People find whatever they are meant to on their path in life and express it through what they do. Some manage to go public and show it to others; then there are those who say it like never before. Such is the case of emblematic artists like Le Corbusier in architecture, or Pablo Picasso in painting. He would always mock artists who claimed to be looking for something, who defined their work as a dramatic search, a quest in the midst of uncertainty. “I don’t seek,” he would say, “I find: how can anyone search for something without knowing what it is?” In the creative process, artists observe. They are naturally curious beings. They can only see, then find. They are easily surprised, and they are always open to chance. In this, they are not unlike children.
I like simplicity. All Mexican architects have learned this quality from Luis Barragán and Ricardo Legorreta. There is a great architectural tradition in our country, and its point of convergence has always been the wall. Barragán is ceremonious, but paradoxically almost ascetic, and irredeemably obsessed with beauty. Parting from simple, massive forms made of traditional materials, solid walls with small openings, and a masterful control of indirect light, he was capable of endowing his spaces with neatness, sobriety, elegance, and the apparent simplicity of mysticism.
I will never forget one corner of Las Capuchinas Convent. The amber, almost golden light, entering the temple through a modest asbestos ceiling, literally made that moment a sacred experience for me. Once, when I was a student, someone told me about the Gilardi House by Luis Barragán. He spoke with such enthusiasm that I was able to imagine it perfectly. I dreamed about and recreated the mirror of water and all the other spaces described in that conversation. Then I began to build that masterpiece in my mind. When I visited it for the first time, my dream paled in comparison, because the visual reality turned out to be completely different from what I had imagined. My encounter with that space was so decisive, so potent... that I was left deeply moved.
So much so that for a long time, my work was inspired by it and my one desire was to reach similar heights. My home today looks more like that first home I created in my mind, my own image of Gilardi House. Today I know that in mature work, influences gradually vanish and operate only on a subconscious level; today, I have confirmed that personal style is an answer to our dreams.