REFLEXIÓN: Andres Bustamante
November 23, 2022
By Jay Sanchez
The word REFLEXIÓN or reflection in English can be used daily to express a moment in time where we as individuals allow ourselves to be vulnerable internally. These moments give us the ability to take time to analyze, meditate, evaluate, and give serious thoughts to our desires, motivations, behaviors, attitudes, and overall rumination. REFLEXIÓN finds traditional philosophical accounts with problematic views infused by today’s society. We are living in an age where human greatness is defined by algorithm and false narratives, suggesting reflection can only bring a false sense of certainty.
Informed by his immigrant experience at a young age, Andres Bustamante’s sculptures explore abstraction in human emotion while questioning human existence. In the quest for meaning through his work, Bustamante seeks to share transformative experiences through sculpture installations. Sculptures made through a meticulous process of melting and folding polycarbonate as an ode to the brains ability to transform via neuroplasticity.
“I have an unshakable conviction that humanity heals and transforms through the power of creative expression. We are all creative beings seeking sources of inspiration. The word inspiration broken down is ‘in spirit’. The word “spirit” derives from the word “breath,” (spiritus in Latin). Literally, breath gives life.” VibroAcoustic Therapy Technology as well as BrainTap technology is incorporated in the sculpture exhibit. Therapeutic technology backed by neuroscience research which assists the brain flow into healing brain waves through sound, vibration, and light.
Jay Sanchez: Buenas noches Andres, thank you for taking the time this evening to have this conversation on your latest body of work. A pleasure to say the least.
Andres Bustamante: The pleasure is all mine bro. I just took the time to clear my mind with a quick workout, so I’m ready to go.
Jay Sanchez: Let’s talk about REFLEXIÓN, your exhibit currently in display to be experienced at Leu Center for The Arts at Belmont University/Watkins College of Art. Give us the background to putting this body of work together. How did this concept come about?
Andres Bustamante: When I was given the opportunity to create this solo exhibit, I realized I was given an opportunity to explore topics that have been prevalent since my early beginnings as a creative. “REFLEXIÓN allows me to be vulnerable by expressing my trauma and pain via these abstract waves, painted in these unique colors and patterns, while sharing my beautiful imperfections.” This body of work allows me to bring unity into a very intentional space. This facilitates others to reflect upon their own human existence and human condition by creating a sacred space to heal. I heard once that whatever we heal in ourselves, we also heal in humanity. As I created this body of work, I found the art and healing both in the making of this work. I’m inviting people to a journey of healing, also into a creative dance to reflect themselves in the work while visiting this sacred space.
Jay Sanchez: Upon my arrival to the gallery, I couldn’t help but sense a very therapeutic energy flowing in the space. You are referring to this space as one of sanctity; is this intentionally done? Was this feeling inspired while creating REFLEXIÓN?
Andres Bustamante: I’m no shaman bro. In more solid terms, when I began work on this series I was focused on the mystery of human experience. The abstract dimensions infused in the work allowed me to explore a concept presented to me years ago by Don Miguel Ruiz and his book “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.” In it you can find a tale from Toltec times where a member of the tribe finds enlightenment and self-awareness of his surroundings to a point of discovering an inner supreme being. The “I Am” factor becomes noticeable to those in this pre-Aztec community. As they begin to worship this induvial, he’s quick to stop all praises and explains that we are all Gods/Goddess within. The overwhelming human condition fogs the ability for us to understand the concept of “I Am”, an overall reflection of eternity in this universe. This sacred space allows me to catch air that we can all breath as one.
JS: Can you give the reader insight on some of the work we can experience at the gallery?
AB: You’ll find the pieces Rosa Blanca, Rosa Negra, Colores de Muchas Emociones, Mi Reflejo Nuestro Reflejo I-III, Por que estoy aqui?, El Renacer en mi Mente/en mi Cuerpo, Fragmento I-IV. Upon arriving at the sanctuary, you will experience “Rosa Blanca” located at the very center of the gallery. A beautiful aesthetically pleasing piece with an aura of everything that’s beautiful and divine. I personally have experienced God as a female, this makes my source of life female. Rosa Blanca embodies the beautiful curvatures and shapes that embody everything feminine; they also look different in shapes, size, and skin tone. This piece was a big inspiration by the female Goddess that are a reflection of the universe. The divinity within us is heavily infused as you make yourself around the gallery, this was my intention from the very beginning. Another piece that I feel very excited for individuals to experience is “Rosa Negra.” All these pieces are living entities that were created as personal healing of a certain aspect I couldn’t quite explain. Rosa Negra reflects the process of growth, an experience that has heavy root to my birth mother. The trauma that she carried in her life eventually became a burden to my own existence, this foggy reflection is a focal point when you experience Rosa Negra. The dark energy in this piece allows the induvial to reflect similar feelings in the that space, my intention is to also create healing within. Every single piece in the gallery allows the space to become a sanctuary in many different ways.
JS: As I experienced this body of work, I truly immersed myself on my own personal REFLEXIÓN. This process has been prevalent throughout my entire life due to the adversity that I had to overcome to be here today. I no longer see a distorted reflection of myself; what “I am” has been clear for a long time now. As a creative what are you wanting to accomplish with this body of work?
AD: I want people to come out and experience this body work, but also spend as much time in the space as needed. The energy was intentionally created within this space for individuals to experience a powerful sense of healing and growth. The work is in this gallery to remind us all that it’s ok to feel pain and emotions created by our past. I want to create a healing journey that allows us to overcome a quest of personal obstacles, which then facilitates acknowledgement of the God/Goddess in us all. The body of work has also driven me to do research on the power of sound healing and meditation. There is a headset that I would like individuals to immerse themselves in as they experience this body of work. We can also experience healing through sound, light, and vibration. Allow yourself to experience healing as I have through this entire process.
“REFLEXIÓN” is currently on display at Leu Center for The Arts at Belmont University until November 28, 2022.