exhibition at the Franz Mayer, I returned to my path for art and my artistic career.

 

 

How would you classify your work and the subjects you’ve chosen?

 

During the first stage of my career, my work revolves completely around myself. It was a time of self-exploration and introspection, both in my sculptures and for my inner self; my work was a mirror of what I had experienced. Back then, my work lacked color.

 

I realize now that to achieve my current style it was necessary for me to go through that phase. Two years ago I decided to try working with polyurethane. I contacted a manufacturer of this material and I began to imagine, create and produce this project. My current works of art are completely different, filled with joy, enthusiasm and color.

 

I’ve always shown an interest in what is real and what is apparent in my work. However, at this stage, I have started using geometry; in the past I used to focus on curves, but now geometric shapes have taken over my work. I’m not sure how this encounter happened; I first started with the triangle, but I’ve gotten more involved as time goes by. Nowadays, I feel like I have found harmony in my life. I also discovered that everything in life is related to geometry and built out of triangles.

 

The process behind my work takes time. First, I picture the pieces, I unravel them. Then I figure them out and send them to production. My Plexiglas pieces have been the result of trial and error, from which the people I work with and I have learned a lot. During this process, what I find most difficult is to communicate my idea, so I’ve decided to translate them into images first. I’m happy with the works I’ve created and I finally feel like we’re speaking the same language.

 

My most recent works describe how I feel right now. They talk about a very deep part of me, as if revealing a story. Every work tells something about me, about my curiosity and how I like to move. There is the ever-present enthusiasm of finding a connection with everything that surrounds me.

 

 

What has been your relationship to the work of other artists? Which are your sources of inspiration?

 

My whole life I’ve been fascinated by Escher’s work, but recently I’ve also become interested in the work of Carlos Cruz Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto and Julio Le Parc. These artists caught my attention after researching more about movement and kinetic art.

 

Lately, the work of these three artists has piqued my interest the most. Somehow, my work is connected to theirs. However, my inspiration also comes from observation; watching and being able to assimilate what I see. Plexiglas has opened new roads for me that other materials had not, allowing me to play with reflections, light, movement, color blending and depths.

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