For the exhibition “collection 02” curated by the collection croisée gallery, Geoff Vallon — founder of ÉLÉGIE EN BLEU — invites the Mexican artist Apolo Cacho to exhibit his work. The exhibition can be discovered online on collectioncroisee.com until July 31, 2021.
With restrained exuberance, Apolo Cacho’s graphic art seeks freedom from the frame. His drawings are staggeringly meticulous; they take the viewer to the ends of the Earth where madness and chaos reign over the splendor of forgotten cities. At each level,
the details blend and blur forming elusive shapes while the ruins of civilization accumulate. As evocative remnants of the Aztec Empire, these complex architectural structures echo the artist’s Mexican heritage and bear witness to humanity’s inexorable decline. They represent a post-apocalyptic world plagued by pollution and threatened with nuclear proliferation in a way that mirrors the disenchantment in Katsuhiro Otomo’s science fiction, namely his cult classic, Akira. Indeed, dystopic and tortured worlds fascinate Apolo Cacho. Like morbid poetry, his drawings conjure up legions of extraordinary creatures. Gaunt bodies morphing and decomposing emerge discretely while thick vegetation languidly conquers spaces. There is something resolutely punk and mutant oozing from this imaginary universe. A howling black magic is at work, serving a language that refuses reason.
collection croisée presents an interview with Apolo Cacho to discover more about his vision of drawing and the sources of inspiration behind his art.
1. By traveling into your art, we are immediately very touched by the singularity and the intimacy of your universe. Can you tell us about your references and inspirations ?
Regarding the references that I use in my work, I have always felt a great fascination for alternative comics and manga, it has a somewhat irresponsible and disrespectful character feel to the weight that the history of hegemonic art can sometimes have. It is a kind of equivocal attitude or the path on a tangent before the expectations that a highly intellectualized contemporary art may have.
I try, if I am lucky enough, to be able to travel through the drawing through a kind of consciousness that challenges my own prejudices, the drawing is an entity of its own and is lit by the breath of life and its motor works to the extent that it is an alterity of human intention itself; an alien or a powerful spiritual power born from some invocation in ancient times.
It is possible that the drawing is good if the limit of what we expect from it can be turned off. As a state of exaltation or meditation product of the action of supernatural forces. During my journey through this activity I have come across various interests that have motivated me to draw. It is known that a drawing is good when seeing it makes you want to draw!
2. Have you got artists, authors and treasures in mind you like to summon when you create ?
I can mention some examples like Yoshiharu Tsuge and the closeness of his work to everyday life, turning the miseries of the world into a kind of cosmic dialogue, without romanticizing it but drawing from a kind of mocking humility towards the pitfalls of daily life. Kazuo Ohno and the poetics of darkness, the possibility of the spirit to enter the unknown through transformation and the unpredictable force of the results, the sprouting of vision and matter that can arise when opening the doors of the infinite clarity of a sheet of paper.
I like the drawings of S. Clay Wilson, Sasaki Maki and Melecio Galván, but I have been especially attracted to the work of young cartoonists that I have found navigating these times such as Lala Albert, Margot Ferrick, Josephine M.K. Edwards, Leomi Sadler, the video paintings of Michael Jensen, Joseph Callioni & Pierre Marty to mention a few.
3. You are currently doing an exhibition with the French gallery collection croisée. There are a lot of drawings and some very beautiful paintings. In Mexico, do you feel a greater interest in exhibiting your drawn works or your paintings ?
Here in Mexico things are a little different, we fight against the same things as in the rest of the world but we have more serious problems such as internal racism and a sense of chronic inferiority, both quite internalized. Nowadays, an attempt has been made to recover some things in the collective unconscious such as traditional knowledge and the defense of nature, however there are strong contradictions when this same revaluation is affected by exploitation and the degradation caused by tourism.
Fortunately, I have been able to continue work here partly because I like to make graphics and sell low-cost prints of drawings. I like working with serigraphy and engraving workshops. I like the popular and cheap sense that art can have, I wish I could sell my paintings to wealthier people, however I am bad at public relations, that’s why I have social networks I suppose, they make that transaction a little more comical and bearable.
I admire the effort of cartoonists here and in the world to try to give life to such improbable things as drawing. I like it when things are not very commercial, I like it when people try to contradict the human world.
4. Can you tell us more about your next projects ?
Regarding future projects after the exhibition, I could say that I am finishing a long book that is a project that has taken me several years on overcoming adversity in the Mexican climate, which represents a bit of life in the tropical world. The work in its entirety is a kind of epic about the death of an era in the world and the strange possibility of understanding the mystical character that this entails.
Currently it is difficult to know what will happen next because they are unpredictable times, however I have taken the habit of working despite difficult times since I think that my work is a kind of alchemy, or the transformation of that vast energy at times tempestuous of the world in beauty, or light. So it has been since I have memory and so it will be, as a mission of an ancient magician type Gandalf who must march into the abyss to understand something about humanity and its position in the cosmos. It’s exciting, like an adventure from the beginning of time.