Alberto: Who is Héctor Silva, the artist and the person?
Héctor: Héctor Silva is an artist that tries to see the world trough his eyes and then create art parting from those experiences. I’m many things, I’m an immigrant, a Mexican, I’m gay, a catholic, etc. All these things are part of who I am and part of my art. I’m a “working artist”; I do it as a living. I think that Héctor has found how to live from his art, and that is not an easy thing to do, you can ask any artist and I’m sure that they will tell you that some times it’s difficult to pay the rent.
Alberto: What’s the concept or themes that you like to show through your art more often?
Héctor: If there’s something interesting going on in politics, or a new definition of masculinity, or simple projections of love and relationships between gay people, specially among minorities, that inspires me. And of course, I like to focus on my Mexican culture. Those themes had always attracted me. I like the Latin masculinity, i.e. “Homeboys.”
Alberto: You have manifested that you want your art to be accessible and to give the viewer a way to walk into the image. How you try to create that personal connection with the viewer?
Héctor: Have you been an art piece that you didn’t know what it was? I don’t do that kind of art; I’m not saying that my art couldn’t be questionable. I think that my art generates questions, i.e. how are we represented, or if we are not well represented, or not represented enough. I try to make people feel reflected on my art, especially if they usually are not reflected on art that way.
Alberto: What’s the difference between “street art” and “museum art”?
Héctor: When a piece of art arrives to a museum, people have already decided that it’s something good or important. Street art can be for anyone, not only for established artists.
Alberto: What technique and materials you use more frequently?
Héctor: I usually draw with pencil and color pencil over “museum carton”, 2 layers thick, I start with a picture, and like to capture lights and shadows with my own techniques. But all my art comes from my imagination.
Alberto: What have been your most recent exhibitions?
Héctor: Last year I had an exhibition at Galleria GroundFloor in Downtown L.A., last month another one in Downtown Pomona. Last year I did some readings and exhibition of my art at the DePaul University in Chicago, and some months later gave some conferences at the Champaign Urbana University in Illinois. I’m a resident artist at the Galleria Chimmaya in East L.A., where I have participated in different exhibitions.
Alberto: Is there something you would like to add for our readers?
Héctor: A little bit of my background. When I was 17 years old, decided to come to the United States. I knew I was gay and that was another reason to leave my town.
The first six years here where hard times for me, I did clean tables, wash dishes, worked on a Strawberry field in Oxnard, and I even had sex with unknown men in order to have something to eat and a place where to sleep. When I was 24, more by accident than anything, I discovered that I had the ability to draw and paint, my first draw was of Lucy (I Love Lucy), she saw it and like the drawing, she told me that I had talent, and then she called me because she wanted to see the drawing. I went to her Beverly Hills home and I gave her the drawing. That same day I decided that I was going to be an artist for the rest of my life. I would like to think that I own it to Lucy.
I hope that this can be an inspiration to someone, and hope that everybody take advantage of the opportunities that this country offers, and although sometimes not everything is pink, it is still the country of opportunities.
By Alberto Orozco