Beyond the White Cube: Gustavo Godoy, sculptor and mixed-media artist.

When I recently discovered Gustavo Godoy’s work, I quickly added him to my ever-growing “must visit asap” list.  His manipulation of industrial materials is masterful and the concepts he addresses give his body of work incredible depth and nuance.  I’m looking forward to his solo show at Honor Fraser in April 2012.  His studio was amazing, my head practically spun around on my body trying to take it all in.

Yasmine Mohseni: What are you working on right now?

Gustavo Godoy: Right now I am working on a large piece for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, based on the idea of religious altars. Titled “Empty Altar”, it will be a very large metallic structure that you will be able to climb up inside of, creating a sense of ritual, activating the object and your very personal relationship with, or beliefs in, art.

What upcoming exhibitions do you have?

I have the piece that opens at MOCA Jacksonville in November. I am working on another piece for the Sur Biennial, which will open in three venues around Los Angeles, and features artists who are either from a Latin America or have some connection in their work or lives to Latin American countries. Less about “Latin American artists”, and more about how artists have adapted and evolved to be a part of contemporary dialogue in a dynamic world culture.  Aside from those two shows, I am preparing for my next solo show at Honor Fraser Gallery opening in April 2012, where I will be exploring further, this idea of art and belief systems. It should be a very important show for me.

Describe your style

Sophisticated day-laborer?

Why did you become an artist?

I became an artist in a bit of a political move. I see being an artist as a luxury, a freedom, a sacrifice, and a responsibility. We are lucky to live in a society that allows us to explore the character of our culture and lives, and point out both the flaws and moments of promise, in a valued intellectual and entertaining forum. It was a way for me to have an individual voice, combining my intellectual interests with my capabilities as a problem solver, with the potential to create a legacy for my children and family, and have an impact on society in the space of my life. I thought it was a way to do something important.


What inspires you?

I am inspired by goodness and work hard. My wife, my parents, my son; the soccer player and academic. But also teachers, soldiers, volunteers…people who are selflessly trying to help others. I was brought up to help the guy push his car out of the street when he runs out of gas, save that half a sandwich for the homeless guy standing outside of the restaurant, or even help a friend move all of their art from storage or break up a brick wall in their yard…Robert…yeah, I’m referring to your brick wall.

Who are your favorite artists (living or dead)?

Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Chris Burden, Robert Irwin, Gordon Matta-Clark, James Turrell, Bas Jan Ader, Gabriel Orozco, Tim Hawkinson, Piero Golia, Pentti Monkkonen, Diego Velasquez, Gustav Courbet, Louis Kahn, Le Corbusier


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