The quest to discover the deeper, metaphysical meaning of her subjects has inspired Vicky Montesinos throughout her career, since she first achieved acclaim in the 1960s as the top portrait artist in her native Mexico City. “People have an idea of the way they look – or the way they would like to look – and you have to be able to perceive that,” she says. But despite her success, she turned away from portrait painting for precisely that reason – the subjects’ expectations limited her ability to express her own vision.
Daughter of pioneer Mexican film director Fernando Rivero, Montesinos has been drawing and painting since childhood. Her first influence, she says, was the “beauty and fantasy” of the movie world, “where anything is possible, where you can believe and do anything.” She later studied at the Mexico City academy of Spanish artist Jose Bardasano, and received further training in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Today, she lives and works in New York City.