Tijuana visual artist exhibits her photos in San Diego
Angélica Escoto, whose work has appeared internationally, presents an autobiographical display from Baja California
The work of multidisciplinary visual artist Angelica Escoto can be seen in “Ninguna Ballena es una Isla” (No Whale is an Island) through Sept. 12 at Bread and Salt gallery in the Athenaeum Art Center in San Diego.
Escoto, who lives in Tijuana, started the project 15 years ago in the Baja California peninsula, but the project is still evolving.
“Ninguna Ballena en una Isla” is an autobiographical work that consists of portraits of Escoto’s family and herself. She used her family to represent life but, more specifically, origin, Earth and women.
“My secret is to patiently collect the images that I find myself on each trip, the images that I pursue when returning, over and over again to the same place, the images that I invent using my body and appropriating it to make a compendium of creatures in painful situations, absurd, fantastic and humorous,” Escoto said.
She was inspired to use whales as her theme because on the Pacific side of the peninsula there was an island with an extinct volcano. To climb it, she had to swim and kayak through a whale channel, which she saw as her totem.
Escoto has been a visual artist for more than 30 years. She has exhibited other pieces across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, including Chile, Spain, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador and Mexico.
Like this project, her photos document narratives that have to do with existence, origin and identity. In addition, Escoto uses literature to tie geology, zoology, biology and astrophysics into her photography.
Escoto says “Ninguna Ballena es una Isla” will remain an open project because she will continue to add more series to it.
Currently, she is working on another series where she writes about her senses inside the whale’s stomach.
“I am inside the whale, it has swallowed me, and I am in its intestinal labyrinth intertwining with those fibers that process pleasure, and my human cells are shared with cetaceans, where your neurons are involved in cognitive processes such as learning, remembering, recognizing and feeling,” Escoto said.
The exhibition can be viewed at the Athenaeum Art Center, 1951 Julian Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and from 6 to 8 p.m. every second Saturday, and by appointment.
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