Morelia artist 2MIL debuts first solo show at Pilsen Outpost
Morelia’s very own 2MIL adds a couple of final details to a canvas for his first solo show at Pilsen Outpost. (Photo by: Aurelio Rodriguez)
Herson Aldair Piñon also known as “2MIL” is a 23-year-old self- taught artist from Morelia, Mexico. He has been working on acrylic paintings and pencil sketches for more than 2 and a half years. His first solo art gallery Pueblo Mágico opens on Friday, August 4th at Pilsen Outpost. 2MIL will give Chicago a taste of Mexico with his artwork that has been heavily influenced by the Mexican culture, more specifically the culture of his hometown of Morelia.
Pilsen Outpost is a community gallery and shop that sells hand-crafted artist made goods. They are a retail environment that introduces and immerses customers into the unique and exciting work of local and Latin American emerging community artists.
Artist 2MIL paints a small house for his show Pueblo Mágico (Photo by: Aurelio Rodriguez)
The Gate Newspaper: Tell me a bit about your art and its significance.
2MIL: I worked on making stickers before coming to the United States, but coming here inspired me to show people a bit of what’s over in Morelia and that’s when I created this character which can be seen in the majority of my art. This character is El Torito de Petate but in a different design that makes it seem like it has life and it also has some mythological features. The houses with red fringes on the back of the Torito are very significant to pueblos found in Mexico, as well as the nopales found in my artwork.
TGN: What has brought you to Chicago?
2M: I came over because the majority of my father’s side of the family lives here in Chicago. I had contacted Teresa over a year ago about having my first solo gallery show here in Pilsen because it’s a Mexican neighborhood. It interests me to bring this piece of Mexico to this town and gallery.
2MIL paints El Torito de Petate on one of Pilsen Outposts gallery walls. (Photo by: Aurelio Rodriguez)
TGN: What is the difference between galleries in Mexico and galleries in the United States?
2M: I believe there’s more seriousness in these galleries. More seriousness, more business in selling art because in Mexico the opportunities to exhibit art are more limited and it’s way more complicated.
TGN: What are your expectations for this gallery and where do you believe it will take you in the future?
2M: Well it will give me an opening. I’m bringing over my art from Mexico to Chicago, and it’s the first exhibition I do alone which will really open up new opportunities with the people of Chicago as they get to know what I do. I hope to continue bringing more work to Chicago.
TGN: Now that you’re here, about to open your show in the U.S, what do you wish you could have done differently?
2M: I would have liked to create a bunch of stuff. I would have liked to do some installations of Mexican art, but it got very complicated to bring just a few pieces of work from Mexico. I would have to stay longer to create these pieces of artwork, but I might do it someday.
TGN: What is the balance between your artistic freedom and institutional money-making opportunities?
2M: It depends on the place I’m going to paint and the budget it gives. For example, I was in Zacatecas painting a project for the community and the pay wasn’t a lot, but it was an instance where I was painting to give back to the community. When it’s big companies I do try to generate something to later return it to the streets which are where I come from.
TGN: Being a Mexican artist who travels between Mexico and the U.S, did the political situation in the United States affect you or your art in any way?
2M: When I [in America] I had a VISA, but then I had to travel back to Mexico due to my residency status, and when I left to Mexico, Trump became president. I believed that I wasn’t going to be able to come back. But everything went well, and I was able to fix my residency. I don’t like to directly touch political situations in my artwork, but I try to include very hidden themes based on these situations in some of my work.
TGN: What kind of advice would you offer young artists who are starting their careers?
2M: To never stop, to keep practicing every day, and to never believe it’s impossible.
2MIL’s show will take you through a series of work that illustrates the experience of preserving old cultural traditions while adopting modern influences into his art. The merge between social and economic environments inform this series. Each piece is representative of the knowledge and growth that create visual guardians in new worlds. The show is free and opens to the public today, August 4th from 6-10 PM. For more information about the show, you can click here.
2MIL would like to thank his family who have supported him through his journey, and also thanks Pilsen Outpost who has given him the opportunity to show his work in Chicago.