GRIMANESA AMOROS ON FEMINISM
As part of Liberatum’s Women in Creativity Series, here is an interview with New York based Peruvian light artist Grimanesa Amoros.
Why do you want to meet most in this world and why?
Angelina Jolie. I admire her as a woman, mother, actress and her authenticity. It is exemplary how she tries to be a good role model on top of being such a huge Hollywood star.
What are you terribly afraid of?
Only rats, especially NYC rats.
Who inspired you most as a little girl growing up in Peru?
Carmela, my grandmother in Lima, Peru. She is an amazing and outspoken woman who always knew what she wanted from life.
What is your relationship with sex?
I wish I had more time for it. I have heard it is a good anti-aging treatment.
Do you like to sleep a lot at night and if not, why not? In other words, how important is sleep to you?
I love to sleep. In fact, it is my 2016 resolution to try to get more but because of my traveling schedule I am constantly on the road only getting five hours of sleep at the most. The good thing about this schedule is I don’t ever feel any jet lag.
Your most memorable creative moment?
When I saw an Aurora Borealis in Iceland it made me want to work with light as an artistic medium and share it with others.
What are your views on feminism today?
We, women artists, cannot be pigeonholed into any form of artistic expression. We encompass them all. We have a very important responsibility to keep transforming the art world until it is gender blind.
Is it still harder as a woman to succeed and make same waves as a male counterpart in the creative industries, especially equal opportunities and pay?
I think it depends where are you geographically. It will be harder if you are in India or the Middle East but I have to say that in the end the work speaks for itself. Men are getting used to see and work with women who are confident and who know what they want.
Why are we still so obsessed with exposing women’s body for advertising and promoting any kind of products and even music including music videos and album photography?
I ask myself this same question when I open a magazine. The body of a woman is beautiful and could be shown in many different ways but the lack of education in sharing other alternatives and messages is the issue. All of this could be introduced. Of course lets don’t forget global economics. We, all women, could work together, educate ourselves what that it means truly to be a ‘Woman’. I am still learning, exploring and educating myself. Most of my biggest and most important opportunities and commissions were given to me by a powerhouse of a woman whom I admire.
Where do you see women’s rights in 30 years time in the world?
If we are conscious and stay focused, I think in the future most of the CEOs in charge of companies will be women, so every time when I have the opportunity I like to encourage young girls to break down gender stereotypes, and go forward to start expressing new ways of using creativity with science. This will be a new era for new ideas by women. As women artists, we are the leaders to break down barriers, ideologies and traditions and in making people think in different ways.
Grimanesa Amorós is a New York-based American interdisciplinary artist with diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research, and critical theory. Through her art, she conveys a sense of ephemeral wonder, entrancing viewers from all different backgrounds and communities. She inspires others to become agents of empowerment. Grimanesa makes use of sculpture, video, and lighting to create works that illuminate our notions of personal identity and community. She was a guest speaker at TEDGlobal 2014, a recipient of the ‘NEA Visual Artist Fellowship’, the ‘NEA Artist Travel Grant’, and has the distinction of being part of the ‘Art In Embassies Program of the U.S.’.
Amorós has often drawn upon important Peruvian cultural legacies as inspiration for her large-scale light-based installations, which she has presented around the globe, from Mexico, Tel Aviv, and Beijing, to New York’s Times Square. She continues to be inspired by Peru’s history for her art, but does not hold an essentialist or nostalgic view of her subject. Grimanesa often gives talks at museums and universities where her lectures attract not only developing artists, but students and faculty engaged with science and technology. When it comes to the art of Grimanesa Amorós, one feels that the past is meeting the future. Amorós has exhibited in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.