Mx Watson (previously Josie Watson) is a self-taught painter, creative artist and art director from Argentina who identifies as a non-binary person.
Mx Watson began to paint with the characteristic black colour after an accident they had at the age of two, when they drowned in the swimming pool of his family’s house. Their parents reminded them that after seven days in intensive care, the only thing they did when returned home was to ask their father, who had pulled them out of the pool in a coma and given them first aid, to put their feet in the water of the same swimming pool. This alone would be the only thing to calm Mx Watson for the next few months when the little kid would start trying with no reason. Their family members tell how much their character changed for ever after the accident.
Their primary school paintings were flooded with the colour black, which they used in colourful compositions to the fore. Their parents supported them in their dedication to painting, but at the same time were concerned about their fixation with this colour. So they found them a private painting studio, but removed the black tube from the colour box. Mx Watson had some memory problems, among them remembering the name of their favourite things. They were unable to notice the absence.
They attended their painting classes with religious urge from the age of 10 years old. They developed as a self-taught painter and won several prizes at a very young age. On repeated occasions when nominated for an award the jury would politely tell them things like, “Thank you dear, but we have to give this to your father”, or on hearing from their parents that they would have done the painting by themsleves then the question would turn suspicious into, “So, Who is your male teacher?”, as for some reason everyone expected a man to be the painter. After consecrated their work at the Banco Ciudad auctions at only 21 years old, and only after repeated sales did they dared to present themselfs in person in the art world, they where looked bottom up and mistreately asked “Who is your hairy arm?” or “Oh! I thought you were a 60 years old man, schotish and alcoholic”. Mx Watson (previously Josie Watson) is a self-taught painter, creative artist and art director who identifies as a non-binary person.
The colour black returned to their palette when, at the age of 17, they submitted a painting to a competition organised by an artshop that gifted sample products to entrants. Mx Watson received a 60 ml bottle of black oil paint. As they took it in their hand they felt that there was some sense that they have been missing for a long time. They took the material and began to use it in their practices.
A few months later they began to feel some very strong sensations as they approached the same pool where the accident would have happened. Under a characteristic numbness a set of basic forms in black and white would repeatedly pass through their mind, each one accompanied by a very strong emotion, and at the end the last image and its emotion would make them feel an immeasurable happiness, so unbearable that they would beg to get out of the trance, which would take one more second to stop abruptly.
With research through Jungian vivid dreams psycology, they discovered that they were reliving the drowning once or several times a day since they were 2 years old. Painting, sometimes compulsive, belonged to this impulse, it was the only channel to embrace that moment. Painting is for Mx Watson to deliberately return to that moment and create from that state.
Mx Watson enters the creative space as a meditative space, from where “automatisms” emerge, automatic drawing from the mind without thinking until it would be free from the social construct inside and outside in society. Automatisms developed into their personal style which identifies their work over the years, despite changing media or places in the world.
As for their early education, they were very aware of the arrival of the new digital media, as well as the importance of tradition. This is why they studied for a few years to become an art teacher, and finished their studies in a higher technical degree in visual arts and communication. This allowed them to combine both worlds and develop the knowledge for the development of interactive art. They handled brushes with ease like the Adobe programs and worked as a digital illustrator in several situations before introducing Augmented Reality into their own work.
In 2009 they met a group of established painters of the 90s, Miguel Lesacano Tena, Martín Riwnij, Adrián Lirman, Alejandro Boim, Ricardo Celma, entre otros. Thanks to the influence of these artists they took their career seriously and devoted themselves to the production of “Automatic City” (of Buenos Aires).
From 2010 to 2011 they worked as an assistant at the auction house Arroyo Remates SRL where they met renowned contemporary Argentinean artists and got to see their work from first hand. Among these artists Adolfo Nigro and César López Osornio (Director of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de La Plata) marked their path by introducing their work in the auctions for ermerging artists.
Their work was presented for the first time at ArteBa 2005 under the auspices of the Banco Ciudad in whose auctions they sold their paitings until they were recategorized into the category of contemporary artists in 2016.
In 2017 they felt the need to get closer to their own generation and developed an interactive exhibition based on the series of paintings “Ciudad Automática” inspired by the city of Buenos Aires. The exhibition was sponsored by Banco Ciudad and financed through a patronage programme of the city of Buenos Aires.
The exhibition featured intertwining painting, drawing, literature, digital projections, interactive installations, performance, music, animation, digital programming and Augmented Reality.
This exhibition was invited to be presented at the Salón de Honor of the Legislatura Porteña to recognise the artwork of Mx Watson (at that time Josie Watson).
Thanks to this experience, Mx Watson understood the importance of the need to enhance the value of cultural heritage through the careful use of new technologies. From this they took a postgraduate course in heritage preservation at the University of Tres de Febrero under the auspices of FEDESPA (Federation of Spanish Societies in Argentina) and created the brand WatsOnArt®, inaugurating it on the night of the museums in 2018 with a presentation at “Los 36 Billares”, on Avenida de Mayo in the city of Buenos Aires.
In 2019 Mx Watson traveled to Europe on a tour with exhibitions in Paris, London and Berlin. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic stopped their trip in Berlin, where they received the sponsorship of Monopol of the People, a Cultural Centre in the area of Reinickendorf in Berlin, for a free studio for a limited time (18 months).
Under the influence and study of German expressionism, German culture, the architecture of the former GDR, the work of Albert Einstein, and the artwork of Käthe Kollwitz, they developed their work in a new series entitled “Automatic City Berlin”.
“I understood the image, that which concerns my profession as a painter, as the set of coincidences that orbiting over thousands of streaks of time are composed for a millisecond showing a certain and irreproducible reality. To work on wood is not only to add to time – alteration and decomposition – but to start my work from time. I try to go where time lives after death.”
Currently Mx Watson lives and works in Berlin. Their artwork belongs mainly to private collections in Argentina, and also in Hong Kong, Canada, USA and Germany.