• Art of Inspiration

    • The influence this creator has had in contemporary art is remarkable and has earned his recognition.

    Francis Alÿs: the artist/observer that astonishes because of his rebellious and transformative character / 

    The creations by the Belgian artist, Francis Alÿs (1959), would seem to lack a closing statement for his oeuvre —his pieces are almost always stimuli which could be repeated incessantly until a variable transforms it all. Alÿs enjoys the unfinished character in his work and reasserts it every time with a new piece.

    This artist arrived in Mexico during the Eighties and began a career as a full-time visual artist, as he himself reflects: “the first —I wouldn’t call the works—, my first images or interventions where to a greater extent a reaction to Mexico City, a way of placing myself in this colossal urban entity”.

    The rebellious character that is found in his line of discourse, is related to the recognition of chaos as part of a creational genesis, Alÿs is not hoping or waiting to have complete control over anything he does; he does not find perfection in the repetition of the action in his work, but the haphazard intromission that can transform everything. Regarding this, in the Nineties, while Alÿs was filming a video following the movements of a plastic bottle advancing down the street, his immersion in said practice was so absolute that while not paying attention to anything else, a car ran him over.

    A first and definitive stage in Alÿs’ work, in which he personifies and cultivates the observing character that he is known for, he became interested by —and he still is—in the development of problems in Latin America, which he sums up as:

    A type of discursive argument made up of episodes, metaphors or parables, staging the experience of time in Latin America.

    His work projects a political, artistic and poetic character; his reflections satisfy the eye, eager to find a profound dimension in that reflection on merely artistic issues, and at the same time, the work insides in social and political problems. The rehearsal dynamic is an interesting point in the way we create, a clarifying approach to this aspect can be found in “Francis Alÿs: The Politics of Rehearsal”, by the curator Russell Ferguson who points out:

    From the very beginning of his career as an artist, Alÿs has adopted a way of working that tends to reject conclusions and to favour, on the other hand, repetition and re-calibration. What he has done is putting the idea of rehearsal in the centre of his work.

    From that point on, Ferguson explores Alÿs’ rehearsal capacity as a strategy to clarify the point he wants to make, and to achieve permanence in the spectator. This contemporary artist’s creativity is remarkable, his career has brought about significant contributions to contemporary art, a creator that is worth an intensive look, and a fair amount of time.

    Also in Sphere: Francis Alÿs: visual reflections of the marginal and the poetic

    Tagged: Francis Alÿs, contemporary art, contemporary artists, inspiration