Interview with Hilda Palafox (aka PONI) for ‘Cuando Baja Le Marea (When The Tide Comes Down)’

Thinkspace is pleased to present ‘Cuando Baja Le Marea (When The Tide Comes Down)‘ featuring new work by Hilda Palafox (aka Poni).

Mexico City-based artist Hilda Palafox, also known as Poni, is inspired by love, rain, music, and the feminine spirit. No matter the medium, whether it’s on canvas, paper, linen, ceramic, or adorning a wall, her work portrays the female form weaving together those elements in fresh and uplifting ways.

In anticipation of Cuando Baja Le Marea (When The Tide Comes Down), our interview with Hilda Palafox (aka Poni) discusses the power of femininity, her inspiration behind this body of work, and most rewarding moment of her career thus far.

SH: For those not familiar with your work, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

HP: Currently, I work and live in Mexico City, where I am from. I studied design at Escuela de Diseño del INBA (The National Institute of Fine Arts) and later worked as a creative in advertising. I learned a lot but I realized it was not my thing at all. I quit to pursue an artistic career which was something I always had wanted to do. I began doing a lot of editorial illustration then started making and selling my own work, things like prints and ceramics. I started painting some murals, then paintings and eventually got to where I am today. Always learning, growing and experimenting.

SH: Who are some of your creative influences?

HP: I’ve had many creative influences over the years and they’re all very different. Some that come to my mind now are: Carlos Mérida, Niki de Saint Phalle, Ricardo Martínez de Hoyos, Yoshitomo Nara, Tarsiila do Amaral, Agostino Iacurci…

SH: What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work?

HP: Last year a friend of mine gave me a Tarot reading, right were in LA actually. “The Moon” was one of the cards that came up quite a few times, he explained how this card points out things that are hidden and then a lower tide revealed them. I took this to heart and developed the concept for the exhibition; playing with the idea of the tide, the horizon, the symbol of the moon and the things to be found underwater. I visualized the whole body of work as a dance between these elements. 

SH: What was the most challenging piece in the exhibition and why?

HP: Probably the textile piece. I had wanted to do something with this appliqué technique for a long time and it took me some time to find the right fabric and dying it. The sewing was very relaxing once I got it right. I made three different pieces and only one made it to the exhibition. It is a technique inspired in traditional textiles from Panama, Colombia and Africa, I definitely want to experiment so much more with this. 

SH: What is your most and least favorite part of the creative process?

HP: Personally, there is always a moment in the middle of the process where I feel a bit pressured, mainly feeling rushed to finish everything and meet the due date. I would say deadlines are the least enjoyable part. At the same time, I am kind of grateful about this rush because it makes me work harder. Let’s be honest, sometimes we all need that. 

SH: You’ve traveled the world through your work, what is one of your favorite cities (outside of your home) and why has it captured your heart? 

HP: I really like Madrid, probably because it was the first city I traveled to on my own, outside my country. Last year I went back there for work and it was just like I remembered it. I love the old/new city vibe.

SH: How would you describe the inherent power and need for femininity to a person who has only existed in a masculine world? What do you think are the positive attributes of the masculine?

HP: I think the feminine power has always exemplified this need or want to overcome things. In my work I want to show women that have gone past their limit, I want to show this place that we physically, energetically, and intellectually fill in the world. Although my work is not masculine at all, cosmologically there has always been a balance between these two forces, it is not so much like this now. In my work the feminine is taking over to restore the balance, the masculine should use the power and strength it is known to have and direct it inwards and absorb some femininity. 

SH: Favorite thing you’ve watched, listened to, and ate in the last 30 days? 

HP: Paranoia Agent, an anime from 2005, it’s very cool. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts for the first time, I am kind of new to this. Some of my favs are The Art Angle and the first and only season of Recording Artists and Radio Juxtapoz. And eating, I made this ultra-simple cold lemon pie made with these store-bought cookies. I hadn’t made one in years and ended up eating the whole thing in like a day. Loved it. 

SH: What is the most rewarding moment thus far in your art career? How about your life?

HP: I think it probably was when I did my first artistic residency two years ago, in Japan. It was very revealing to me in terms of what I wanted to express with my work and where I wanted to direct it towards. It was also my first solo exhibition ever, very far away from home. I’m so grateful for the whole opportunity, I grew a lot and became so much more aware.

SH: If you could be on a zoom call with 5 people dead or alive who would they be? What would be the ice breaker question? 

HP: Haha, mmm… I don’t know, maybe Trish Keenan, Gertrude Stein, Geles Cabrera, Modigliani, and Prince? I would probably ask something like: What are you drinking right now?

Online Schedule of Virtual Events:

Saturday, May 2 at 12:00 noon pacific time we will post our professionally shot video tour of both our May exhibitions to our Instagram TV

Saturday, May 2 from 1-2PM pacific time we will go live on our Instagram Stories to tour both exhibitions, have a bit of fun, giveaway some stuff and answer some questions

Sunday, May 3 at 2pm pacific time we will post a full set of photos from both exhibitions to our Facebook and blog

Monday, May 4 at 2PM pacific time we will share a link to our self-guided virtual tour of both exhibitions on all of our social networks (links to all below)

Monday, May 4 at 4 PM pacific time we will debut ‘Magic Mondays’ with our close friend WORM who will wow us all with his sleight of hand magic and feats of wonder. He really is a mind-blowing magician and we think it will be fun to share with you all. Looking forward to having this be a weekly featuring during our li’l pandemic lockdown and we’ll always give a li’l look at both shows as well

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