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Self-portrait

Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I was born in Mexico City, when I graduated from high-school I moved to New York to attend art school. I lived around the East Village until I graduated in may 2012. Now I live and work in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn isn't exactly cheap, but do you think it's still a good place for artists?

We all know that you can live and work from anywhere in the world; you don't physically have to be in a specific place if you are an artist. Yes, New York/Brooklyn is incredibly expensive, but for me the experience of being here has been invaluable. You get to meet and be around great artists, and when you are surrounded by hard working and talented people, it pushes you forward. It's a shame how much money it costs to be living in this city, but I like to think there are more opportunities here to be seized, the city has a lot to offer.

 Rachel's studio

What's your background as an artist? Did you draw a lot as a child?

When I was little I said I wanted to be a painter when I grew up. Drawing has always been like a second nature to me, when I was 8, I started taking classes in Perla Krauze's studio (amazing visual artist and one of my favorite people). We did everything: oils, printmaking, clay and woodworking. I really love making things and trying new techniques. I am also very lucky my family has been more supportive that I could ever hope for. In the past I've felt tortured about choosing this unpredictable career, but I am doomed because there is nothing else I love more than this.

Girl With Whippet

Tell us about this series.

I am drawn to the feminine world, and in this series I painted women who seemed interesting to me and I painted imaginary pets that i long for. I like stillness and domestic environments and I miss all the plants that we have at home. I enjoy painting things that are aesthetically pleasing but not perfect. I need an element of mystery or disquietude to keep me interested. I think that's why i like using black and white and a pop of color, it's somehow pretty, dramatic and somber at the same time. I like partially hiding the face of my characters; I think that can be more truthful or revealing than painting a pretty girl with a smile.

I love these little sculptural figures! Who are these figures and what is the project about?

Those little sculptures were part of my thesis during my senior year at school. It started with a series of drawings inspired by botanical illustrations that incorporated children-like characters. But then I decided to sculpt them as well. That inspired me to sculpt more. Right now I'm taking a ceramics class, so I'm definitely going to make more things like that, I'm excited.

Botany

You've done some very cool collaborations with Masuko Jo. If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I love collaborating with friends, Masuko brings out my playful side. I would love to collaborate with an animator in the future! For now, I will keep on making silly .gifs with Masuko.


Back to the show!

Rachel's website.