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Issue 194

Questionnaire: Jose Dávila

Q: What should stay the same? A:‘The North Pole.’

BY Jose Dávila in Interviews , Questionnaires | 05 MAR 18

Fernando González Gortázar, La torre de los cubos (The Tower of Cubes), Guadalajara, Mexico, 1972. Courtesy: FGG archive; photograph: Carlos Díaz Corona

What images keep you company in the space where you work?

I’m surrounded mainly by my own work, which changes now and then. At the moment, I’ve hung up a photograph of Marcel Duchamp smoking a cigarette next to his urinal, Fountain (1917) – except he’s been cut out of the picture. There’s also a painting I recently completed, based on graphics by Hilma af Klimt, and another small painting by my daughter, alongside a photograph of the two of us taken by a friend. 

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

Every morning, on my way to school, i would pass by Fernando González-Gortázar’s public sculpture La Torre de los Cubos (Tower of Cubes, 1972). Even though I was only six or seven years old, it always made me wonder.

If you could live with only one piece  of art what would it be?

Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) by Robert Rauschenberg.

What is your favourite title of an artwork?

Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts) (1973) by John Baldessari.

What do you wish you knew?

How to play piano well enough to lose myself all afternoon.

What should change?

The corruption and impunity affecting all levels of the government and judiciary in Mexico.

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?

Owning a small restaurant where i would buy the produce myself every morning at the market, and cook it myself every night for my guests.

What music are you listening to?

Simón Díaz’s album Tonadas (2003).

What are you reading?

Tales of the Greek Heroes (1958) by Roger Lancelyn Green.

What do you like the look of?

My wife and daughter laughing together.

What is art for? 

To trigger people’s minds.

Jose Dávila is an artist based in Guadalajara, Mexico. In January, he had a solo show at Galería OMR, Mexico City. He has forthcoming solo shows at LAND, Los Angeles, USA, in May, and Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany, in June.