Artist of the Week

Josue Pellot

February 14, 2011

Originally from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Josue Pellot lives and works in Chicago, IL.  He received his BFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago and his MFA from Northwestern University.  Josue has an upcoming film screening in Chicago this Friday.

How has living in Chicago affected your art practice? Chicago has a lot to do with my work. I?ve done lots of projects in the Humboldt Park neighborhood (Chicago?s Puerto Rican haven). Not because I?m a cultural ambassador, but it is a very interesting neighborhood and its hard not to reflect what you?ve been around all your life. I also have access to the community which lets me dive in deep when I need/want to.

What are some recent projects you’ve been working on? My most recent piece was a sculpture installed at The Green Gallery in Milwaukee for an exhibition curated by Jose Lerma, the Orange show. Before that I had the chance to bring a horse into a museum space for an Installation. I had portraits of women on horses on one end of the gallery and a woman on a horse on the other end. It wasn?t the first horse in a museum but it was my first.

How has your work developed within the past year? The work is collapsing onto itself. I?ve had things in nice neat packages, like a grocery store. Now the paintings that want to be sculpture are on the floor, the sculptures are in the photographs and the paintings are directly on the wall.

Any upcoming shows we should know about? I have an exhibition coming up in Ponce, Puerto Rico next month. Also, in Chicago, a documentary a friend (Henrique Cirne-Lima) and I shot will screen at the Chicago Latino Film Festival in April. It is about a beauty pageant for Puerto Rican, Trangendered youths from the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say? Something general and vague.

What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? I want the work to start conversations or inform the viewer in one way or another. At the very least I push to visually engage an audience.

If you hadn?t become an artist, what do you think you?d be doing? I thought I?d be a comedian till I was 14. This started when I saw Eddie Murphy for the very first time.  But I would?ve done something practical like medicine or law.

If you had one wish what would it be? Health and happiness

What?s your absolute favorite place in the world to be? Favorite place in the world would be a beach, a nice one. Hot sun, sand, clear water and a frosted covered 6-pack of Heineken and I?m done.

Favorite music? All types. It depends what I?m doing. My favorite studio album is Lagrimas Negra by Bebo y Cigala.  And for the late nights some old school Chicago house music, to get my heart started.