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Ivan Abreu

Ivan Abreu (Havana,1967, naturalized Mexican citizen), artist and programmer who works and lives in Mexico City.

Using a broad range of media including drawing, photography, electronics, software development, sound experimentation and industrial design, Abreu explores the accuracy and capacity of science and technology in the context of art. His work produces unusual situations linked to physical, social and political phenomena.

His work is included in public and private collections as FEMSA, CINTAS Foundation, Patronato del Centro Histórico, Casa Vecina; Televisa and Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo. He currently holds the grant awarded by the National System of Art Creators of FONCA (2012–2014) and has received grants and support by 2012 The Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria); the CINTAS Foundation Award in Visual Arts, 2011–2012 and the Program for research in Arts and Media at the National Center for the Arts (2007).*



Bernard Vienat (BV) – How and when did you first arrive to Mexica and hoow has your career evolved ever since?

Ivan Abreu (IA) – I was born in Havana, and I came to Mexico in 1996. I was invited to a graphic design exhibition. At that time my relationship with visual art was mainly focused on design and then, since I was also involved in other projects involving technology and media design, I began to develop a series of experiments which I found a little senseless at the time but eventually I figured out this kind of work, a more authorial one, which in fact I discovered in Mexico made a lot of sense in the media art scene and in the electronic art scene. That was my path from design to art.

BV -Who where the artists that made up this scene you mention?

IA – When I arrived in Mexico I saw there was a scene for video artists, for sound art and electronic art. Fran Ilich,Arcángel Constantini, Fernando Llanos and Mario de Vega amongst others were doing this sort of work, back then. Meeting this first group of people allowed me to have some feedback, some place for dialogue where I could show the work I was doing then, to which I was not sure I was going to devote my professional career as an artist.

BV- Did you study in Havana?

IA.- Yes, I studied Informational Design which is similar to Graphic Design or Visual Communication here in Mexico and I did a master’s degree in Programming, in Computer Science and I began to belong to this group and exhibiting my work with them. And what began as an experiment became a career of almost 9 years of work.

BV- So, at first you saw your work from a purely experimental perspective?

IA.- Definitely, actually for me they were exercises for other ideas and things that I thought I could perhaps incorporate to other graphic design projects. I thought of them more as aesthetic exercises with electronic processes.

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