Oklahoma Contemporary
Artist Jorge Méndez Blake
A person in a white t shirt with short dark hair and thick-framed, dark glasses stands in front of a checkered pink and brown wall

New Light

Dec. 20, 2022

La casa: An Interview with Jorge Méndez Blake

“You can make an impact … in things that are bigger than you”

A person with a denis jacket and long, mustard-colored skirt is walking around a tall column of bricks.
Jorge Méndez Blake's I Took my Power in my Hand (2015)

Guadalajara-based, former architect Jorge Méndez Blake moved into his artistic practice with a love for literature and shifting mediums. His La casa ques nos inventamos works are a perfect example. A mural covers an entire wall in the Main Gallery; a series of drawings hang beside the checkerboard work. A tower of bricks stands nearby — a small piece of paper, featuring a typed line from an Emily Dickenson poem, breaking the structure’s continuum. Placed in conversation with each other, these visually and physically differing pieces originate from the same artist.

“Art now can be anything,” the artist says. “But I think the approach the artist has to the world has certain lightness and a certain interpretation that makes you realize that it is not modern, it is contemporary.”

This contemporary lightness Méndez Blake speaks about is apparent in his works. From replicating the floor of a house to a slip of paper threatening the very structure it disrupts, the Guadalajara artist encourages his viewers to create their own interpretations. Outside of their initial intentions, the artist does not attach his intentions to his works.

A small slip of paper is sticking out between red bricks. We can see the words "I took my Power in my Hands" typed in small font on the paper.
Jorge Méndez Blake's I Took my Power in my Hand (detail) (2015)

“I think when you approach a work … you have visual contact with that work,” Méndez Blake says. “You might like it, you might not like it. Sometimes you find something that takes your attention … and then you look at the label, and now you have more information. Then, you begin making your own interpretation of the work. For me, it’s important that the viewer to create their own interpretation. I think, as an artist, my intentions are only to maybe talk about my intentions, but never to subjectively explain the work — I leave that interpretation up to the viewer. In that moment, is when you begin to have a dialogue between the viewer and the artist.”

Catch the full interview with the architect-turned-artist below. As the exhibition enters its final days, we’ll unveil a few more conversations about La casa, Guadalajara and cultivating creative communities. See an interview with Isa Carrillo here, Eduardo Sarabia here, Cynthia Gutiérrez here, Claudia Cisneros here, curator Viviana Kuri here and artist talks held opening weekend here. Or visit our entire La casa que nos inventamos playlist on YouTube.


Artist Jorge Méndez Blake standing in front of his Franco House Floor (Perspective Study I) / Piso Casa Franco (Estudio de perspectiva I) (2018). Photo: Dennis Spielman.

Installation view of visitor engaging with Jorge Méndez Blake's I Took my Power in my Hand / Cogé en la Mano mi Poder (2015). Photo: Cassandra Watson.

Detail view of Jorge Méndez Blake's I Took my Power in my Hand / Cogé en la Mano mi Poder (2015). Photo: Alex Marks.

Jorge Méndez Blake: La casa ques nos inventamos. Video: Dennis Spielman.

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artist interview Guadalajara Jorge Méndez Blake multimedia painting sculpture La casa que nos inventamos

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