Around eight years ago my father came to me with an idea for a new artistic name. He suggested I join together Viv from my name Vivian and Re from my middle name Regina, the result Vivre!!! If you know a few words of French ( or even if you don't ) you probably know that vivre means to live....Joie de Vivre!!!
The idea made sense. The majority of my family calls me or knows me as Vivian Regina, to differentiate me from my mother with whom I share the same first name. My old friends refer to me as Vi or Viv. However, no matter how good my relationship was with my father at that time, taking advice from him regarding my art was difficult for me. I wanted my creative process to be indepedent and therefore, I dropped the idea and forgot about it.
Since that time, our family life changed. My mother passed away from cancer more than four years ago and my relationship with my father deteriorated for some time. I remember clearly the day before my mother entered into a coma, she asked me to never distance myself from my father; yet there is something more than her words that stayed with me. When she said those words she was at peace and with no resentments. But I did feel some resentment, and it took me a lot of determination to heal and move forward. My father has always been a good father and my mother knew that, but it took me some time to accept our new situation fully.
They say time heals and we all know it is true. Time heals at different speed for different people. A couple of months ago, as I was attempting to sign one of my ceramic pieces, I remembered his idea, Vivre. The great part of it wasn't the practicality of it, but the fact that I was able to consider his advice. I felt at that time a great relief, I had healed.
Although I am not planning on changing my name, I decided to start using Vivre as a signature for my next series of paintings and sculptures. I also created a website that links to viviangutierrez.com and artvivre.com. Now, people can use the one that is easier to remember. The new website is fresher and friendlier.
Vivre means to live, Vivian means to be alive and my artwork is all about that. I always have my mother as my biggest inspiration in my work, she is alive in my art and my art tells the story of my life. A life brought together by my mother and my father and I am ready to celebrate it. That's what life is about ....Vivre.