Hello Blog Readers!
When I decided to take on writing a blog, it was important to me that I posted more than simply updates on my own work. I wanted to create and share content that would be informative, inspiring, and helpful to anyone reading. Artists don't live in bubbles. We are products of our surroundings. So, part of my creative pursuit involves giving back to the community of artists and art lovers that has been so nurturing to me over the years. I see blogging as an opportunity to highlight some of the amazing people I have met and befriended along my journey. So, without further ado, welcome to my first artist interview.
francesca ritchey - mexico city
Born in Mexico City in 1976, Francesca majored in Communications at Anahuac University. In 2002, she began studies at Maine Media College and completed the Professional Certificate in Photography Program. It was here that she first began exhibiting her work.
Francesca has taken part in many workshops with renowned photographers like Saúl Serrano, Francisco Mata and Italian photographer Ernesto Bazaan.
In 2007, she was awarded 3rd place in a national competition organized by BBVA Bank Foundation and Cuartoscuro Magazine. And, in 2008, Hazlo Ahora, a non governmental organization, invited her to form part of an exhibit named “El ABC de la Discapacidad” (The ABC´s of disability) which is still traveling through Mexico and promotes the equality of people with disabilities.
Francesca was accepted into Galeria Barbabosa in Mexico City as one of its artists in 2010 (The gallery has since closed.) and in 2012 she was invited to be one of the artist represented by Lasheras+Elliot Contemporary Gallery in Avándaro, Estado de México with other important artists such as Bradley Narduzzi, Byron Gálvez and Ana Santos. In December 2012, she was selected among 500,000 artists to be in the project 1001 Artist in the Scope Art Fair Miami for See Me. She was selected as a finalist at the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series competition in Houston in 2013 and exhibited at the Houston Museum of African American Culture through December.
Today, Francesca is working on various personal projects and takes commercial photographs for various clients.
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on my next show, AUTOPSY which will be exhibited here in Mexico City during the first week of September 2014. It is composed of 11 color photographs and it is my first solo show in almost 7 years, so yes, I'm nervous. But, I'm dying to see the pieces hung for the show, it's taken me quite some time to get it published and exhibited.
What inspires you? Are there recurring themes?
Inspiration for me comes from watching movies, reading books, art magazines, art exhibits, music, meditation and just getting out and living your life. It does not come in schedules or dates; it just comes.
Themes are not something i think I'm not good at. Maybe moods are better, but I do notice my work always has nostalgia, hope, some crazy, force, memories and I do usually find these through photographing nature and abstract urban landscape things. Almost never through people directly.
Why do you make art? What is your process?
I make art because I think it is one of the greatest forms of expressing myself. I'm not good with words.
My process is having no process. I think you just have to take the camera out of the bag and shoot and then later you can put things in order in your head and make something coherent from it or not. Just enjoy it for yourself. I have never been good with lists or order. I guess that is why I am who I am.
Has your practice changed over time?
I guess my process has changed together with me. What I have been through and how much I've been willing to put out there. I have taken more risks and reached out more which is something I highly recommend. It doesn't matter how many no´s you get... there will be a day when you get that awesome YES! and you'll love it.
Your goals in work? And, in life?
In work: It would probably be to get gallery representation in the US and call me weird, but I also want to make it to the Miami Art Basel show someday.
In life: Phew, where shall I start... it's complicated. Hahaha.
What do you believe is the the role of the artist in society? And, what are your opinions - positive or negative - about the art world, either in general or specifically in Mexico City?
The role of the artist in society is to tell it like it is in an original way. And, by original I don't mean something that's never been seen before. I mean maybe in a different form (through music, through colors, through pictures, through theatre, etc.)
The art world is complex. If you want to make it, you must look for that big break but you must not lose sight of what you are doing while you get there. Sometimes, you see really bad artists get a solo show because they know someone or did something more commercial and I hate that. But, they don't thrive they are just shooting stars, you will never see these people in a museum. So, whatever stage you are at, just keep going even if you think it is slow and do keep connections, but for the right reasons. A great way I think to get noticed is to enter art scholarships and renowned contests.
What are you doing when you're not doing photography? Any hobbies?
My hobbies are reading, yoga, dancing, listening to music & obsessing about irrelevant shit that probably wont even happen. Hahaha.
And, now for the favorites...
Blogs or websites?
I'm not very big on blogs, so I don't follow any specifically, but I love Pinterest and there are lots of great webpages or twitter accounts who cover art news which I love.
Daniela Edburg is probably my favorite Mexican photographer.
Catcher in the Rye
Last great book you read?
The Fault in Our Stars. This book actually made me cry. I hadn't done that in the longest time with a book.
Is there a particularly inspiring place for you?
Traveling is always inspiring for me. It is a great chance to go to museums, get your mind of work grab your camera and just start shooting nonstop.
Where is the international place you'd most like to visit?
Places I HAVE to see before I die: Definitely Iceland, Russia, Norway, Alaska, and Africa.
- To contact Francesca or see more of her work, please click on the links below. -