Roberto Morleghem is a plastic artist from Guadalajara, Mexico. His work is deeply rooted in the cosmos and music albums of the 60's and 70's. He is an artist who expresses his essence through each piece and we had the opportunity to understand a little about his processes and history since he considers himself an "anti-academic" and a rebel of the genre. For him, art must be outside on the street where everyone can see it.
When I said to myself: “Art is what I really am and the only thing I’ve got. It’s mine”, I realized I was no longer a child.
Tell us something about yourself. Where do you come from, and what are your origins?
My name is Roberto Morleghem, I was born in Gudalajara, Mexico, in 1977. I am an only child, I had to face loneliness sometimes, and for this reason I began to create things with my hands and to draw at a very young age. I noticed very soon that this helped me to stay calm. Also my parents were aware of this, so they encouraged me to keep on with my art. When I said to myself: “Art is what I really am and the only thing I’ve got. It’s mine”, I realized I was no longer a child. In my teenage years I took some engraving and screen-printing courses. I was the assistant of the much known painter Juan Crepeli. We spent the very last days of his life working together. He was one of the most irreverent painters in my town. His work was one of my biggest inspirations when I started to find my own path to express myself.
What does art represent to you?
Art is a divine escape; without art I really don’t know what the hell I’d do with myself. It’s my safe haven, but also my own way to get closer to people, since content creators tend to “self-absorb” a lot. Art is how I get to know myself. In my personal journey, I felt deeply connected to the word ‘art’; I used to be scared by it, but in the end it is what really saved me.
Why did the word ‘art’ scare you?
The weight of the words is complicated. I'm pretty terrified of the word ‘artist’. I consider myself a painter. An ‘artist’ would be someone like David Bowie, or Peter Greenaway. Artists are human beings who embrace every possible matter.
Where and how did you paint for the first time?
I have a very vivid memory. I was seven or six years old. I was in Ernesto Flores' workroom. He gave me a piece of cardboard, some terracotta colors and some marble powder. I remember he gave me a shell that looked like a spiral. Over the years I've felt like that very moment was the beginning of my hypnosis. Something unlimited, infinite and unchangeable. Something I will remember until the day I die. It was the first time I felt connected.
"I try to break conventions and not to focus on art in galleries. If you want to see real art you don’t have to go to museums or galleries... It’s in the streets."
Where and how do you find your inspiration and which people inspire you?
Music inspire me a lot, I collect music. I listen to new sounds to see what I could create. Also urban art, is a source of inspiration, as well as its impact on the street and what it stands for. I try to break conventions and not to focus on art in galleries. If you want to see real art you don’t have to go to museums or galleries... It’s in the streets.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Jimi Hendrix. He drives me crazy. The artworks on the covers of his albums are very psychedelic.
What do you think about the art market today?
There is a lot of variety. I believe that in my city, Guadalajara, Mexico, the prospect is certainly very positive because I see some young people buying my art. Some of them are even younger than me. I haven’t really witnessed a crisis in years, so I can’t help but be optimistic.
Art makes me a better person. It soothes my violent spirit.
Is there a specific message you would like to convey through your work?
I really have no boundaries, because my work has much in common with the deep relationship that intertwines the microcosm and the macrocosm. Since everything along that line is already existing, there is no such point where I'm actually dictating anything. These are messages that come to me from the silver thread that binds the universe together. This message is decoded at the moment by each individual, since every single piece of it is subjective. I mean, you can give it a meaning which might differ from mine. I don’t think I’m capable of sending a specific message.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Uff... I'd like to turn myself into energy and fly around the universe. If I leave this world in 10 years, that's fine; if it happens in 20 or 30 that's even better, I'm not in a hurry. I hope to keep walking and dancing and drinking the way I like to drink. I've never really thought about where I see myself in ten years. I think the best thing that could happen to me is not to be a father just yet, because I enjoy the freedom I wouldn't have otherwise.
What would you do without the existence of art as a defined or established element?
I'd buy a war tank and start bombing everything all around. That's why I believe it's a good thing that art exists, it would be a disaster without it. Art makes me a better person. It soothes my violent spirit.
Do you have an academic background in art or are you a self-taught talent?
I am an ANTI-ACADEMIC talent. I don't like the term ‘self-taught’. I can only rely on my personal experience. I observe and relate to people from the plastic art scene and absorb everything I see. I don't feel the need to become a graduate. I found my true and genuine self by my own means. This way I’m authentic.