De Jesús Zamora
Previously a personal assistant to Jeff Koons, José De Jesus Zamora modeled the sculpture Sacred Heart, which was reproduced in five editions, exhibited in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Trinity Garden rooftop at the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul Korea, and the Gagosian Gallery in London, and sold at Christies.
José De Jesus Zamora teaches Drawing at SACI and is a visiting instructor from Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he presently teaches three-dimensional courses in Space-Materiality and Design Drawing. He has been teaching at Parsons for more than twenty years. José is a sculptor whose practice and teaching methods are rooted in his studies and practice of architecture and geometry and his deep love for the studio methods and knowledge of the Italian Renaissance. He has presented in conferences and symposia in London, Athens, Ecuador, Paris, Florence, and Hong Kong.
José’s practice-based research has driven him to develop a deep connection with the works and ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci. This research has permeated throughout his work, teaching, and thinking in very meaningful and fundamental ways. José utilizes Leonardo’s codified instructions from his notes, drawings, diagrams, production methods, contraptions, and exercises, which allow students not just to learn how to draw, but also to see the world through Leonardo’s eyes. He believes that this must have been Leonardo’s intention: to leave us instructions for us to “see” the world better through a model for systemic thinking – of utmost importance for today’s art and design education and practice – that embodies a need to see the world clearly and make associations between the unlikely. This systemic way of association and connection was central to Leonardo’s modus operandi.
José has collaborated with Jean Gardner and Brian McGrath, writers and colleagues from Parsons who co-authored the book Cinemetrics: Architectural Drawing Today, and who propose an active participatory approach to visual perception and experience as a tool for navigating designing using digital technology. They propose a model based in 20th century methods of cinema exemplified by selected movie directors. Jose adopted these cinematographic methods and developed three unique drawing apparati for teaching cinemetric drawing methods. These apparati were experiments combining Leonardo’s drawing methods and modern methods of cinematography, which became workshops that traveled to art and design schools around the world from NYC to Taiwan between 2008 and 2013, including the interactive exhibition The Sensori Motor City in NYC 2011, and an article "Club Cinemetrics: New Post‐Perspectival Design Methodologies" in 2009. In 2015 He co-authored the article "Call Me Gaia: The Geometry of Fragmentation or The Geometry of Life?"
As an eternal student of Leonardo, I believe that the most effective way of learning is by observation and practice – by learning not just with the mind but with the body, embodying knowledge by following in the footsteps of our predecessors, and connecting those historic methods with actual experiences in meaningful practical ways. Perhaps the most meaningful outcome is to learn how to look slower, longer, and mindfully. It is then that we can discover, associate, and become inspired to create and innovate.