Not too many artists decide to combine science and art, and that’s quite a cosmic pity. Today, though, we’ll talk about a visual artist who thinks differently.
Adrián Regnier Chávez is a Mexican artist who studied Visual Arts at the National School of Sculpture, Painting, and Engraving, ‘La Esmeralda’. From 2011 onward, he’s been creating visually astounding and intriguing art pieces. His work mainly stayed within the fields of video, contemporary animation, and Virtual Reality (RV / VR).
Ever since he was a little boy, Regnier was fascinated by both art and science. He was amazed by the mutually complementary capabilities of these two seemingly dichotomous approaches to describing the world around us. When he needed to pivot in only one direction, Adrián was still equally eager to pursue both arts and physics. Yet it was his long-term relationship with drawing that nudged him toward arts.
He says that his education at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving ‘La Esmeralda’ and the contemporary art profile of the alumni made him develop “a new sense of integral conception in his artistic practice”. This is when one of his biggest works “La Fuga” slowly came into existence.
Describing Adrián As A Visual Artist
Obviously, describing an artist in a couple of paragraphs is like trying to illustrate the universe with a few Hubble photos. It’s interesting and intriguing, but not nearly enough.
If you glance at the breadth of his work, you’ll see that Adrián has multiple approaches to the creative process. This is perhaps most obvious when you juxtapose some of his works, even randomly. That’s when you see how versatile a visual artist he really is.
However, a familiar presence and feel permeates all his art. Adrián’s work has the consistency of themes, motifs, techniques, and outlooks. The gloom of a failed humanity is often prominent, and yet the hope is ever-present. Not many artists can achieve this effortlessly.
Here’s how David Finkelstein, Artistic Director at Lake Ivan Performance Group and Film Scratches Video, described Adrián’s seminal work, La Fuga: “In a way, these deeply nihilistic works suggest a zen-like acceptance of man’s self-destruction. […] The penetrating intelligence and sophisticated visual beauty of these works are beacons of hope for humanity, gleaming through the nuclear clouds”.
Emma Drew of Emergent Art Space noticed that Regnier and his work can be both probable and impossible, much like the universe itself: “a multidisciplinary artist with his head firmly in the clouds. Obsessed by the celestial, Regnier creates works and worlds that are somehow familiar in their fantastical reach and impossibly probable in their physical construction, much like the cosmos themselves.”
Paola Gazzani Marinelli, Head of Digital & Professional Programs at XXV Geneva International Film Festival, described Adrián Regnier as “a fascinating Mexican artist,” whose art is “unclassifiable […] fascinating, hypnotic, chiseled with digital antimatter. A way of asserting that dematerialized art is just as much an art as the dream is life.”
Giving His Visual Work The 4th Dimension Through Audio
Not only is Adrián an amazing visual artist, but he’s also been creating audio for his videos. Initially, he resorted to using non-licensed tracks for his first videos. Soon after, once his work started to gain visibility, he switched to creating his own audio.
However, his ideas progressed and became more complex. Adrián then realized that his visual work is far superior to his audio skills. That’s why he “reached out into the world of artistic collaboration.”
“When the time came to acknowledge that my basic audio editing abilities would leave my works coming up short in the “suspension-of-disbelief department,” Adrián said in an interview for Emergent Art Space. “I was lucky enough to find in my childhood’s friendships the marvelous vision and talent, Pablo Mariña Montalvo, my dearest composer, and friend. We started collaborating in 2012 when he ‘remastered’ B. by specifically composing an audio track for it.”
Text And Language(s) As A Yet Another Layer of Genius
He also incorporates the use of words and symbols, often in as many as nine different languages at once. This was the case with his main piece so far.
He deems the writing phase “the most delicious” one as it crowns each of his videos. That’s why he likes to leave that for the final stage of his creative process. “I do so in the proudest example of haphazard execution and experimental art direction—and it often drastically changes what each piece will turn into,” says Adrián.
Adrián’s Achievements Unlocked (So Far)
This amazing visual artist has won numerous awards. Both national and international institutions supported him on various occasions. Some of these were: the Immersion Laboratory Residence Center of Digital Culture + BBVA Bancomer (Mexico, 2018–19); the Program of Support for Research and Production in Art and Media (PAPIAM; CENART / CONACULTA, Mexico, 2016–17); the MADATAC Residence in Casa de Velázquez (Spain, 2016), and twice for the Young Creators Scholarship (FONCA, Mexico, 2013–14; 2018–19), among others.
He’s also the youngest artist in the history of the private scholarship and commission program of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO, USA, 2013–14).
His work has been exhibited across numerous individual shows. Adrián also won first place in the following competitions: IV International Biennial of Art of Veracruz (Mexico, 2018); the XXXVIII edition of the National Meeting of Young Art (Mexico, 2018); the Exhibition of Digital Audiovisual Art and Advanced Advanced Technologies, MADATAC 07 (Spain, 2016); the International Festival of Electronic Art and Media TRANSITIO MX 6 (Mexico, 2015); etc.
Adrián’s work is part of many collections. These include MADATAC, Casa de Velázquez, Pi Fernandino, CIFO, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Casoria CCAM, and Fundación Protovecka. It’s been selected, exhibited, and awarded in more than 300 national and international festivals and contests of video art, cinema, animation, and contemporary art.
Versatility Is Key, Says This Visual Artist
As mentioned before, you can’t reduce Adrián’s work to animation only. Both animation and traditional, physical mediums are the concepts and techniques he tackles in his creative process. Many animation festivals showcased his video production, but experimental film and video festivals didn’t lack either. As per Adrián’s words, he’s never quite sure where the ‘absolute value’ of his work actually stands.
“I’ve come to understand this flexibility much more as an aspect of versatility of the medium, rather than a defining – perhaps binding – aspect of my work,” says Adrián.
What we liked most about Adrián Regnier is perhaps what got him to where he is now. He fuses arts and science in a unique way and provides a blatant critique of the direction the society is going. At the same time, though, he provides his audience with a glimmer of hope.