Since his early days as an architecture student, Tijuana sculptor Fernando Mendez Castillo has wanted to take part in the traditions of Mexican architecture.
[p]And a new exhibition of sculpture at the Institute of Culture of Baja California (ICBC) in Tijuana, which opened to a packed house on August 28, amply demonstrates the maturity and ambition of Mendez's work. The title, "Construction in Fragments" (Construcción por fragmentos) reflects Mendez's process of working with found and reused materials. SanDiegoRed.com spoke with the artist a few days before the inauguration about his influences and his work.
Fernando Mendez Castillo was born in Tijuana in 1971, and he began his career with the study of architecture at the Institute of Technology in Tijuana.
When he was in school, one of his professors began to explain the rich heritage of Mexican art & architecture. Modern and contemporary architects created new forms, synthesizing the ancient with the modern, and as a result, Mexico has one of the most varied and rich traditions of architecture in the world.
He finished architecture school in 1999 and began working as an architect, but always felt this calling to work with sculpture. And slowly he began to work more and more work with metal sculpture.
[p]Yet, Mendez's favorite influences are not Mexican, he notes.
Visible in the work of Mendez is the influence of the towering and twisting sculptures of Anish Kapoor.
The artist with most lasting impact on his work, Mendez notes, has been the Englishman Henry Moore. "Henry Moore was the first abstract sculptor whose work I saw in person, and his sculpture made a profound impact on me."
Normally Mendez works with reused materials--he likes the unfinished and rough quality of the metal. For this show, he didn't have enough reused material gathered and so he had to purchase new metal.
And so he began to experiment with colors and different patterns.
[p]The work is strong and varied, the shapes and forms invite the viewer to contemplate the tension between movement and equilibrium within the form.
The artist works on commercial projects in addition to experimenting with new forms in his own art. You can follow him on Facebook at Fernando Mendez.
The show will be on exhibit at ICBC until the end of September.
For a gallery of photographs from the exhibition, click here
Click here for more information and driving directions to ICBC.