Oral history interview with Jesús Moroles, 2004 July 19-20
Moroles, Jesús Bautista, 1950-2015
Baca, Judith Francisca
Jimenez, Luis A. (Alfonso)
Legorreta Vilchis, Ricardo
Recuerdos Orales: Interviews of the Latino Art Community in Texas
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 102 p.
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 13 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Jesús Moroles conducted 2004 July 19-20, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in Rockport, Tex.
Moroles speaks of his parents' poor background and young courtship; his parents' strong work ethic, and his inheritance of this work ethic; earning money through art commissions at a young age; being a young entrepreneur; joining the Air Force and avoiding combat in Southeast Asia by working with electronics; doing photography while stationed in Thailand; choosing stone as medium; numerous injuries he has received during stonecutting; working in Pietra Santa, Italy; meeting and working under Luis Jimenez; working in segregated Waxahachie, Tex.; differences between his figurative and abstract works; why he curates all his shows; and the reasons behind his unconventional stone-sawing methods. Moroles also discusses how he names his works and series; moving his studio to Rockport; his fears of being typecast as a specific type of artist (i.e., "fountain" or "Chicano"); incredulity and disdain towards art journalism and scholarship; his commission for the CBS building; his good relationships with his dealers; his new book of artwork; his desire to slow down his production; his unconventional Baptist/Latino upbringing and his present lack of religion; the Houston Police Memorial; the pyramid motif in his work; his visits to China; moving to Rockport; the tactile nature of his works; his belief in the musicality of granite; his megalomaniacal disposition towards his works; the drowning victims in the Forth Worth Water Gardens; his desire to create sacred places, and the meaning of that phrase; the process of "granite weaving"; his new metal pieces; the lack of political meanings in his art; his "Moonscapes"; and his affections for his daughter. Moroles also recalls Eckhard Pfeiffer, Isamu Noguchi, Ulrich Ruckriem, Eero Saarinen, David Shrader, Frank Ribelin, Ricardo Legoretta, Judy Baca, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Jesús Moroles, 2004 July 19-20. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
This interview is part of the series "Recuerdos Orales: Interviews of the Latino Art Community in Texas," supported by Federal funds for Latino programming, administered by the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. The digital preservation of this interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Jesús Moroles (1950- ) is a sculptor in Rockport, Tex. Cary Cordova (1970- ) is an art historian in Austin, Tex.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001