My book arts, letterpress, and sculpture work explores interactions between nature and culture in places I have lived and traveled through. I find myself drawn to the way that rural economies, dependent on agriculture or natural resources, allow natural features to stand out in ways not seen in cities. I learn more about these places by researching their history, economy, and ecosystems, and also by observing them first hand. My work aims to heighten a viewer’s awareness of the unique place they live, and through this increased understanding, encourage stewardship of that place.
Robert Huerta is a community organizer and artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. His current research interests are aligned with developing an interdisciplinary social practice for community building/regeneration through education and creative place-making.
“As I’ve matured as a person and a painter, my art practice has relocated from the streets to the studio, but my relationship to the city remains the same and I continue to Identify with graffiti as a philosophy. Historically, graffiti has functioned as a visual language by which the discontent, marginalized, and proactive could utilize public spaces to confront issues personal, and thus political. Though there are abject things about graffiti, like it’s narcissistic, destructive, and, at times, violent tendencies, community engagement via artistic interventions are amongst its virtues. These graffitisms should be noted and can be appropriated at the intersection of Contemporary Studio and Social Practice.”
My paintings reflect on adolescent development, crime, and the prison industrial complex. These portraits were inspired by restorative justice, an alternative approach in which criminals apologize to those they’ve harmed and seek forgiveness. By flushing out pictures of prisoners’ lives I shed light on current systems of punishment, hoping to redirect the dialogue into alternative methods of justice. I encourage viewers to consider us, as a society, and the choices we make collectively on how to punish criminals.
To embrace the affinity between the creative process and natural world.
To value subtle objects and imprints, emphasizing on the conversations occurring within them.
To practice natural horsemanship as a daily ritual and direct influence in art making.
My ceramic sculptures are a direct representation of such rituals. They signify archival vessels holding time, memory and frequency. The work is relational, exploring to capture the pure energy in found organic objects, hand-built ceramic sculptures, paintings and writing. The objective is to sustain a sense of wonder while investigating lifelong skills revolving around the creative act and equine behavior.
My artistic process revolves around an acute interest in the accumulation, repetition, and presentation of ordinary objects, materials, and images. I use the physicality of constantly re-arranging forms to question perception and the nature of reality both on a personal and cultural level. I am after a kind of inept monumentality built from repetitious labor and craft with humble materials. I collect, arrange, and obsessively repeat minimal geometric forms such as triangles, octagons, circles, rectangles using a variety of mundane material both natural and artificial. Using these idioms of pop, minimalism, and conceptual art, I suggest spiritual narratives with ontological possibilities.
Art for me is an experience, new technologies excite me because we can use these tools to create new experiences in Art making and in also viewing it. Immersion is set in experience; you can be immersed in water, in a forest and also in a desert, this feeling of it being all around you for miles and miles I, also, want to enthrall the viewer in an art experience and investigate what immersive art is using Virtual Reality Technology and push my work that I have now into that virtual space.
My artwork is a reflection of my belief that the world can be a better place. A more empathetic and understanding one. Through the use of art as a tool, history as a resource, and ancestry to draw parallel connections, I hope to inspire dialog that builds bridges, educates, and encourages harmony between all peoples and nations. My practice includes mixed mediums in 2 and 3D, historical truths and personal narratives on the subject of indigenous and African culture, DNA, migration, humanity and inhumanity. My medium varies from topic to topic and includes installations. Mediums are selected based on the effectiveness to deliver my message.