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Meet Luis Ituarte of “La Linea Curva” Studio in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Luis Ituarte.

Luis, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m including first a narrative of the work I’m doing now at the end is a narrative of my beginnings in art up to now.

April 5, 2018

For years, the curved line started to be the prominent reoccurring aspect of my paintings, drawings and sculptures. That obsession for the curved line was born with my fascination for admiring the adorning curves on ornamental iron works. Ornamental wrought iron works protecting windows or doors of houses or buildings, surreptitiously covering the brutality of the straight bars that will not allow you in without permission. So, without permission, I decided to liberate the curved line, to teach people that the straight line engages us and the curved line engages us with the fields of creativity, generosity, beauty and connect us directly with nature.

When I practice art, my goal is delivering impact through abstractions provided by my own introspection. I’m concerned with the purity of lines, the force of color and some connection with reality. I like to splash color on the canvas until I’m tired, so then tomorrow find the meaning of what I have done or an argument to defend it.)

Since 2014, I have switched my art interest to sculpture and produced a series inspired by liberating the curved line.

ALAMBRONES: 12 pieces ¼ inch steel rod curved lines, baroque inspired style, painted with bright automobile paint designed to be anchored on to a wall. 3×5 ft.

DREAMS OF CALDER: a group of 6 small sculptures on steel 1/8 of an inch thick 2x3x2 ft.

PALO ROJO: a series of organic sculptures carved on to branches of a very prolific bush from Southern California and Baja California.

Rhus ovata, also known as sugar sumac or sugar bush, in Baja California as palo rojo, an evergreen shrub to small tree that grows in chaparral in dry canyons and south-facing slopes below 1300m in Southern California, Arizona and Baja California.

THE FAMILY: a series of sculptures made in Tijuana using the services of Blacksmith Jesus Flores. The inspiration came after a conversation with my daughter Olivia who conveyed that I did not include my family in my artwork or mention them in my narratives. So, after thinking about this revelation that my daughter had, I started to look into my work to find references to my family. I found references about my grandmother, my Uncle Rafael and other relatives, but nothing about my immediate family. Olivia was right, so I looked into my artistic abilities in search of a way to include them. Drawing and painting portraits is an art I have not mastered. I decided to create a series of sculptures having my perception of each one of them present while I produced a series of ten (10) hoping that the essence of them would be present at the end.

I had the confidence that this was going to happen based on past experiences in which I discovered the inspiration, precedence or justification of a piece of artwork a posteriori being able to reconcile my abstract perception of a person with an abstract object. The names of the sculptures are: G.G.I.43 (GERDA), O.I.Q.72 (OLIVIA), A.B.I.80 (AMANDA), S.C.68 (STEPHANIE), Z.T.C.02 (ZOE), A.I.I.R. (ANDRES IGNACIO), D.J.Q.I.07 (DALLAS JEFF), A.Q.70 (ANDREW), J.G70 (JASEN) AND J.G.L04 (JUDAH). They are between 60 to 84 inches (1.52m to 2.13m) tall made of iron, with bases of concrete, “powder baked painted” with colors that, in my opinion, match their personalities.

To see these sculptures copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.artworkarchive.com/artwork/luis-ituarte

Being born and raised in Tijuana Mexico, and after completion of my education in Mexico City and the City of Guanajuato in 1995, I returned to Tijuana to do some of my most important work. I started a program called “Bajo El Mismo Sol” (Under the Same Sun) between the cities of Los Angeles, California and Tijuana, Mexico. In this project, we exchanged artists, poets, dancers and curated seven exhibits that grabbed international attention. In 2003 I founded Consejo Fronterizo de Arte y Cultura (COFAC)/Border Council of Arts and Culture, a non-profit organization dealing with border issues and the environment. Under the umbrella of COFAC, and some friends we transformed a house where a trafficking tunnel was discovered and Co-Founded La Casa del Túnel: Art Center in 2003 right on the border between Mexico and the USA. In 2008 I founded Mariposa Artist Residency & Gallery, located across the street from La Casa del Túnel: Art Center. In 2013, I turned both of these thriving projects over to a non-profit organization because I wanted to concentrate on my artwork.

I believe the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of a new era “sin fronteras” (without borders). In a sense, it looks like presently we are very actively revising the concept of border; especially through international trade, racial identity, labor conflicts and commercial needs, and this is forcing us to also review our attitudes about one another so we can understand true empathy the need to nourish the concept of the Global Village and find ways to get along. In this field, it is very obvious that the arts have a very important role to play. I hope that with my work in this area I can open a small door to a better future.

Is now after 40 years of searching in the art field now I’m starting to have a glimpse of what it looks like to be an artist. I would like to concentrate exclusively on my artwork and the history of what I have done and to discover and understand my humanity as an artist.

For years, the curved line started to be the prominent most reoccurring aspect of my paintings, drawings and sculptures.

That obsession for the curved line was born with my fascination for admiring the adorning curves on ornamental iron works.

Ornamental wrought iron works protecting windows or doors of houses or buildings, under covering the brutality of the straight bars that will not allow you in without permission.

So, without permission, I decided to liberate the curved line, to teach people that the straight line is the one, which engages us and the curved line liberates by directing us to creativity, generosity, beauty and unity with nature.

Most of my life as an artist has been working as a curator, program coordinator, art center director, art instructor, writer, exhibitor and public speaker in the domestic and international arena always working in collaboration with artists and artisans and people of all kinds. I have been told that I am a citizen artist. I like this term and want to find other artists that have done or are doing similar work like mine in order to define and deepen the concept and practice of a citizen artist.

Presently, I’m exploring the curve line through doing steel sculptures working in Tijuana Mexico with a master blacksmith producing a series called THE FAMILY. The inspiration came after a conversation with my daughter Olivia who conveyed that I did not include my family in my artwork or mention them in my narratives. So, after thinking about this revelation that my daughter had made, I started to look into my work to find references to my family.

I found references about my grandmother, my uncle Rafael and other relatives, but nothing about my immediate family, Olivia was right, so I looked into my artistic abilities in search of a way to include them, Drawing and painting portraits is an art I have not mastered, so that is out of the way. I decided to do a series of sculptures having my perception of each one of them present while I produced a series of ten (10) hoping that the essence of them would be present at the end. I had the confidence that this was going to happen based on past experiences in which I discovered the inspiration, precedence or justification of a piece of artwork a posteriori being able to reconcile my abstract perception of a person with an abstract object.
This way the sculptures name G.G.I.43 (GERDA), O.I.Q.72 (OLIVIA), A.B.I.80 (AMANDA), S.C.68 (STEPHANIE), Z.T.C.02 (ZOE), A.I.I.R. (ANDRES IGNACIO), D.J.Q.I.07 (DALLAS JEFF), A.Q.70 (ANDREW), J.G70 (JASEN) AND J.G.L04 (JUDAH). They are between 60 to 84 inches (1.52m y 2.13m) tall made of iron, with bases of concrete, “powder baked painted” with colors that in my opinion match their personalities.
I am the permanent artist-in-residence, 2015 to the present, at the:
FLINTRIDGE CENTER, 236 W. MOUNTAIN ST.
SUITE 116
PASADENA, CA 91103

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have been very lucky that most of the time I had a job related to the arts, producing art for me was not the main aspect for survival, the main struggle has been in the past about considering my career as an artist above anything else including my family. That gave me lot’s of trouble, I think that overall now after 46 years of producing art I am a mature artist knowing exactly what my art is all about.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with “La Linea Curva” Studio – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I do not consider my art and my studio as a business, what I do is the doing of an artist in pursuit of beauty from the truth of who I am, creating art that has some meaning in the culture that I live in. That’s all.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m in the middle of a great transformation of the concept of my art, going from two-dimensional work to a more committed tridimensional aspect of my art. And preparing for a big show at the California Center for the Arts Museum Escondido with a group of public art artists this next September

Contact Info:

  • Address: La Linea Curva Studio
    236 West Mountain St. #116
    Pasadena CA 91103
  • Website: www.luisituarte.com
  • Phone: 323-574-9197
  • Email: luis@luisituarte.com
  • Facebook: Luis Ituarte
  • Twitter: ituarte.L


Image Credit:

Jim Platel

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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