Through May 7, 2017
Guillermo “Memo” Gutierrez
Mexican American (born 1986, El Paso, TX)
Assemblage of found objects
9 x 8 x1.5 feet
Courtesy of artist
LabEPMA provides emerging regional artists an opportunity to exhibit one work of art in any media accompanied by a 30-minute discussion of their work. There are four exhibits per year, and the work is exhibited for a three-month period. This special program is tailored to highlight the work of area artists, promote creative production, and provide a platform for contemporary discussion. Artists interested in being featured in LabEPMA are encouraged to contact Christian Gerstheimer, Curator, at (915) 212-3059.
Guillermo Gutierrez is an El Paso-based artist who has exhibited his artwork at UTEP’s Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, UTEP’s Glass Gallery, and is the first UTEP Department of Art + El Paso Museum of Art, LabEPMA Program award recipient. Mr. Gutierrez will receive his BFA degree with a double concentration in Ceramics and Sculpture in May 2017.
The drive is long and quiet. It is early morning and I find myself on the road to Krag again (my name for a vast deserted dumpsite in east El Paso). Arriving at my destination, I grab my gloves and some trash bags and begin to wander through the endless masses of detritus in search for materials. Following a beaten path I encounter the decay of forgotten, discarded family dogs with collars intact, rotting away in solitude. My mind wanders and I am hit with a feeling of sorrow. Yet, amongst all this death and abandonment, I am enchanted and enthralled by my encounters with the land and the monumental heaps of waste that litter it. I carefully select each object, and as I fill my bags I am continuously engrossed in a dialogue with the land and the material. While I examine each found fragment, I ask myself many questions about these objects and the site. These questions linger in my mind as I return to my car, creating a continual allure to Krag and its mysteries.
On my arrival back to civilization, I begin my process of weaving the objects I have found onto the square platforms that will unify what I have collected from Krag. I look over the items and instantly become immersed in the sea of objects, intuitively altering and piecing them in jarring assemblages by tying, stapling, gluing, screwing and nailing them together. Certain aspects of the work are bleak and haunting, whereas other parts are very playful.
Being a process-oriented artist it is important for me to continuously be in a state of search and discovery. My ideas and work are informed by my process; it is what feeds and initiates the final outcome of my work. Through process I continue to learn about myself and the direction of my work.