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Mexico City writer inspires artist Shizu Saldamando

May 20, 2009 | 10:34 am


Japanese-Mexican American artist Shizu Saldamando was inspired by Mexico City-based writer (and former Los Angeles Times journalist) Daniel Hernandez during a recent trip to this sprawling metropolis. 

A photo the artist took of Hernandez, on left in above image, and fashion designer Uriel Urban ended up as a painting on the walls of Space 47 as part of the artist's new show.

Saldamando's new show in Space 47 in San Jose, Calif., is explained on the gallery website:

"Rather than depicting moments of cultural Diaspora, Shizu Saldamando gravitates towards the idea of fragmentation within the self as being more of a multiplicitous evolving, fluid, whole, and never-ending process. `We are all part of unique subcultures and movements, both physically and psychologically, that are constantly in flux, changing through influences, and morphing in style,' says Saldamando."

As Hernandez writes on his blog Intersections:

"For this set of new pieces, I posed for her without knowing it. The piece was created off a candid photo Shizu took of Uriel Urban and I in my Mexico City apartment, while she was in town for the `Phantom Sightings' opening at the Tamayo. It is called 'Daniel y Uriel,' and is colored pencil on paper with a washi paper collage. It is on view in San Jose, until May 29."

Hernandez is currently working on a book about Mexico, Mexico City and youth subcultures from his base in the city's Centro Historico. How does he feel about being part of the focus of Saldamando's attentions, who he himself describes as "an intimate chronicler of multiethnic youth subcultures."

"Shizu Saldamando is one of the most distinctive young artists working in California. Her style is so sharp and identifiable, and always loving to her subjects. So I was pretty thrilled to see how she rendered my persona, and my grandmother's old quilt," he told us.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Image: "Daniel y Uriel," colored pencil, collage on paper 30 by 40 inches. Credit: Shizu Saldamando