New Mexico Artist to Know Now Frank Blazquez updates us on his latest documentary work and writing for The Guardian.
This past March (the one that feels approximately 200 years ago) Southwest Contemporary held its second-annual exhibition 12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now. Selected from over 400 submissions, these are the artists we consider to be shaping the landscape of contemporary art in New Mexico.
Just one week after the opening, however, the gallery closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, these artists have continued to create, in terms of art as well as impact in their communities. We’re checking in with each of them to see how they are, and what they’re making now.
lives in Albuquerque, NM
born in Chicago, IL
frankblazquez.com | @and_frank13
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your process? Has it changed where, how or when you work? Has it changed the subject matter?
The pandemic had some effects in March and April, but I really didn’t feel them. Even prior to the pandemic I never really went out too much, I am always cooped up inside my place doing art and editing videos. As far as subject matter: I don’t really feel like creating COVID-19 themed art—content focused on toilet paper and mask type symbols. Everyone seems to be doing that, and I never want to do what everyone else is doing.
What are your top concerns for the arts and your fellow artists?
I really hope that artists still have the opportunity to apply for grants. I have witnessed many annual grants shutting down because of the pandemic.
How has your relationship with art-making changed during this time?
Not too much has changed in terms of my craft I won a $20,000 grant through the Soze Agency a few months ago—so I’m really excited about working with this new team.
Tell us about your current projects or pieces:
I completed these three short documentaries:
A Girl’s Life in Albuquerque’s War Zone, New Mexico
A Norteño in TrumpLand, Arkansas
From Juárez to Albuquerque, New Mexico║PART 1: Duke City Living
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am working on a few articles for The Guardian through 2021 focusing on Latino topics, so keep an eye out! And thank you to all my supporters!