Artist Interview: Oliverio Balcells

Mictlancihuatl by Oliverio Balcells

Today our artist interview is with Oliverio Balcells, a professional artist, born in Mexico City. His painting style expresses Mexican contemporary art.  Oliverio’s influences stem from ancient Mexican manifestations, Wixarika art (Huichol art), and the Mexican master muralists. You can see his art at Xico in the Dia de los Muertos exhibition through Nov 8th, 2011. Or check out his website.
Did you grow up with El Dia de los Muertos?

Yes. My family were very traditionalist on the catholic side, not that much on the indigenous or popular culture. But when I get the chance to go to the fairs and cemeteries I realized the many different aspects and variations of the cultures and that’s what makes Mexico so unique and special.

What’s your favorite Dia de los Muertos symbol?

I would say La Catrina, as an Mexican art student I was and still I am a follower of the Mexican Social Art Movement that had started on the 1910’s, and Jose Guadalupe Posasda, the creator of La Catrina is one of the pioneers.

What mediums do you work in? Which ones would you like to try? How are they  similar and different?

Most of my work is painting and mixed media.

How does culture influence your art?

Mexican ancient cultures has always been my influences and there is a lot of images and stories related to the dead.

What are you working on right now? What are you doing next as an artist?

Right now I’m doing an artist residency with Child’s play on the Diego Rivera Project. I’m always experimenting with techniques and my next move is go with inks over silk and contemporary Mexican decorations.