Alberto Aguilar – Chicago’s decorated Latino artist
Extra had the opportunity to interview one of Chicago’s most decorated Latino artist – Alberto Aguilar. Aguilar has been a featured Latino artist for nearly 20 years and his work is currently being featured at the Elmhurst Art Museum. The exhibit runs from Jan. 19 to April 20, 2013. Alberto also is a tenured teacher at Harold Washing College and a proud parent.
EXTRA: When did you decide to make a career out of your art?
Alberto Aguilar: I guess when I decided to go to Art School in 1993. I ended up going to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It wasn’t really when I decided to make it a career, it is more when my career in art started. While I was there I really enjoyed my interaction with my teachers and eventually decided to be a teacher.
Were you always creative or did your abilities take time to develop?
I was always a creative type and I was able to refine it.
What was your childhood and family like?
My parents would always say that one day I was going to go to the Art Institute. I had no idea what it was at the time, but when I went there my dad tried to push me toward graphic design since he always thought practically and wanted to see me get a job when I finished.
Who inspires you?
The first work that really spoke to me was Picasso. I first went to the Art Institute when I was 18 and finally got to see Picasso’s work first hand. I was amazed by the fact this painting was in flux, it was in movement, and it was exciting to me. I couldn’t grasp the forms he was depicting and I got excited about that.
Do you find your work reflects your heritage, background, or just yourself?
It reflects all three. My mother would always arrange things and back when I was a child our house was struck by lightning and I remembered my mother put together and fixed all the damage herself. Watching my mother’s act of making is what really inspired me to fix things and put things together.
Do your students inspire you?
Yes, my students always inspire me and I am excited that every semester is always new. Every semester is like starting a new job.
What are your goals for the future?
I have always had the dream of showing my work at the Mexican Museum of Fine Art.
For more information on the exhibit, go to: www.ElmhurstArtMuseum.org