The most interesting thing for me now is to make sure that the planet is going in the right direction. I keep the words sky, water, earth, fire in my mind. Those are the elements, and that’s what my work has come to be about. That’s what I’m about… When I think about my painting and the political and the planet, it’s about the hope that it’s not too late and that people can still get together and in whatever small way make a difference that adds up. As far as physical strength and ability goes, I’m very weak, of course, because of my age, but I still can paint, I can still draw. And so that’s my contribution…
I enjoy life, and I feel I’ve been different people. I was a different person, for example, when I did these very sexy drawings and paintings of my body, looking at my body. [Laughs] It’s the truth. Sex was all I could think about…
When I used to go to my house in Taos, New Mexico, and go to watch tribal dances, they wouldn’t ask me if I was Indian; they would say, “What tribe are you?” I would say, “Venezuelan.’”And they’d say, “I’ve never heard of that one!”… Within myself, I felt that I was Indian. I felt that very much when I went to the dances, because the tribes had a complete attitude towards the earth, that it was alive. I remember asking why the dances in the winter were different from the summer dances. A lot of stomping went on in the summer. I asked a man about this once, and he said, “Because the earth is asleep, of course, in winter.” Instead of stomping, they drag the foot, so as not to wake the earth. It’s an attitude toward the planet as a living thing. — LuchitaHurtado*
Made in L.A. 2018 artist Luchita Hurtado will discuss her practice with Andrianna Campbell, a writer and art history doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center specializing in modern and contemporary American art.
PATTERNS FOUND IN THE WORLD—LUCHITA HURTADO AND ANDRIANNA CAMPBELL, Sunday, July 15, at 1 pm.
MADE IN L.A. 2018, through September 2.
HAMMER MUSEUM, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.