The story of Ignacio Font as an artist starts when he was 10 years old. As a child, Ignacio always felt an outsider, not belonging to his family, neighborhood or school. While still living in his native Puerto Rico, Ignacio and his family traveled to New York City, where Ignacio encountered a large abstract oil painting by American artist Jackson Pollock. Ignacio recalls the feeling that washed over him; he felt a warm embrace when in front of the Jackson Pollock painting. He finally knew what it felt like to belong to something, to someplace.
A biography of Jackson Pollock, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, rests on a bookshelf in Ignacio’s home. It isn’t surprising to read that Pollock often expressed feeling like an outsider himself. Pollock spent his lifetime searching for a way to communicate his ideas, his fears and his dreams, and found freedom in abstract, motion painting. Pollock lived in the US during World War II, when all of Europe’s great painters were coming to America to escape the perils of war. With the arrival of the art world’s elite came an exciting new era in American painting, and Pollock spent time with painters like Arshile Gorky, David Siqueiros and cultural forces like Tennessee Williams and Helen Frankenthaler. Pollock’s method of of dripping paint turned the art world upside down in 1947, with a mythical beginning that made him “American art’s first Star”. Through the course of his life, Pollock battled with angst, depression, loneliness, and the same powerful feeling of being an outsider with which Ignacio identifies.
Pollock’s discovery of communication through creative mark-making inspired Ignacio to seek his own language. We see this exploration in Ignacio’s works in oil painting, mixed media, and drawing. Like Pollock, Ignacio has remained keenly aware of the dichotomy between his disjointed feeling contrasted with the warm embrace of painting; these two feelings are the driving forces in his works.