BIOGRAPHY

Enrique Carbajal González (Camargo, Chihuahua, November 16, 1947), better known by the name of Sebastián, is a Mexican sculptor, specialized in monumental sculpture.

Enrique Carbajal González (Camargo, Chihuahua, November 16, 1947), better known by the name of Sebastián, is a Mexican sculptor, specialized in monumental sculpture.

He was born on November 16, 1947 in Ciudad Camargo, Chihuahua. From the end of the sixties he began to create a unique sculptural work in the Mexican and Latin American tradition. His constructive vocation, fueled by the principles of kinetic art, was initially expressed in the creation of transformable, or splittable, sculptures.

In 1960-1963, while Enrique Carbajal studied in high school, he went daily to the drawing workshop taught by Enriqueta Visconti – who is also an English teacher in Ciudad Camargo – and made a portrait of a young Tahitian girl and the nude of a Tarahumara man named José, who in bad seasons comes down from the mountains to look for work. For two and a half dollars an hour, José was posing for the boy. At that time, the only medium that came to the city of Camargo with information on art in Mexico was the magazine Siempre!, so Enrique reserved an afternoon each month to go to the hairdresser, eager to leaf through the magazine, where he sees, for the first time, the works of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Frida Kahlo, Juan Soriano, María Izquierdo and Fernando García Ponce.

In 1965 Enrique Carbajal entered the Academia de San Carlos and although he also stayed nearby in the center of the city, he made the Academia his home. These are days of imprint for the young artist, of events that lead him to transform his own name. It all starts when he falls asleep in his painting class and the teacher takes him as a model, like a “Botticelli (San Sebastián)”. A couple of years later, at a dinner offered by the Spanish Republicans to “Luis Echeverria Álvarez” —to which Enrique Carbajal had been invited as a young artist, the poet Carlos Pellicer approaches Enrique and comments to him “You look just like a Sebastian from Botticelli”. Shortly afterwards a French journalist describes him as a Sebastián de Mantegna. Impossible to ignore so many signs. Without hesitation, Enrique Carbajal adopts the name that makes him famous: “Sebastian”.

Soon after, he studied at the National School of Plastic Arts of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). With persistence and deep appreciation for Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso, he won first place at the 1965 Annual Exhibition at the National School of Plastic Arts at UNAM. On October 2, 1968, he was detained like hundreds of other students during the Tlatelolco Massacre and was sent to Military Camp Number 1.

He is distinguished from other artists by the geometric shape that he prints on his sculptures. Sebastian is a member of the World Arts Forum Council based in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. He is a full-time researcher at UNAM, a member of the Advisory Council of the National Council for Culture and the Arts and a beneficiary of the National System of Creators 1994-1996. In 1994 he was a guest of honor during the Triennial of Art in Cairo, Egypt.

Since 1968, when his beginnings as an artist began, he has made more than 120 individual exhibitions in Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, England, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Finland, United States, France, Japan, Switzerland and Venezuela.

Among the numerous awards he has received, the following can be highlighted: the Superior Prize awarded by the Hakone Open Air Museum in Japan within the contest in honor of Henry Moore; the ABC Ashi Broadcasting Coportation Osaka Bronze Award; the Jury Prize of the Norwegian International Graphic International, the Gold Grand Prize of the ORC-City competition and also of Osaka and, in the field of painting, the Mainichi Prize of the Tirenal of Painting from the same Japanese city. Likewise, he won the competition to create a sculpture that is the symbol of the city of Sakai, in Japan, where since 1994 his monumental piece Phoenix Arch stands. In 1995 he won the competition to build the symbol of the city of Kadoma, in Japan, with his piece Tsuru, which is a sculptural haiku, inaugurated in June 1996 in that city. His sculptural production covers the same in small format as the medium-sized and urban monumental sculpture. In this last area, his best-known creation is his Horse Head, known as “El Caballito de Sebastian”, located in the center of Mexico City. We may also appreciate his sculptures in the state of Nuevo León (La Puerta de Monterrey), Tabasco, Morelos, Guerrero, Chiapas and Michoacan. Several Latin American cities also have monumental sculptures of Sebastian: Kingstown, Buenos Aires, Havana, Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro. Likewise, the geometric presence of his production rises in key places in Albuquerque, Denver, Englewood and New York in the United States, as well as Bern and Iceland in Europe.

Sebastián teaches courses, workshops and conferences at various universities and institutions both in Mexico and abroad, including the Technological University of Tijuana, where he gave a conference on March 26, 2015.