Loneliness is proof that your innate search for connection is intact.
~ Martha Beck
It’s true that it’s a solitary occupation, but you would be surprised at how much companionship a group of imaginary characters can offer once you get to know them.
~ Anne Tyler
t’s a tension many of us know quite intimately: That need for breathing space to explore and consider, free from societal manipulations of what we ought to be thinking or doing…and yet at the same time that innate hunger for connection. To have a balance of both in your life can be transformative. To be without one or the other can lead us into bouts of deep depression.
And so Art, and the work of self-taught painter Regina Davis Izaguirre, who invites us to journey with her to the interior, knowing that from such exploration we can come away with not only a deeper understanding of ourselves, but also an awareness and honoring of that core that lies within each of us.
And what better way to make this journey than on the wings of a songbird?
INTERVIEW WITH REGINA DAVID IZAGUIRRE
New York, New York:
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Throughout much of your artwork we see the symbol of bird repeated. And not just any birds, not birds of prey, but rather smaller, gentle creatures that seem to appear almost as helpmates. Can you tell me about this?
Regina Davis Izaguirre: I grew up in Mexico City, where my dad and I at one point owned and bred a collection of close to 70 birds – mostly songbirds. As lovers of both music and nature, this was our way of converging the two ~ and to keep our surroundings as pure as possible while living in the big city. Since then, birds have been a source of inspiration for my paintings. Not only do I find them delicate and fascinating, but they carry vast symbolism religiously, spiritually and culturally.
[quote] In nature we never see anything isolated,
but everything in connection with something else which is before it,
beside it, under it and over it.“
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe[/quote]
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Do you have a favorite bird-centered folktale that has inspired some of your paintings?
Regina Davis Izaguirre: There is no particular one, although I believe that, with the right combination of symbolic elements, one can inspire to create one’s own tales. In culture, birds have always served as spiritual messengers and represented freedom.
[quote]Some minds seem almost to create themselves,
springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.”
~ Washington Irving[/quote]
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Can you tell me about the piece, After Darkness (I Hope for) Light?
Regina Davis Izaguirre: Growing up in Mexico City, I had a very strict Catholic upbringing which had a strong impact on my life and has opened a door to questioning the nature of our human condition. “After Darkness [I Hope for] Light” reflects the spiritual doubt that lingers in the collective conscience and, personally, it’s a representation of my doubt towards organized religion, thus evolving into another perspective of spirituality. In this piece, I wished to express the conjunction between what is religious and what is scientific, with the stained glass representing the creation of the world (or the Big Bang). The tension between the character turning away from all of this versus the light reflecting onto her as representation of hope. It is a statement about the spiritual crisis our world is facing.
We fear violence less than our own feelings.
Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.”
~ Jim Morrison
Deanna Phoenix Selene: In Meditations, the woman has her back completely turned away from us. Can you tell me about the significance of this?
Regina Davis Izaguirre: Over the years, I have experienced painting to be a lonely world yet inhabited by mysticism. I try to portray that realm in this painting – a bustling Mexican tile background, which represents my cultural upbringing, filled with mandalas, which at the same time together create the figure of the Christian cross in between them. A woman kneels almost in anguished guilt and yet ironically in meditative peace. This piece is a communion with my religious past and my sense of personal spirituality without leaving out the fact that, as human beings, we need to at times get away from the noise of the outside and go inside in meditative silence to heal.
[quote]Life is for each man a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”
~ Eugene O’Neill[/quote]
Deanna Phoenix Selene: When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
Regina Davis Izaguirre: Ever since I can remember. I realized that as humans, we constantly are striving to express ourselves and create connections, yet frequently in silence and solitude. For me, painting has been a magical combination of silent images which give the most powerful shout, and subtle whispers.
[quote]The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.”
~ Tom Wolfe[/quote]
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Do you have other artists whose work you admire?
Deanna Phoenix Selene: As you work on a new piece, what are some of the thoughts that pass through your mind?
Regina Davis Izaguirre: Painting for me is a deep, dark place from whence it is often difficult or impossible to extricate one’s self. The deeper you go, the more you get to know yourself and question your own being and the ways of the world. This opens a world of curiosity for me, almost like opening a Pandora’s box, so I find myself both constant studying the artform and, at the same time, letting my unconscious go to work.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: What themes will you be exploring next?
Regina Davis Izaguirre: Lately I am very drawn to the term “doubt” in all its forms and meanings, from the spiritual to religious symbolism and iconography. And who knows, we’ll see what surprises my unconscious and experiences bring.
Regina Davis Izaguirre is a self-educated artist, selling her first canvases and receiving her first commissions at the age of 16. Regina draws her experiences from endless “mind worlds,” painting emotions and ideas that invite the viewer to define her art as “painted poetry,” unraveling her own discovery of the mysterious relationship between man and his circumstances.