Transform Arte, Art Fair Eisenstadt

Gustavo Juárez

I was born and grew up in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala, at the shores of the wonderful Lake Atitlán. Since my early years, drawings were my favourite form to express myself. Art allowed me to describe feelings, observations and critics of the reality that surrounded me – better than words could do. In 2013 I came to Austria. In different ways this meant for me, that I was “re-born”. To leave everything behind and start with zero is a form of liberation – on the one hand. On the other hand it is an ongoing, difficult process in which I need to learn everything anew, just like a child. To begin with, I had to learn to “communicate” again – in another language. The experience of not having a voice and not being able to express oneself adequately is sometimes hard and painful. This process of development is also reflected in my paintings.

My works unite utopian with concrete, abstract with realistic elements. At first sight many of my paintings are very optimistic and cheerful. But when the observer pays attention to the details and reads the message that the painting delivers, one can see a serious, sad and sometimes absurd reality behind the surface.  Sometimes we only see the facade, but it is worth risking a second look at the portrayed situation. Each work makes a question to the observer. One objective of my paintings is making people think – about the painting, about its message and what is has to do with our own lives. The works take a critical perspective on our society and invites the observer to build up their own mind as well.

Childhood and its innocence is one important topic in my artistic work – in our high-tech globalised world sometimes these things get lost. The dreams that we once had as children are still in our hearts – they are the motivation for our lives. But they don’t just realise themselves, we have to struggle and work hard to make them come true. Accordingly, the daily routine is another topic in my works, because this routine sometimes make us forget about our dreams and our utopia.

Therefore my motto is “I paint the dreams of my childhood, because now I have the chance to make them come true.”