Victor Mosquera: The Freedom of Joy

“My entire goal is to bring joy to people” - Victor Mosquera

NIMA, Victor Mosquera, 2020

Born in Bogota, Columbia, Victoria Mosquera now works in Toronto as an illustrator and concept artist. His life long admiration of Pink Floyd and ambient electronic music sparked his mystical psychedelic style, fuelled further through his explorations of personal joy after finding himself unsatisfied with his life after taking a job in the video game world in Canada. Being far away from his life and loved ones back in Columbia, he began to push his unhappy energy into a search for his own distinct style in which he could express and seek a sense of happiness. Eventually, his confidence in this style grew, allowing him to give up the security and benefits of his job and focus purely on his own ventures. Now he is part of Foreign Family Collective - a creative outlet/record label run by Odesza for which he designs posters and branding. Mosquera has become a significant figure in the wider music world, creating art for albums and visuals for live concerts and shows such as those seen in Kid Cudi’s Coachella performance featuring Kanye West.

DAWN ✨🔺🌑, Victor Mosquera, 2021

Mosquera draws upon a wide span of inspirations in his work, combining graphic design, 70s Psychedelia, Art nouveau, surrealism and sci-fi often within a single composition. The result is usually a wonderful dreamscape that whisks the viewer away to another world, far from our own. Employing a highly recognisable style of bright colours (particularly yellow/orange, black, and blue) along with graphic line work and figures with East Asian features, his work is instantly identifiable as distinctly ‘Mosquera’. The characteristics of his style both reach back into traditional Asian art as well as the legacy of graphic comic book and manga art whilst turning to the highly modern world of the digital, invigorating these older references with a new form of life.

Untitled, Victor Mosquera, 2021

The creation of another world is seen in his recent collection of works Everything’s Connected. Three of the four works in the collection follow a similar composition - a figure seen from the back or side positioned centrally against an otherworldly landscape split by a horizon line and dominated by a central circular motif. Dusk and Dawn, as their titles suggest, mirror one another, one rendered in pale dusty pink and purple whilst the other is a dark blue sky decorated with stars and a burning orange sunset on the horizon. In each, the figure we see is dressed in a jumpsuit with a long flowing cape decorated with a crescent moon. Mosquera’s video game experience jumps out here as these images appear similar to the end credits of a game. These images combine the impersonal in their tightly rendered alien landscape and the distance created through seeing our hero walking away from us, and the welcoming ability of enticement. We want to jump into this fantasy world and join the lone figure, pictured on the brink of adventure, in his quest. The fourth image in Everything’s Connected is titled Zenith and displays a bright red glowing four-pointed star against a deep black starlit sky. This could be read as the beginning of the images, the meaning of the quest. Or potentially as the final scene in the sequence, the final image before the credits roll. Mosquera brilliantly creates a sense of continuity throughout otherwise entirely individual scenes. He imbues the collection with a sense of narrative that allows the viewer to control the details and meaning themselves.

Pulse, Victor Mosquera, Victor Mosquera, 2019

He explores themes of the human mind, awareness of existence, life after death and spirituality. The works touch on the brink between consciousness and the subliminal to form a familiar yet unfathomable world. Allowing the viewer to exercise their own narrative in their reading of his works the artist encourages us to engage with the reasons for our own interpretations and what led us to them.

Mosquera credits the online community achieved through his Instagram and Twitter profiles as a way to share his work with the world. He recognises the power of social media and how it can be used to showcase his art as a way to work around the difficulty of building connections and relationships with galleries and the international art world. Through these online connections he is able to both gain exposure and be exposed to the work of others, get advice from others in the field and establish collaborations.

Mosquera’s works are enticing, fantastical and intriguing as they suggest a narrative that draws you in but leaves you with no details or conclusion. The artist’s Instagram has the power to pull you into these narratives and it's entirely down to you as the viewer whether you read the posts as a continuous comic strip narrative or whether each character, each scene, each video clip, is its own novella existing independently from the next. Victor Mosquera’s aims are certainly fulfilled as the viewing experience is one flooded with joy.

Follow Gabriella on her Instagram @gabsyloo_