Retratos with Hilda Plafox October 07 2020

Hilda Palafox (also known by her handle 'Poni') is an artist based in Mexico. Hilda's work always focuses on colour relationships, shape dynamics and femininity. She creates artworks in the form of illustrations, canvases, murals and media such as ceramics. Hilda is constantly exploring the boundaries of character and composition in a perpetual sense of romanticism.

In Retratos, Hilda continues her exploration of the female form and the search for tranquility, stoicism, curved with the consistent delicacy of femininity. The encounters in her work present themselves on canvas as a playful equanimity between shapes and colour.

Interview by Joseph Estorninho. Photos supplied by Hilda Palafox.

We're super excited to see what you've done for the show. Tell us about what we can expect to see?

Thank you, I am very excited to show my work at the gallery. I did a group of pieces that I had been wanting to take out of my sketchbook for a while. I really wanted to paint these. Three of them are part of an on going series started back in 2018 called Balance Within.

What is your daily art practice like?

I am at the studio everyday from noon to 10pm or so. I don't like to work on weekends but sometimes, a lot lately, I work on Sundays too.

Do you have any daily rituals to get the creative juices flowing?

Oh yes. First of all, I can’t function properly if I don’t make my bed, do yoga and water my plants (if it’s watering day). Once I am in my studio I put some music on, open the windows and that’s it, I think.

What is the art scene like in Mexico? Are creativity and art encouraged?

I think it is more encouraged by friends and colleagues in different creative branches than by the government, if that's what you mean. There is a lot of talent here and I think there is a big growing net of artists making things happen all the time.

One of the things I really love about your practice is that you don't confine yourself to one medium. How important is exploration in your artwork?

I consider myself very curious and even sometimes when I try something new, I am not entirely satisfied with the result. I think it is very important for my growth as an artist to continue exploring, see how far these explorations go or simply cross them off my list. I also have to do this to not get bored with myself.

Your images seem to have similar setting and storytelling elements that Frida Kahlo used. As a female Mexican artist can you tell us about the influence of her on your work today?

I admire her as a woman and I really like the narrative and use of symbolism in her work. On the other hand I think my work is more graphic. I do like to play a lot with symbolism and metaphors so I think you may be right on that.

Would you consider these works self portraits?

Not at all. I like to think of my work as timeless female portraits.

Is that snake on your Instagram feed actually your pet?! Does it get along with the cat?

Hahaha, no! I think the snake you are referring to is Prince. The snake is a pet of a friend’s friend. I met him in NY last year while I was visiting for a group exhibition.

Thank you so much for your time, Hilda!