“I hope people use the work as a catalyst to start having certain conversations.” The Mexico City-based artist creates rich portraits of his past experiences that explore wider narratives around race, gender and sexuality.
On a surface level, collage can be a wonderful commingling of textures and materials that wouldn’t otherwise come together. Beyond this sumptuous, layered aesthetic, it can also act as a rich storytelling technique, a way to build narratives and create insightful portraits.For artist Clotilde Jiménez, collage has become a way for the artist to digest, explore and unpack his own experiences. Yet there’s a universal symbolism interwoven through every piece, which allows the artist examine “rigid definitions of ‘Blackness’” and larger narratives around sexuality and gender.
“I think my life is like anyone else’s life to a certain degree. I don’t think I have this solely unique experience,” says Jiménez. “It’s just I think not everyone has the ability to look it in the face. My work is diving head first into it, and as these are universal problems and topics in some way or another, I think that’s how people can enter the work.”
By using his own experiences as queer and Black hispanic, Jiménez hopes to highlight the stories of those who have previously been marginalised and ignored. In a new series of collages, currently on show at Mariane Ibrahim in Chicago, he examines the intersection of athleticism and queerness. More specifically, the series grapples with his personal, and once estranged, relationship with his father, a bodybuilder and boxer.