Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrés Monnier.
Hi Andrés, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My nuclear family is not close to art and design, so I developed my interest in this world when I was older. I don’t know exactly why I have this memory so present, but as a child I remember having curiosity about a little statue of my grandmother (who was like my second mother). And with that “curiosity,” I mean I started to intervene (destroy) it with crayons and paint. My grandmother got really mad, it was a recognition statue from the Universidad de Guadalajara because my grandmother was a professor in plastic arts. She was a teacher in the techniques of painting and sculpture. I don’t remember exactly what she said to me, but she didn’t punish me, instead she gave me an explanation about the shape of the statue and I think that’s how she opened the door of art in me. Maybe I have that strong memory because of the guilt I’m still carrying for destroying her reward.
I’ve been really introspective with this desire on creating/sculpting pieces. It’s difficult to explain it, but for me it’s a need that comes naturally. In my life, I’d work a lot, and by that I mean I’d experience a lot of different ways of living and perceiving reality. From helping my mother when I was a child in her event planning business, working in a stationery store, a money exchange center, and a packaging industrial company, to creating my first business selling desserts, then co-funded a coffee/ Habanos shop, and finally co-funded an exterior furniture studio. Also, I tried studying medicine and engineering for a few years… It feels like in my short life, I desperately wanted to find myself and passion, to find a reason to live. In 2019, I lived a “life changing experience” and that led me to realize that creating is who I am… I understood that life comes from us, not toward us.
I think I can say that I have always loved creating. Ideas, problems, solutions, processes, etc. For me, creating is what moves me. But my first serious approach to the art and design field was when I co-started a business five years ago for exterior furniture in Guadalajara (fire pits to be more specific). The first fire table we made was handcrafted by me. From the conception of the design, choosing materiales, formulas, and basically making mistakes and learning about them. Since then, I’d worked every single moment along with the art and design field in every project. It was a before and after in my life.
By making pieces, I’d learn how to use different languages of creation to communicate ideas that come to my mind. Sometimes I feel limitless with words, it’s difficult for me to express my different ways of thinking. When I’m working on a piece, I’m really focused on every detail, and I learn a lot about life by working with natural materials. I like to always compare different techniques and processes of sculpting with my life and how this world moves. Design creation is really a muse for me. Is the reason I’m alive.
Now I have my studio where we create my collectible design pieces and sculptures, but also I’m curating and co-producing an exhibition in Mexico City for an international collectible design gallery from Geneva: Galerie Philia. So now along with creating my pieces with my team, I’m working with my favorite gallery to create exhibitions with the purpose of impact cultures and standing out Latin-American art and design to the world.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I’ll say being an independent artist and finance all the projects is hard, along with all the responsibilities that this provoque. Also, I’m lucky but at the same time, it has been really difficult the fact that we’re going really fast. So I’m trying to be smart and take decisions based in responsibility and business-wise.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Right now, I’m focused on creating collectible design pieces, but I’m also developing some macro installations. My work goes beyond creating design with rock and other materials, I perceive my pieces as fragments of a materialized consciousness. Just as people, they are more than just a name and a physical body, they serve a purpose and have a unique and specific design, but they also tell stories in the details through the synergy between art, design and technique.
Just as our perception of reality, a rock can be transformed with the right tools and techniques. As in many handcrafting processes, you can synchronize your body and mind to achieve a deeply focused state of mind. I’ve discovered that in this state I am able to better understand and express my different ways of thinking. Sometimes I feel limited by words, and I find myself comparing the different aspects of my life to the processes of sculpting. Transforming the materials makes me feel like I am molding my mind and changing my own perception of reality. It feels like I am creating a symbolic representation of a technique to change my way of thinking through a new language of creation using a malleable and organic material
I find a lot of inspiration in natural processes. My main passion at the moment is working with mirrors and fire, always related to stone. I work with fire because its existence means more than a chemical process, an element or a source of energy, fire is also a representation of chaos, primitiveness, brightness, of life and death. A personification of alfa and omega, a feeling… Choosing mirrors and materials with reflective properties is not a coincidence. I work with mirrors because every time I look at one, I am reminded that what we see in our reflection is just an illusion. You can’t see and perceive at first instance your whole and true self; instead, there’s a possibility to understand that what we see is just a superficial fragment of ourselves…
Creating my universe of pieces is my motivation. Each piece must have a multi-sensorial purpose. Hiding secrets in shapes and textures that link each piece to a different collection as an allegory is one of my goals. I want my work to go deeper than just creating and designing a piece with functionality, I want them to make people question “what” and “how” they feel about themselves and their existence in a subtle and almost quiet way. Too evident is wrong, I appreciate secrecy and meaningful details.
How do you define success?
Self-love, independence, empathy, transcendent state, awakening, freedom, wisdom, love, peace.
- Website: andresmonnier.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monnierandres/
- Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/monnierandres
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndresMonnier
Maison Mouton Gabriel Gallegos Mariana Achach Andrés Monnier