by Sukanya GargMar 16, 2020
Claudia Bueno is an artist born in Venezuela, now based in the USA, whose light art installations will tease and tantalise all your senses. Her work can be found across continents, from Kuala Lumpur to Las Vegas. Bueno works with circuits and motors to create ethereal installations which play with light, sound and touch, creating immersive art which is psychedelic and magical in nature.
The light artist speaks with STIR about her recent work at Meow Wolf in Las Vegas, USA and shares her creative process. She says, “After inaugurating my latest two projects at Meow Wolf Las Vegas early this year, this time for me has been an intensive and accelerated incubator period where many projects are being developed and will start coming out into the world soon. I am currently working on designing different iterations and evolutions of my installation Pulse for private collections and a couple of public venues in the US and in Asia. I am also working with Meow Wolf’s founder and director, Vince Kadlubek, on a couple of new projects including a TV show about immersive art”.
Bueno’s interests are multifaceted. Apart from being an artist, she is also the founder of two businesses. Being an artist in the industry today is a demanding task which requires tremendous self-motivation and yet somehow, she manages to balance this as well as her entrepreneurial interests! She tells us, “In parallel I have two new businesses that after years of work are finally getting close to being launched. One is a transformational retreat business that will offer immersive programs that combine travel, creativity, adventure and inner growth. The second one is a wearable line I have been developing with my brother and my mother who are both incredible artists”.
As a result of her visionary tendencies, Bueno’s work shows little vulnerability on the artist’s behalf. However, it is also this quality that allows an expansive experience of the work itself. Without the tether to a personal narrative, her work provides space for the viewer to be mesmerised and taken into an otherworldly place. Although initially one might not recognise a great deal of her unique personality in her large format sculptural works, Bueno’s work is a direct reflection of her own mind. Her keen interest in spiritual practice and natural environments are reflected in the celestial quality of her work, which uses fractal and sacred geometry patterns in abundance. She discusses with us, “I thrive on dreaming large, complex and ambitious ideas without necessarily knowing how they will be created, and then, like figuring out a riddle, finding the experts, materials and systems to manifest these ideas. The bigger the project the more creatives I need to collaborate with. Most of my big projects now involve light designers, sound artists, programmers, engineers, metal and/or wood workers, installation experts and others. It is fun and highly rewarding to see a group of creative people add their genius to my vision and come together to take it even further. I enjoy the collaborative aspect, conversations, getting to know new colleagues and seeing how their personal touch can enrich and expand my ideas".
She continues to say, “I love experimenting with all kinds of media and scale, hence the broad spectrum of work you see in my portfolio from tiny jewellery pieces to paintings and sculptures, up to large scale installation work. The thread that connects them all is my interest in organically growing natural patterns from micro to macro… My three passions are art making, nature and inner healing / spiritual discovery. Currently I feel as though my creative intention is to portray what I experience in deep states of meditation when everything goes quiet and I dissolve with the universe, coming out humbled, energised and in awe of fife. My wish is that inside my art spaces visitors get to feel aliveness, connection and inspiration”.
Bueno has been a practicing artist for over 20 years now. Her oeuvre traverses media but her passion seems to lie in building immersive spaces. She tells us about how this exploration has translated into her recent projects at Meow Wolf. “Painting and drawing are a strong foundation in my work, yet I have always had a fascination for coming out of the single plane and growing into three-dimensional space. My latest project Pulse is a way of creating animated volumes using layers of drawings that build up. I have been refining this technique for the last six years, understanding how these forms can also have a moving quality when the light system is applied”.
Pulse is a project which was conceived in 2018, and took three years of Bueno’s dedicated time to bring into full realisation. She worked with a team of eight women in her studio in Idaho to create the intricate details of this immersive installation. Pulse is on view permanently at Meow Wolf in Las Vegas, USA. The artist is soon to share a new series of sculptures based on the flora and fauna around her home in Idaho.