Coco Guzman is a Spanish-Canadian queer artist using drawing, installation and on-site interventions to investigate stories, mostly of what is not revealed to the eye but lives within our everyday reality as embodied memories, hidden whispers or naughty traces.
Coco Guzman is a Spanish-Canadian queer artist using drawing, installation and on-site interventions to investigate stories, mostly of what is not revealed to the eye but lives within our everyday reality as embodied memories, hidden whispers or naughty traces. Through an interdisciplinary approach that draws on critical theory, comics, queering studio processes, archival research, observation, and conversations with friends, Coco’s work invokes latent stories that invite the viewer to question who they are and the society they live in.
Coco’s work has been exhibited across the Americas and Europe, notably at CentroCentro Madrid (Spain), the XIII Havana Biennale (Cuba) Encuentros (Mexico) and many other international art events. They are also the co-founder of Colectivo Pez Luna, a theatre collective dedicated to exploring the intersections between drag, theatre, drawing and space. Coco has received the support of the Canada Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Art Council as well as the Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada fellowship for both their master and doctoral research. Coco is currently based in Madrid and pursuing their doctoral degree at Universidad Politecnica de Valencia. Their current research focuses on strategies of drawing that explore queer and non-normative understanding of the human body.
We asked Coco what it means for them to be an artist during these challenging times, and if their relationship to the term artist has shifted since social distancing. They replied,
" For me being an artist means to generate further knowledge, emotions, feelings, realizations through a different system than that of exclusive intellectual reasoning. Art is a language, a tool, an expression of touch, of connecting with oneself and with others through your guts and your skin and your vulnerabilities. I am personally tired of concepts that do not have emotions, of art full of ideas but no feelings. This sensation has only amplified in these times of health, social and financial unrest: I believe it is more important than ever to put conscious intention into creating a different and more just world. Necessarily that means overturning the capitalist racist cisheteronormative world we live in, which was built upon the Eurocentric imposition of a certain “reason”. As artists, I believe I need to challenge this and bring“touch” at the centre of my practice."
Check out their Instagram at @coco_riot and visit their website at http://www.cocoriot.com/
Photo credit: Mirna Chacin