Who are you and what do you do?
Marco Albarran: I’ve been an artist from a very young age. I do feel blessed that after all these years I can still call myself an artist. It hasn’t been easy, but that’s what makes creating worth it! I am currently working as a Curatorial/Exhibits Developer for ASU and, on the side, I create art, run a small consulting business, lead a non-profit art organization, serve as a community volunteer, and also take care of my eight year old son, who I love so much! All that considering that I am currently taking a break, go figure!
How did you get your start?
As far as I can remember, I always wondered about how things work, what made things tick. I was always trying to find ways to modify things…to change things. When I was a little boy, I used pieces of discarded wood to create car toys. The wheels were made from used bottle caps or used small milk carnation cans, which work best as wheels. My painting supplies were made out of cactus mealy bugs. When you crushed a mealy bug with your fingers, it leaves a red dye, which you can use as a medium. Red clay is another medium I use quite often. For drawing, I used left over pieces of charcoal. They all work great!
What inspires you?
My initial inspiration came from my paternal grandmother, “Mama Lupe”. She was an overall inspirational women. A traditional medicine woman who always offered her knowledge to people in the community. As a child, I remember her taking me on small walking adventure trips in search for plants. I did not realize until later that those little trips were actually training trips. These trips included searches for medicine plants and food herbs. Pointing to me the good plants and the harmful plants. Her healing hands and wisdom had many people at her door seeking her help all the time. For me, her deep cultural roots was more than a great inspiration. Imagine what else life brought to me in later years. What else became the rich food that a creative mind like mine was eating.
What do you like about AZ?
I like Arizona’s desert, its natural sounds, the spring and summer smells after the raining season. For sure the desert is special place. I like the mountains and nature always the best. AZ politics is another matter! In the city, I like the vibrancy of the people, the creativeness that is happening right now. The city brings energy, it brings constant changes that become influential to a creative mind. Arizona is, and will always be in my heart.
Where can we see you(r) work?
Currently I do have an exhibit going at the Chandler Public Library’s downtown site. This exhibit reflects a project that was initiated by the Chandler-Gilbert Community College as part of a grant they received from the American Library Association and the National Endownment for the Humanities. This exhibit features art, but is also incorporating an oral history component to it. I was lucky to have given an opportunity to curate and exhibit there as artist. Currently, I am also updating my studio, so more work will be coming out soon…and a future group exhibition at the MonOrchid is in play.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
Tough question…but reflective. I guess there is always something to be accomplished, but not sure if death is the end of things. Sometimes death marks the beginning of things. You plant the seeds while you are living and death brings them out. History will tell.
What is you mantra?
Movimiento or movement! I remember a long time ago, a wise man explained to me about the meaning of the Aztec calendar. What was my symbol? My spot within the calendar was between a zopilote (vulture), which is considered to be the cleanser or re-cycler’s of life. Next to me was also the stone, which is considered a solid matter, strong, reliable, home bound. Then there was my spot, right there in the center of those two other powerful symbols, and it was “movement”. A symbol that is always ever changing, that it is transformative, always moving forward.