Featured Artist | Juan Alcázar Méndez

Featured Artist | Juan Alcázar Méndez


Davidson Galleries is pleased to feature prints from Oaxacan artist Juan Alcázar Méndez. Alcázar is known for his aquatints, etchings, and lithographs that explore the mythological relationships between humans, animals, interiors, and nature. Influenced by indigenous culture, the spirits of the nahual, folk art, and magical realism, he uses layered compositions, texture, and pattern to tell a vast story within a single image. His work often features empowered women, unencumbered and entangled with bulls, reptiles, and crustaceans in affection and in battle. Humans and animals merge and blur, as does gender, as does land, sky and sea. Alcázar’s mastery of techniques such as tusche washes and aquatint grounds is visible in the careful treatment of the texture of skin, the movement of water, the rich ceramic tiles and translucent fabrics.

In Vida y Muerte (Life and Death), merman and fish swim together and face death together when transformed into a skeletal merman and a fish on a platter.  In El Autorretrato (Self-Portrait), the artist sits calmly at a desk possibly of wood, possibly of sand, ready to draw, with a simple cup and a simple pitcher, while haunted by, or greeted by, or possibly dreaming of mythical creatures. In La Fiera Despierta (The Beast Awakened), the floor is a portal to the sea, the mattress is a platform for other creatures, and stitches become clouds which become frames for women. Alcázar forms fantastical scenes within a single frame with a logic that he bends and breaks as he wishes. While each piece tells its own story, together they create a universe of motion, fervor, serenity, coexistence, conflict – a home for every imagination. 

Please view these works from Juan Alcázar Méndez offered by Davidson Galleries on our website here: Collection | Juan Alcázar Méndez or call/email to make an appointment to view them in person. 

Juan Alcázar Méndez was born in 1955 in Oaxaca, Mexico. He attended the School of Fine Arts at the University of Benito Juárez in Oaxaca in 1968 where he later taught. He also studied printmaking with Fernando Vilchis and Leticia Tarragó in 1972, and mixography and lithography at the Mexican Graphics Workshop of Mexico City in 1978. He was a central figure for arts and culture in Oaxaca, not only as an artist but as an advocate of arts institutions. Alcázar was a founder and teacher at the Rufino Tamayo Workshop for the Visual Arts (Taller de Arts Plásticas Rufino Tamayo, TRT) in 1974. He also founded the Free Graphics Workshop of Oaxaca (Taller Libre de Gráfica Oaxaqueña) and founded and directed the Museum of Oaxaca Painters (Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños, MUPO). He participated in the creation of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, MACO) with Francisco Toledo. Alcázar passed away in 2013.