Today Furies Magazine brings you Luar Zorrillo.
Furies Magazine: When did you get your start as an artist?
Luar Zorillo: We are all artists, creating is part of being human. We all express ourselves in many different ways. I started drawing at an early age, but it’s only recently that I have been labeled as a painter. Three years ago, when I was living in NYC, I had my first group exhibit at a Chelsea gallery, then a solo gallery exhibit, and locally right now I have two paintings in exhibit at Chromatics Gallery, downtown Nashville. Last two years I began selling prints and cliques online through Fine Art America.com. I have been working as a creative for advertising agencies in the U.S. Hispanic Market for the last 15 years. During September 2011 I moved to Nashville because my wife accepted a job offer to work for Nissan’s Hispanic social media agency, and at the time we agreed for me to pursue my passion as a professional artist in Tennessee. One of the paintings at the downtown art gallery exhibition was conceived at my Donelson studio.
FM: Are there any other artists in your family?
LZ: Not that I know of. My mother used to arrange dishes very well, and my father is supposed to have been a good dancer back in the day, but that is it. My elder brother received painting and drawing classes but he does not do any plastic art and ended up expressing himself best with music. By the time I was old enough to train in art my parents were already disillusioned with my brother’s results… I would say that it has to do with my soul rather than my genes. It seems that I have always shown a curiosity towards the new, the un-manifested and the mysterious. I remember at age five having the good fortune to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a ship and daring to venture by myself onto a forbidden deck during a storm and being almost washed away. I also jumped into the ship’s deep swimming pool and discovered my instinctual doggy swim that kept me afloat enough to reach the pool’s border. I guess mom was correct when she refers to me then as a little devil. I remember talking to God, to the sun and to the ocean as my friends when I did not know whether this was right, wrong or odd.
FM: Do you force yourself to work or do you wait for inspiration?
LZ: Mostly I have been enjoying the luxury of working when I felt the muse. My wife was a source of inspiration and encouragement about my artistic ability when I was painting in my NYC apartment as a fun way to relax and unwind, but lately I have been forcing myself to create with more purposeful results. I am still learning this professional discipline about helping the muse find me when I’m working. I also write fiction, and I need the inspiration much more there than with visual arts. (I won a Spanish language short story contest, and my comedy story “Marathon,” was published in an Anthology with twenty other stories)
FM: Where do you turn when you’re lacking inspiration?
LZ: I go inside myself. I relax, I connect with what is “coming close to earth”. My goal and inspiration is about trying to break through my own past work into the new. I know that the duende (spirit) has touched me when my work surprises myself, and I produce something I never did or imagined before. The poet Antonio Machado said “Walker: your tracks alone make the path. / Walker, there is no path. / You make the path as you walk. / When walking, you make the path, / and when looking back / you see the trail / where you will never step back.” Another poet, Eluard said it so well, “There are other worlds, but they are in this one”. Although I have an eye for art appreciation, I have never taken classes or formal training in drawing, painting or art history. At this point I do not seek referents or inspiration in other artists more than the random encounter with a nice wine label or a good magazine visual. I am determined to work a lot more on bringing what is inside me before learning techniques. I like the works of Picasso, Dali, Bosch, Xul Solar, and particularly contemporary artists of visionary art like Alex Grey. Nature in its different forms, curves, proportions, shapes, and fractals inspires me. I think that a good match between the aesthetics of natural beauty with the right amount of novelty is an ideal. I believe in beautiful art instead of just the shock value of the urinal out of place, but the magnificent curves of the urinal’s design can be appreciated anywhere while pissing.
FM: What type of music do you like to listen to while you’re working?
LZ: Tribal, trance, meditation music, the last four decades of English and American rock, some good pop, Argentinean rock and sometimes I listen to talks by Eckard Tolle, Louise Hay, Terrance Mckenna, or other wise, interesting people. Sometimes it all becomes white noise where the right amount of distraction for the monkey mind allows for something else to manifest. I am always looking for what is not mine, for what I don’t own yet. If the final work surprises me as if I were not its author, then I am advancing in my path.
FM: What is your work space like?
LZ: It used to be a full basement studio before my recent divorce. Now I am cramped in a small apartment with a fantastic roommate, so I will have to invent something. My last painting, The Third Man, was channeled in the backyard, painting it over the grass on my knees. I have asked my next-door neighbor, Steve, to keep my work in progress at his garage until I get to finish it. Nashville people are the best!
FM: What do you need to focus?
LZ: Tranquility. The ideas come when the water is still. Music, and sometimes a glass of Malbec.
FM: Has your work ever interfered with your personal life?
LZ: Actually, I am finding out that is the other way around: at this stage in my life, going through a terrible divorce, it is my personal life that is affecting my work, my health, my psychological well-being and spiritual quest. First, it shot down my creativity. I went into a severe depression and lost forty pounds in 45 days. Adultery, deceit and lies are the most personal and intimate betrayal you can give to your chosen life-partner. Given that I cannot change what is and what once was with my wife, the hard acceptance of reality is making me reevaluate my life and work. Pain is a teacher and an agent of transformation when you work through it as you feel it. Emotional hurt can make you feel very alert and alive. It can wake you up to what you really want to do in this short and fragile life we have. I am connecting with my life force deep within me for survival. Also, as I finally shut down emotionally to my wife, I am opening myself up to new people and new friendships, and my need for human contact makes me the recipient of little miracles of human kindness. I have been the witness of the most compassionate and sympathetic comments, especially from survivors who made it through.
FM: What current projects are you working on?
LZ: I am working on a series about my unique life-stage transit. It’s about personal relationships, divorce, loss, commitment, deceit, the Jungian view of your own shadow, adversity, my subconscious, being heart
broken, adultery, forgiveness, and our own human fragility and precariousness. I am approaching it as a cathartic process, another way of self-expression of what is real in my life, and I am exploring for the first time healing my wounds by manifesting my feelings. By letting them come to the surface of the canvas directly from the guts. So my first in this series is The Third Man, and it is about my subjective unconscious view of a nemesis rival in my previous work industry who caused my life and marriage to crumble into a bottomless pit of distrustful darkness since May 2011.
FM: What are your plans for the future?
LZ: I am looking for a gallery or sponsor to help me mount an experiential installation exhibit for this healing work. Never before I could even imagine divorce and loss as a theme and inspiration for art making, but it is a human experience that at least half of us experience, and as such is valid, deep, heart-felt, and scarring. My goal is to relate to others about loss in such way that my work becomes an example of healing. Our search for the exit, the transformation that is needed through the process of denial, sadness, depression, rage, bargaining, and finally acceptance and forgiveness. I recently heard a quote that has helped me: “It is not about just surviving the storm, it is about dancing in the rain.” So as an artist in my healing process, I want to present my work about loss, pain, hurt and forgiveness while allowing myself dancing to that music. I need hugs and I want to give them. I want to keep this vulnerability and compassion as strength. Communicate the best lessons of this transformative stage, and let my expression of emotions serve as a way to prevent becoming cynical, jaded, or damaged as a man. I know at the end of the divorce path there will be forgiveness for me. Finding my way there is the path I am exploring for myself. I want to let my wife go and keep a pure, innocent heart. I want to relate to another human being through the common experience of loss, heartbreak, and healing through my vision and my openness. This is what I want in my future, and to be able to keep creating. And keep healing. So be it.