Universe Of: Iris Vazquez

Date June 4, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Author Dana Waldon

Publication THE magazine

Categories Performing Arts

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Iris Vazquez finds supreme beauty in the curves of the female body.

Her paintings and sculptures do not portray women as svelte and glamorous supermodels. Instead, they are extravagantly rounded figures-opulent women with ample thighs, wide hips, and voluptuous behinds-reminiscent of the polish and excess of Spanish colonial baroque paintings.

Sensuousness through Color, Form, & Volume

Being both a sculptor and a painter, I relish color and texture. Working with water-based clay and using deep and often heavy pigments brings a texture and rawness to the work that I create. I love rawness, sensuality, and the feeling of aliveness associated with color and texture. The voluptuous women in my work are a part of this sensuality. Their volume and deep color give them their own presence. Flesh is sensual, and a lot of flesh is even more sensual.

Triumphant and Tragic Aspects of my Work

Since my work is not what one would consider mainstream, some may view the subject matter as being repulsive or ugly-that would be a tragedy. In our society, we tend to have preconceived notions as to what beauty is, failing to understand the many faces and characteristics of beauty. Much of my work portrays large women of all colors, and to be able to capture their beauty on canvas or in bronze is a triumph.

Going Against the Current

I try not to become too concerned about what everybody is doing; instead I focus on what it is I need to convey. Art trends are fickle-what is in today is out tomorrow. I paint and sculpt that which comes from within me, that which needs to be let out. I have always gone against the current in my life, as well as in my art. If an idea is in my thoughts and keeps screaming, it's a message that needs to be expressed. Every artist would love to be continuously selling their work, including me, but if that means painting or sculpting something just to make a sale, that's not a good thing. An artist does us all a disservice when we cannot see the passion in their work.

My Environment

I love simplicity and refinement, and absolutely despise clutter, although one would not know it by looking at my studio.

I am a foodie-I love good food, good wine, and interesting, fun friends. I am lucky to have a husband who cooks and calls himself "the paella king of Santa Fe."€ I crave books and never get enough of them. Toss a couple of animals into my studio environment, and I am one happy artist.

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