Artist of the Month : Cecilia Jiménez Ojeda

Sep 1, 2020

Cecilia Jiménez Ojeda (1982) has been a member of Tegnerforbundet since 2014, and works with drawing and installation. The drawings are based on photographs and are painstakingly executed with a pencil on paper in various formats. Both Ojeda's choice of motif and perspective, as well as a strong contrast between light and dark, give the works a mysterious and often threatening undertone. Her image motif is e.g. objects such as a grotesquely disassembled doll, a broken mirror, a belt thrown on a bed, or a dorull holder with rope attached to the side. The drawings can evoke associations about remnants of crime scenes, and make the viewer wonder what has happened, while at the same time giving room to find their own answers. Cecilia Jiménez Ojeda lives and works in Oslo.

TF: Cecilia, can you tell us a little about your artistic work?

CJO: I work with detailed and lifelike pencil drawings. I often focus on details and sections of the world that are normally outside the field of attention. This approachable and inquisitive mode is related to how the drawing forces me to stand leaning over the sheet for hours at a time. There is a desire for access active here, to get as close as possible, unfolding the object in grotesque detail. This is probably one of the most important things for me, this resistance I experience in the drawing when I push it to look like something and feel the limits of the medium, and the limit of my own skills. I become part of an experimental part of the medium, you could say, a human-pencil-dyad. It's a technically-sublime experience, really.

TF: How do you use drawing in your work? Tell us a little about your work process!

CJO: I often draw based on photographs. I usually collect motifs with the camera that I think can present an interesting challenge as a prelude to a drawing. The way I draw involves a very discipline of the body. Drawing as a technique lends itself to an almost total control. It becomes an exercise in self-destruction: the conscientious execution displaces the artist from the image. The technical sophistication I strive for makes the drawing aesthetically approach the photograph.

TF: What inspires you? Do you work from a theme?

CJO: Most of the time when I work on a project I spend on the actual drawing, which is often extremely time consuming. Out of this process, an idea for a larger work or exhibition gradually emerges. I often draw on my own biography, on the stories of family members, memories. But it's not like I start with a theme and then conceive the work as an illustration or exposition of it. It all starts with the drawing as practice and the motifs and themes are something I kind of feed this practice with.

TF: What are you currently working on?

CJO: Specifically, I am working towards an exhibition that I will have at Destiny's in Oslo in April next year. Here I will show a series of new drawings in combination with some simple architectural interventions. In short, I try to recreate a distilled version of an environment I remember from childhood. The work will be similar to what I showed at last year's Drawing Triennial in the sense that the scenographic has a prominent role.

TF: What does drawing (drawing) mean for you / your work?

CJO: I do not have an instrumental relationship to the drawing that makes it meaningful to talk about it as something separate from my work, as an interchangeable technique for realizing ideas. Drawing is my work. Everything revolves around it. Drawing is the goal. But even though the effort in the work is largely absorbed by the artisanal execution of the image, there is a social dimension to the drawing that interests me. Because the process is so time-consuming, it is inevitable that the manual investment will also become part of the exhibited object. In general, I like how this monotonous and repetitive of drawing as a practice is reminiscent of forms of production that are low in price in the digital economy, which emphasizes technical innovation at the expense of manual work as the place where real value creation takes place. This build-up of innovation is also operational in art.

TF: Tell us a little about your work in Tegnerforbundet's sales department!

CJO: The picture is a drawing that was included as one of several elements in an installation that was shown at the Drawing Triennial at Kunstnernes Hus. Mary hates it! Why? and was an attempt to portray my own biography as a soap opera.


See available works by Cecilia Jiménez Ojeda in the online store .