Peruvian-born artist José Apaza takes a simple, straightforward approach to his watercolor figures and portraits.
He cites regular people, not artists, as his primary creative influence. “Every human being is a summary of universal wisdom,” he says. “Humble people are my great teachers and have exerted a great influence on me.” Apaza’s admiration for everyday people translates to his work. He considers himself a simple worker and makes it clear that he has never ceased to identify himself as an apprentice. “Since I have no pretensions to fame and glory, I’m simply grateful if my painting touches someone’s heart. That’s the best reward.”
This approach also underlies Apaza’s aesthetic views. He suggests that aspiring artists learn to paint with honesty. “Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but when I see a young apprentice painting with the heart—not with the mind or with concepts—that really thrills me. I’m convinced that the world needs more human sense and less mechanization.”