Loss of Self
Alex S. Arizpe is a Houston-born, Los Angeles-based artist. He is a winner of no awards, super famous in his own apartment, and is highly regarded by his many action figures.
An acclaimed writer by no one, his writings have been published nowhere. Arizpe is also a two-time cancer survivor, unstable diabetic, with a few other deadly complications, and his work derives from the loss of self that occurs when fighting to survive life-threatening diseases.
The frustration with human limitations and an always self-aware mortality brings a tragic dimension to these works, and depict difficulty with everyday banal activities. Climbing stairs, showering, eating, or even sitting become nearly impossible to execute.
At first glance, Arizpe's paintings appear almost gory and gruesome, but the swirls of paint symbolize where it hurts, and how one's soul feels when dehumanized by illness and treatment alike. The figure roams from place to place, in the same space, occasionally dressed in a black robe in moments when death was especially near. The woman in the paintings is a sympathetic, loving savior whose features became a silhouette through chemo-soaked eyes. Distorted, nearly defeated, the figure-spirit proclaims hope through the struggle of becoming human again.