Square Cylinder reached out to artists and writers, to talk about life during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. As part of the series, Enrique Chagoya shares his thoughts while sheltering-in-place at home with his wife, artist Kara Maria.
"Like most people, I don’t recall a time in my life when I felt a global catastrophe was just outside the door, much less with death lingering and waiting for us hidden beneath the clearest skies and purest air we have experienced in decades.
But here we are, having a hard time believing it and accepting it. It is a new reality that will be with us for months, if not years. Yet, life outside seems to be really blossoming. Spring is giving us new flowers and green landscapes, birds are singing, hummingbirds and other natural wonders appear to be making an effort to cheer us up amid the human tragedy. The planet is having a break from us, responding with a thankful breath of fresh air. It is ironic to think that such a horrendous threat to our existence could be surrounded by such peaceful beauty.
As artists, we may wonder how can we live through this experience that goes so much beyond art? In my work, I address social and political issues, and for the moment, I am like most everybody with an overwhelming amount of shocking experiences and information to process. I currently have an exhibition at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara that is closed, and an upcoming solo exhibition of new works at Anglim Gilbert Gallery in SF scheduled for the spring that got postponed. But none of this really matters now, because I feel that being an artist and having time to even make some art at home is an incredible privilege when the world is having a taste of what an apocalypse may look like. Reality will always be more dramatic than fiction. I feel humbled by the immensity of this pandemonium."