Interview with Rodolfo Agüero

What is Mexico to you?
Mexico is cheerful, colorful, full of natural resources and history with great potential for growth, although only a few are benefiting from all that it offers. It’s as though we’ve let a snake into our garden that’s grown so huge that it’s attacking our beloved eagle. It’s a time when we have very little to celebrate about ourselves but we’re all intensely patriotic if our soccer team scores a goal.

What do you say when you talk about education in Mexico?
That it isn’t comprehensive enough. We have lawyers how can’t use Outlook, graphic designers who can’t create a concept, artists who don’t know how to name their paintings, much less describe them. We need to use logic and question what is happening around us. The ignorance in our country has reached such a degree that we have people who are willing to sell anything, including their freedom, and still cheer “Viva Mexico!”

What artistic trend has excited you most recently?
A movement called "Viva Mexico?" a Facebook group with a social media campaign to reflect on celebrations for Mexican Independence Day created by YadoCorp, a design and advertising firm.  They’re aiming to "create social awareness using elements such as sex, violence, black humor, irony, etc, to send a clear and direct message." It’s an example of how we can make our voices heard and that social networks have the ability to carry important messages to their users.

In your opinion, do you think Mexico is considered as an influential country in the visual arts community today? Why?
In my opinion, Mexico is a long way from influencing anything because lately it seems we’re carrying a malicious gene, something like a plague. We have the best of the worst. The fattest, richest, most corrupt... etc. etc. We give so many of our painters the title of “artist” while they are still immature in their craft so they don’t enjoy the process or accept criticism, treating every piece as their "baby". They don’t want to share ideas, work together, be genuine, or work for charity. They want to be a celebrity and are just busy racing towards fame.

Which Mexican artist what you consider as the most influential?
Frida Kahlo because she was a woman and fought for her life, representing her pain without hesitation and the passion in her work speaks for itself.

What artistic work for you defines Mexican identity?
I wish it was not as obvious as a Diego Rivera mural. I would like to see something more innovative and revolutionary, like a minimalist painting of a milk carton and say, "that was made by a Mexican."

What reflects the Mexican identity?
An example would be how in Puerto Vallarta we see how foreign tourists are concerned about keeping the beach clean and then we see how the nationals leave the beach after Easter holidays.

In general, what is the biggest challenge facing Mexico as a country?
Stop watching the political nonsense coming out of Televisa and stop using the country like a Soriana where you only have 6 years to fill the cart with everything you can, and not only that, sell carts to other people to help you come and sack the country. Block the monopoly and create more support for single mothers, the elderly and people with disabilities.

What we have learned in recent history?
Nothing, we still spend time busting someone on the street for rolling a joint instead of doing something to help the alcoholics doing drugs, smoking cancer sticks and having unprotected sex in the bar next door.

Describe a time in Mexican history that has defined Mexico today:
Enrique Peña Nieto stealing the government.

Interview with Rodolfo Agüero for Caras de México. Click here to read more interviews examining Mexican identity.