Sabino Guisu
Photo by Luvia Lazo

Artist in portrait: Sabino Guisu

Sabino Guisu
Photo by Luvia Lazo

I recently had the pleasure of spending some time in Oaxaca, Mexico where I toured the studio of the captivating artist Sabino Guisu. Considered by many to be one of the most dynamic artists in Mexico at the moment, he is known for his bold sculptures and paintings that incorporate a diverse range of materials — everything from honey and tortillas to smoke and neon light.

Guisu has a fine art background, yet much of his creative vision can be attributed to his curiosity and research in topics like anthropology, religion, symbolic psychology, and art history. Coming from a family of Zapotecan artisans dedicated to pottery, his work is also steeped in the nature, rites, and customs of his culture. In our conversation, Guisu and I delved into life’s big topics, from the nature of creation and human suffering to how he embraces the darkness within him to heal.

Photo by Dali Nelio

– A big theme in your work is darkness. Why do you love darkness so much?

Much of my work lies in the unconscious, and darkness normally lives in that place. As humans, we are carriers of that darkness, yet darkness is the part everyone will check-out of. We hide it. We hide the trauma, the negative emotions, and all the fear we have. By doing that, we reject ourselves. We don’t accept who we are.

Through my art, I am able to manifest and materialize a large part of what happens in my
mind and internal being. I can understand and accept the natural darkness that inhabits me.

These days everything is about mind – concepts without spirit. Everything you see I made with my heart, not with my mind.

– What role does light play in your art?

It’s the duality — the opposite, but at the same time, the complement. Light is the other great part of the nature of being human, the conscious part of this life. It is creating the life you want and realizing that love, compassion, tolerance, and acceptance are infinite energies that guide our paths even in the darkest nights of our souls.

A lot of people say, “I want to be a good person.” Well, I want to be a complete person with both. You need to take the best aspects of shadow, the best aspects of light and put them together and go with that, with the third energy. But it’s hard to do it. You need a lot of pain, because pain is the master and suffering is necessary. But nobody wants to feel pain and suffering. We only want the good stuff, and that is unnatural.

Read the rest of this story in issue 03 of Heal Magazine. Available in our app, download it now!

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Artist in portrait: Sabino Guisu