Xavier Mascaro believes that art is an extension of what one is, feels and thinks.
Xavier Mascaro is no stranger to the UAE, having exhibited in 2016 at the Warehouse 421 in Abu Dhabi. This time around, he is represented by Opera Gallery Dubai, where his sculptures will be on display until December.
Xavier’s first works in bronze in 1989 and first sculptures in iron in 1995 won him great acclaim, prompting the move to New York to be part of the exciting art scene there. With his own studio in London and currently living and working in Mexico, Xavier is an amalgamation of experiences and expertise garnered from various parts of the art world.
The sculptor articulates his passion for the craft in this interview.
Is your art a reflection of your own personality?
Yes, I believe that art is an extension of what one is, feels and thinks. Art is a way of making the essence of who we are, visible to others who are viewing our work.
Art in any form is a constantly evolving one, how as per you has your creativity evolved?
My creativite evolution has always paralleled my personal evolution. Years ago, I was more hermetic as a person. Looking back it seems to me that I was wearing some kind of protective armour. In retrospection, I think that's where the armour in my sculptures came from. I have evolved into someone less afraid of vulnerability, even with a desire to be permeable, to feel more the feelings of others and my own. My works have evolved in that direction too.
Can you tell us about your sculptures at the Opera Gallery Dubai?
There are several iconographies represented: Guardians (figures seating in a vigilant attitude), warriors, walking men and women, heads of women. I had an exhibition in Abu Dhabi whose general theme was the boat, which was presented as a metaphor of the relationship of the Emirates with the sea. One of those works is still exhibited next to Warehouse 421, in the old fishing port, not far from real vestiges of local boats.
Every creator will have his own favourites. Which exhibit is closest to your heart and why?
The exhibition at the gardens of the Palais Royal in Paris, and the one that I had at The Saatchi Gallery in London are two of my favourites because these are places with which I had a previous personal relationship, since I used to visit them whenever I had a chance, long before having the opportunity of exhibiting my works there.
Among developing the concept, getting it finished to satisfy your creativity, ensuring your thoughts reach the viewer standing in front of your work… which is the toughest part?
Before creating a sculpture I can already feel it, I can measure the physical space it will occupy; I mean I can really feel a presence when it still only exists in my mind. The toughest part in creating a sculpture for me is to provide it with the same strength and substance that I have felt when I first desired its existence.
What brings out the best in you acting as an inspiration?
My inspiration comes from what I feel to be the common thread in every artist at any time in history, which is a will to transcend, to leave an impression that reaches others, often distant in time and space. Art has the ability to capture one’s essence, transcribed in codes that other people can decode (see, read, hear); to reconstruct something of the essence of another person’s life. It is an insight into another person’s life.
Do you have what artists normally call as their signature style?
My signature style is in the use of traditional materials in a contemporary way; and because of my fascination for the art of past civilisations, some sort of taste of distant times still echoes within them.
Where else have you exhibited your sculptures and how have these experiences been?
I have exhibited my monumental sculptures in cities such as Paris, London, Madrid, Seville, Mexico City or Guadalajara (Mexico) and some other exhibitions of medium-or smaller scale works have taken place in cities such as New York , Dusseldorf, Monte-Carlo, Beirut, Amman, Abu Dhabi, among others. Each of these exhibitions has given me a special opportunity to get to know the city with a different perspective, capturing the cultural essence of the place, and seeing how my work would adapt and would be interpreted in each particular context.
Where do you see your art leading you in the immediate future?
I am working on different groups of sculptures and in these diverse groups I am developing at the same time subjects that I have been interested in already for many years. Some of these also depict aspects of my personality that have barely appeared before in previous works and which will provide that element of intrigue.
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