Edgar Moza, NYC
Sum up your creative process in one word/phrase, and explain why.
Experimentation. I love experimenting with my work because it encourages me to give up control. It puts me in the moment, in the present, working with whatever materials I have at hand – no planning, no outlines. Approaching the canvas or the paper with a loose idea — with the explicit intention of trying something new – makes me accept the mistakes that I will inevitably make. These mistakes become part of the piece, part of what it was always meant to be. I like it when people are drawn to my mistakes.
Were you always an artist, even as a child? What was your path to becoming an artist?
Yes, I was an artist my whole life. I was always drawn to things that most kids weren’t. I feel lucky that my mom created traditional arts and crafts. I was introduced to the hands-on approach from an early age. I have always used art as an outlet to express myself. I was very shy as a child and needed to use art to bridge the gap of communication.
What is your medium of choice and what drew you to this particular medium?
My medium of choice is mixed media. A lot of the time people don’t understand this art form, but I think it has a lot to offer. I love taking chaotic elements – scraps of paper, magazine clippings, torn-out pages from books, literal pieces of garbage – and giving them a second life.
Is there any particular experience, person, place, or thing that inspires you to create? Tell us about that.
At this moment in my life I’m very inspired by New York and the intricate lives of New Yorkers. I’m originally from El Salvador and I’ve been living here for 10 years. I truly love the chaos and beauty that NYC offers. I am very moved by street art, graffiti, and urban sprawl. I enthusiastically use these elements in my work.
What is it like showing your work to people and what do you hope people take away from it?
I feel humbled to be able to showcase my work in New York City. I hope viewers leave with a different perspective of what Latin American art is “supposed” to look like. I feel like most ‘art school elitists’ expect South and Central American artists to only create “indigenous” or “primitive” looking pieces. Someone even told me that I shouldn’t be doing American-looking “pop art” based on their assumptions about Latin American art and my intentions with my craft.
What advice do you have for other artists who may be looking to get their work exhibited?
Honestly, just go for it. I know how hard it is to put your work out there because you’re always pursuing perfection and focusing on your mistakes, worrying about what ‘could have been’ or ‘should have been.’ If you are honest in your intention, exhibiting your work is a liberating feeling. You are exposing yourself not just to criticism or praise, but to feelings — you are opening yourself up to the wild ideas of others. I think every artist should embrace experiencing this.