We had the good fortune of connecting with Edgar Fabián Frías and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edgar Fabián, how do you think about risk?
Risk is a catalyst. It is powerful tension that can propel you in directions you may have never envisioned were possible for yourself! I have taken many risks in my life and career and I am currently taking more! For example, in 2018, after years of working towards it, I was finally approved for my LMFT licensure in the state of California. Then, about two weeks later, I was offered an artist residency in another state. The risk-averse part of me thought this would be a bad move, but, deep down, I could feel the desire within me, yearning to go into fulltime art practice. That’s when you know you must do it! When the desire is just as strong or even stronger than the feeling of fear and risk. I am so grateful I made this decision as it has completely changed my life! Risk is a great teacher and an ally! But we must befriend it first and, gently invite it into our lives.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a highly multidisciplinary artist and create a lot of my work in collaboration. I collaborate with plants, crystals, animals, people, and the sacred guidance of my ancestors. I create digital art, video, sculpture, installations, and unique experiences meant to invoke altered states, curiosity, confusion, and integration. I integrate indigenous epistemologies, feminist perspectives, & queer aesthetics, and I draw upon my many years of working as an underground & DIY / do it together organizer in a lot of my work. It has definitely been a tumultuous journey with so many ups and downs. I spent a lot of years in my early 20s feeling like nobody cared about my art and feeling really defeated and isolated. I have always been someone who has pushed against boundaries and regimentations and found the entire capitalist narrative of finding a “career” never made sense to me. I feel like this is something that makes me different than a lot of folks. I have taken many paths and explored many sides of myself. From becoming a licensed psychotherapist in the state of California to practicing witchcraft, offering tarot sessions, having my work included in museums and institutions, and being invited to teach and facilitate group experiences at music festivals, universities, and for nonprofits and corporations. It was such a breath of fresh air to move back home to Southern California in late 2015 and to meet other people like me who were following several paths at once! I no longer feel alone in this journey and have helped inspire others to follow their dreams, no matter how disparate or disconnected they may seem to one another! I think a huge lesson I have learned along the way is to allow yourself to explore things that excite you, to continually find ways to bring play into your life, and to not be afraid to fail and to go down paths that may only make sense for a few hours, days, or years! Nothing lasts forever and that is a blessing! I have also learned that it can be powerful magic to transmute feelings of fear, isolation, and rage in your art practice. Don’t be afraid to turn your art practice into a sanctuary for your emotions and your thoughts. Also, if nobody cares about what you’re doing or you feel like the local art galleries, museums, or cliques are ignoring you, CREATE YOUR OWN SPACE! Uplift your own art and create the kinds of spaces you’d like to see in this world! Remember, there are so many people out there who feel the same way and you are not alone in this process! And once you have made these spaces, bring others in! Be the light. Share the light. Amplify each other!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my friend on a long hike where we could connect with one another and connect with nature. Maybe a hike up to the Griffith Observatory or in the Los Angeles forest. This is one of my favorite things to do in whatever city I am in. If it made sense, I would also arrange for us to take in some artwork and to have some delicious plant-based food. Perhaps at the Hammer Museum in West Los Angeles and at Veggie Grill or Native Foods, nearby. Another spot I love in Culver City is going to the Museum of Jurassic Technology followed by a wonderful meal at Govinda’s or at India Sweets & Spices. The Vincent Price Art Museum is also a favorite of mine, followed by lunch at Happy Family Restaurant in Monterrey Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, there are so many people who have supported me in arriving at the place I am in my life! The list is honestly endless. But, for this Shoutout, I would like to focus on my wildly talented partner, Thaddeus Pedisich, who has supported me and my dreams since the day we met, almost a decade ago! Thaddeus is an incredible musician and artist and we have collaborated on various projects. Earlier this year, our band GayCay released two albums, and one of them was featured in CVLT Nation, an international online magazine focused on the dark side of life. In addition, the label Cult Love Sound Tapes just released our limited edition Queer Mutants Unite tape in October of this year. Last year, we organized a queer & trans music showcase in Tulsa, Oklahoma that featured the bands Plack Blague, Bustié, and Astrophoria. We also collaborated with The Golden Dome School in Los Angeles and presented Rainbow Transmissions as a part of Current LA, Los Angeles’ public art triennial. Most recently, Thaddeus took my presidential portrait for artist Constance Hockaday’s incredible project Artists in Presidents, produced in partnership with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance and Stanford Live Arts– with support from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and TED.
Josh Vasquez Mario Gallucci Rachel Ann Dennis Julie Clark Jordan Pena Monica Orozco