ASK THE ARTIST: 12 Questions & A Joke with Claudia Nery

ASK THE ARTIST: 12 Questions & A Joke with Claudia Nery

is an opportunity for our gallery supporters, friends and clients to get to know our artists a little better. It’s a fun way to get a glimpse into the personalities of the artists and at the same time connecting the artist with their art.
Hope you enjoy!! Ida Victoria


Q: If there was a favorite work of art you could hang or display in your home, which would it be?

CN: “Tres Personajes en Rojo”, by Rufino Tamayo. My choice for a favorite artist has changed over time, at the beginning Tamayo was my all time favorite, but now I like many. But in this painting in particular, I like the way his technique is managed, and the harmony of the colors. Maybe I’ve become more picky in my visual perception.

tres personajes en rojo

TRES PERSONAJES EN ROJO. Rufino Tamayo. Oil on canvas 50 x 71 inches

Rufino Tamayo was a Mexican painter of Zapotec heritage, born in Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico. Tamayo was active in the mid-20th century in Mexico and New York, painting figurative abstraction with surrealist influences. Tamayo’s Zapotec heritage is often cited as an early influence

Tamayo’s method situates his composition as the focal point instead of emphasizing the subject alone. By doing so, one looks at the painting as a whole. He explained his approach to Paul Westheim as follows: “As the number of colors we use decreases, the wealth of possibilities increases”. Tamayo favored using few colors rather than many; he asserted that fewer colors in a painting gave the art greater force and meaning…With that being said, Octavio Paz, author of the book Rufino Tamayo, argues that, “Time and again we have been told that Tamayo is a great colourist; but it should be added that this richness of colour is the result of sobriety”. By being pure or, as Paz explained, sober with his color choice, Tamayo’s paintings were enriched, not impoverished. “If I could express with a single word what it is that distinguishes Tamayo from other painters, I would say without a moment’s hesitation: Sun. For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not.” – Nobel Prize-winning poet Octavio Paz


Q: If there was one dead artist that you could hang out with for a day, who would that be? Why?

CN: Tamayo, I’d like to know everything about his process…how it all starts for him. I would have liked to see how he creates a painting, from the very beginning with the texture he laid down on his canvases before any paint.

rufino tamayo

Can you believe that, to say that ours is the only path
when the fundamental thing in art is freedom!
In art, there are millions of paths, as many paths as there are artists.
– Rufino Tamayo 1899-1991


A NIVEL. Claudia Nery. Oil on prepared board 8 x 8 inches

Q: If there were a magic power you could use in your art making, what would it be?

CN: To have the canvases already primed, so it would take me a little less time to prepare them and get to the best part, creating a piece.

claudia studio

Claudia’s Studio

Q: If we were going to talk about your art, where would you want to start?

CN: Her artwork is inspired by ethnic art.

de piquito
One of Claudia’s newest works in the gallery.
DE PIQUITO oil on prepared board 12 x 16 inches

Q: What quality in others makes you want to slap them?

CN: Egocentric people, racists and those who despise animals.

Q: Art is so subjective, what kind of art is unappealing to you?

CN: Art manifests itself everywhere and its value depends on who is perceiving it. I’m only repelled by grotesque and violent art.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as far as your art, inspiration or career?

CN: When I first started painting a colleague told me that I was entering into a very difficult and underpaid world. I replied that nothing was impossible. Since the beginning, my instinct has told me that my art would transcend. That pessimistic advice would mark me forever.

las senales

LAS SENALES. Claudia Nery, oil on prepared board  14 x 14 inches

Q: What is most important to you…the subject, the process or the final work?

CN: The final result.

la estatua

LA ESTATUA. oil on board 12 x 12 inches

Q: If your work was edible, what would it taste like?

CN: It would taste like fruit.

Q: What is the one thing you need in your studio to work, other than your art supplies?

CN: My good health is all I need.



Q: What is your most favorite piece of your artwork on display in Galeria de Ida Victoria now, and why?

CN: “El Festival” , it was a very complicated piece to complete, at the end I was very happy with the final result.

el festival

EL FESTIVAL. Claudia Nery. oil on canvas. 47 x 47 inches

Q: In the era of the internet, why do you choose to continue to work with galleries?

CN: I love galleries, they are the only place where I can appreciate art live. My dream is to have/open my own.



Q: Now the best part, tell us a joke.

CN: Había una vez un perrito llamado Chicle. Chicle se cayó y se pegó.
There once was a dog named Bubble Gum. Bubble Gum fell & got stuck.

Why do I love Claudia Nery’s work?

I love Claudia’s work because it is playful, colorful, textural and detailed. A beautiful combination of personal reflection and imagined characters and the influence of Pre-Hispanic art & modern Mexican folkart. There is so much to see and study in a Claudia Nery piece, and really, it doesn’t matter the scale she is working in, small little gems or gigantic canvases, she in comfortable working in both, creating mini-worlds with a story to tell through her mysterious faces camouflaged under moons or suns and various stylistic animals that emerge on the canvas and can also fade away- there is this amazing visual push and pull in her pieces. I have a painting of hers in my house and 3 years later, I am still discovering bits and pieces. Her works truly unfold the longer you enjoy them. Her stylistic characters and imagery has a playful, surreal quality but retains its sophisticated edge through technique, color and composition. With a degree in Architecture, her compositions take on a structural feel, characters balancing on each other- she has the ability to make the viewer’s eye circle the work, taking in details and nuances as our eyes rove across the canvas. Claudia’s unique technique of painting in mixed media on paper and canvas incorporates bold color and shape with extreme detail that she creates using diluted inks as well as tools to etch into the paint- drawing over the under painting. Her pieces are one of a kind with this combination of medium and technique that creates an overall texture by layering transparent color and line over one another resulting in a highly detailed multi-dimensional final product. Her work is quintessential Mexico in my eyes, because of the playful characters, the use of pattern and texture and her choice of colors. I am a SUPER fan!!
-Ida Victoria

My favorite piece in the gallery by Claudia is called El Caballero Rojo or The Red Knight. And it’s not in the gallery, it’s in my house! I loved the painting so much that I bought it for my own collection. So it’s not available (sorry), but had to share it! I love the palette and all of the pattern and texture, and just love that face on the knight! Claudia’s artist statement on this piece is: This is a creature on a quest to be loved…who loses sight of the one at his side.


EL CABALLERO ROJO. Claudia Nery. Oil on canvas. 54 x 44 inches

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