Jose Cacho Ribeiro

“The strength of the woman is present in my work because I believe in it“

How did you start doing art? How has your journey been so far?

From the age of 8 I started making art, like most of the children drawing and painting with any material that I had at hand. When I was 10 years old I started using watercolor and oil, my mom always cared about having the material I needed to make my young art. She insisted on taking me to art classes, I always resisted, I did not like to be told what and how to draw or paint, I have always preferred to do it my way. I am totally self-taught. There are two centers in my life, my family and my art, around them I do many other activities.

You define yourself as a Mexican artist. What are the aesthetic elements that characterize such a definition…what does it mean to be one? 

I define myself as a Mexican artist because I was born and live in Mexico. Although I love my country, I have always thought that nationality is a geographical and temporal accident. Speaking of art, I am convinced that it has no nationality, it is certainly influenced by the environment and the culture in which we live, but those borders are easily broken through curiosity, relationship, study and hard work. My artwork has changed a lot aesthetically with time, but permanently maintains the woman as the center of the universe; duality, multiplicity and contrast are elements that arise frequently.

Your most recent work regards the “human condition, in particular, the presence of women in the earth as a source of life, knowledge, and harmony”. How are your creations the translation of these words? What is your creative process like?

My life has always been surrounded by extraordinary women, my mother, my sisters, my wife, my daughters. In most of the world, and Mexico is not the exception, man still dominates practically all areas of society and economy; the woman receives little recognition despite being the center of gravity of the universe. My work is simply an expression of what I think and feel, the strength of the woman is present in my work because I believe in it, aesthetics and color are added to the meaning in an effort to generate a visual and emotional reaction in the observer.

Many of your artworks are a clever combination of different techniques… how did you develop this personal vision? Are there any artists in particular who inspired you?

The techniques that I apply have been learned over time, through research and study, but above all through constant experimentation using various materials that are not traditional in academic painting. I have the problem of getting bored quickly when I repeat the same thing, this problem becomes an advantage because it leads me to innovate continuously in the use and application of ideas and materials. There are many artists that inspired me, in the origins Dalí, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, most recently Gustav Klimt, Banksy, Pollock, Cauduro. My main source of inspiration and reference are the everyday images and events, what I see in a newspaper, in a fashion magazine, in the street, in a television ad, in my dreams.

"Aqui es donde todo inicia"
"Encuentro de la memoria"
"El abrazo"
"El dia que teji mi primera cancion"

You “take” the images for your women’s faces from newspaper and magazines and advertisements. Thinking of this research, what are the features that grasp most your attention?

The decision of which image will be the reference for a work is totally spontaneous. I usually turn the pages quickly, if an image catches my attention I simply stop at it and make it mine, I do not go deep in technical analysis, nor in the quality of the image, it’s very simple, if I like it, I use it. Although, finally I realize that most of them are thoughtful women, challenging, calm, determined, are the women who move the world.

“La liberaciòn del pasado” (The Liberation of the past”) is the title of one of your artworks. I am really fascinated by this phrase…can you tell me more about it? How does it relate to the image you have created?

The goal of freeing ourselves from the past is something that frequently occurs in my work. I believe that one of the biggest problems we have in society is to be thinking frequently about the past, we carry it with us as if it determines our future. Although I believe that the legacy and the experience of what we lived previously are sources of learning, I am also convinced of the need to shake it to turn to the present and the future to define our destiny. The name of this particular work represents this conviction.

The greatest joy your work has given you? And something that, looking back, you would have done differently?

The greatest satisfaction that art has given me has been to see how my children have become involved in the world of the sensitive, within what art is, the satisfaction of sharing this passion with my wife and enjoying it together. Although there are obviously many factors that have defined my children as who they are, I believe that their permanent exposure to art has been an additional factor in developing their sensitivity,

I do not think too much about the past, I think I would have changed almost nothing. Good and bad experiences make us who we are; what I think we can change is the future…this issue would need a one-day long interview.

An artist you want to suggest to us?

Even if it sounds too obvious, I want to say my son Rodrigo. He is young, creative, convinced and honest with what he does. In addition, he is developing highly innovative projects, which is a challenge at present times. From him, I learned a lot of things in art matters.


Where do you see your art headed to? What are your most recent interests and developments?

My goal is to be happy. I see a great future, I am convinced that people who work hard and passionately grow continuously throughout life. That’s what I want to do, be happy with what I do and keep growing…the rest is just a result.

In the short term, my interest is to perfect the subject, the technique and the meaning of what I am doing now until I feel that I need to change the orientation of my art to take the next step towards evolution. I want to continue enjoying the present to have a better future.

Next and upcoming projects?

I have some exhibitions and art fairs ahead for this year, but my main interest in art is to continue developing new projects, implementing new techniques and ideas, learning from what I see every day to create things that I do not imagine today.

"El sonido de las anecdotas"
"La cinco consecuencias"

Credits: Jose Cacho Ribeiro

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