sábado, 27 de diciembre de 2014

JOSÉ FRANCO @ Museo Mazzoni



UN HOMBRE ES UNA ISLA

Discrepo de ustedes, John Donne y Ernest Hemingway.
El hombre inmigrante es una isla que lleva consigo a todos lados
Todas sus tradiciones , idiomas, enseñanzas, historias, comidas,
Olores, ideas, formas de pensar y de vestir.
Sí, un hombre es una isla, más cuando viene de una isla.
Un hombre es una isla, como lo fue José Martí en los Estados Unidos.
Como lo fueron Picasso, Lam, Chagall, Beckett… en París.
Duchamp en Nueva York.
Nabokov en Berlín.
Cabrera Infante en Londres…
Y así todos los que por algún motivo político, económico o familiar,
Han tenido que mudarse con su isla en peso a otro lugar.
Un hombre es una isla cuando sigue pensando como en su isla,
Cuando cocina y come los alimentos de su isla,
Sea esta isla real o mental.
Un continente es una isla, pero de mayor tamaño,
El mar nos rodea a todos.
Un hombre es una isla cuando rememora, cuando escucha música, lee libros,
Y tiene la nostalgia de las cosas que dejó.
Un hombre es una isla cuando escribe, pinta, compone o piensa en su lengua,
En un lugar otro, como si fuera su isla.
Por eso un hombre es una isla.
Siempre digo que mi isla soy yo, dondequiera que me detenga,
En el país que sea.
Los dos metros cuadrados donde estoy parado son mi isla, son mi yo y serán siempre Cuba.
Un hombre es una isla, aun cuando tienda puentes, líneas aéreas y wasaps, twiters o llamadas telefónicas, aun cuando esté con toda la humanidad y nos ayudemos unos a otros.
Un hombre es una isla.
En la Edad Media, los castigos más grandes que existían eran la pena de muerte…
O el destierro.
Un hombre fuera de su país, siempre, siempre, será una isla.

JOSE FRANCO 2014. texto para la muestra del mismo nombre.

(info vía José Franco, en Facebook)

domingo, 21 de diciembre de 2014

LA PLASTICA CUBANA CONTEMPORANEA Y SUS TENDENCIAS

Ponencia presentada por Aldo Menéndez en el Seminario "La plástica cubana contemporánea y sus tendencias", celebrado el pasado 12 de Diciembre en el KOUBEK CENTER (2705 SW 3rd St, Miami Fl 33135), y organizado por el Centro Cubano de Promoción Intercultural (CPI). En este encuentro participaron artistas y críticos de la Isla y otros que viven fuera de ella; de la Isla estuvieron presentes David Mateo, presidente de AICA Cuba (asociación internacional de críticos de arte) y los pintores Manuel Mendive y Kadir López. De los que viven fuera de ella o fundamentalmente en los EEUU, participaron el artista y crítico de arte Aldo Menéndez y los pintores Baruj Salinas, Néstor Arenas y el escultor/fundidor Lázaro Valdés. 


 En el panel de izquierda a derecha Aldo Menéndez, Gustavo Godoy y David Mateo


La plástica cubana contemporánea y sus tendencias

Los que estamos hoy formando parte de este panel somos todos artistas e intelectuales que, independientemente del lugar donde estemos radicando, siempre nos hemos mantenido fieles al respeto mutuo y a la amistad, observando la máxima consideración ante las ideas, el pensamiento y la obra individual de cada quien. Pero en particular somos colegas que coincidimos en entregar todos nuestros desvelos y energías al trabajo artístico y profesional, al día a día, de hacer la propia obra o de propiciar y promover la de otros.

Presiento que no se puede hablar de la plástica cubana contemporánea y sus tendencias -un fenómeno que se presenta polémico y faceteado- sin hacer antes unas cuantas precisiones.

En la cultura y el arte occidental, prácticamente no existen desarrollos que al día de hoy se puedan limitar territorialmente o cercar geográficamente. Sobran por tanto las tan escuchadas expresiones: Arte de la Cuba de adentro y arte cubano de Miami, o de fuera. Esto equivaldría a recortarnos nosotros mismos las alas, porque las artes visuales cubanas y nuestra cultura, son ya fenómenos hace mucho transnacionales e internacionalizados, sobran los ejemplos de obras cubanas cimeras, hechas y lanzadas desde el exterior; cualquier otra postura sería estrecha y reduccionista.

Lo segundo que quiero puntualizar es que lo oficializado entre Cuba y Estados Unidos en materia de intercambios culturales, refleja por supuesto únicamente contenidos e intereses a nivel de estas naciones, que pueden favorecer entre ambas un clima general de relaciones más distendidas. Pero el intercambio en el terreno de la plástica entre artistas de la isla y compatriotas y colegas de Miami, en gran medida es un resultado privativo de esta ciudad. En tal sentido si alguien tuviera que otorgar medallas, debería empezar por colgárselas a negociantes y galeristas, que vieron un filón económico en traer pinturas y pintores radicados en Cuba. Y conste que al principio tuvieron que enfrentar oposición. Los que se arriesgaron hicieron posible que más adelante en menos de un decenio, convirtieran esa presencia del arte hecho en la isla, en una representación natural en galerías y residencias de Miami.

Que algunos pensando en enriquecerse lo hicieran mal. Que existieran desigualdades, arbitrariedades, engaños,  especulación, etc., y que los comerciantes de esta orilla jugaran con ventaja…, por supuesto que ha ocurrido. La ventaja no emanó solo de poseer el dinero, sino también del hecho de que es más fácil vender la fruta prohibida; tópicos imposibles de analizar hoy, en este lugar, en tan poco tiempo, pero espero que contrario a otras ocasiones podamos repetir este tipo de encuentro civilizado. Es innegable que estos comerciantes le dieron espacio en el exterior a obras consumadas y le fueron subiendo los precios; mientras daban a conocer por primera vez en la diáspora a muchos valores emergentes de la tierra natal.

Ahora, creadores radicados en la isla, constantemente hacen viajes a Miami contando con sus propios medios, incluso para encargar trabajos a empresas locales como la Fundición de Lázaro Valdés –una de las figuras que hoy nos acompaña. Al igual que los radicados aquí viajan y exponen en Cuba, pagándoselo ellos mismos (a mi derecha se encuentra invitado a este panel, Néstor Arenas, artista que recién acaba de exponer en la galería de la Fototeca habanera).

Cuando llegué a Miami en 1995, pocos en esta población conocían –por supuesto que especialistas y entendidos sí manejaban estos nombres- aportes y nombres tan relevantes como los de Antonio Vidal, Servando Cabrera, Loló Soldevilla o Ever Fonseca. Diez años después infinidad de miamenses consumían através de especuladores y galeristas a estos artistas y a un sinnúmero de otros radicados en la isla, como Sosabravo, Mendive, Kacho, Fabelo, Flora Fong, Pedro Pablo Oliva o el recién desaparecido Salvador Corratgé.

Quisiera hacer otra especificación imprescindible. En esta época, cuando en el mundo la mayoría de los artistas responden a las leyes impuestas por el comercio y el mercado, y la obra de arte se torna en producto artístico de consumo, hay colegas de Miami, que ven cualquier irrupción del arte hecho en la isla, como competencia indeseada, rechazándola y pidiendo sea sacada de aquí, pensando quizás que de ese modo se le pone mas difícil  obtener el plato de comida. A veces esto es lo que se esconde detrás de criterios socio-políticos emitidos por determinados artistas cubanos establecidos de este lado del estrecho floridano, olvidando que se trata de un comportamiento adoptado por el llamado “mundo libre”, o sea la libre competencia donde todos deseamos se impongan los individuos con mayor talento y los productos de mejor calidad. Por esa regla tampoco podríamos darle cabida en Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, a la actual pintura made in China, si lo exigieran los pintores chinos arraigados en San Francisco.

Antes de analizar cualquier tendencia, a mi juicio, debemos  tener claro, que esos mismos mecanismos comerciales y el  actual estilo de financiación del arte consiguen muchas veces que por el contrario, numerosos proyectos se alejen cada vez más de la crítica social y la problematización de los contenidos. Proponiéndonos en cambio expresar y resaltar: lo ligero y banal, lo decorativo y complaciente, el romanticismo descafeinado y la nostalgia, lo ambiguo y frívolo, el exotismo y lo asombroso. Y eso, como señala Vargas Llosa es seguir al pie de la letra los dictámenes de una civilización basada en el espectáculo, que estimula la alienación o enajenación resultante del fetichismo de la mercancía.

Esto es lo que a mí parecer está influyendo demasiado en  las tendencias abrazadas por las artes visuales cubanas. Que sin importar donde estén hechas, tienden frecuentemente a seguir la cosmopolita y dominante corriente comercial que alienta un crecimiento del materialismo. Y no hay que olvidar que violentar las verdaderas reglas de juego del mercado puede conducir a una grave crisis.

Es una corriente de codicia desenfrenada la que está configurando universalmente la oferta cultural como “una selva promiscua”, que alienta la confusión entre precio y valor de la obra; requiriendo autores “vistosos y pirotécnicos” capaces de sorprender a un espectador difícil de impresionar; logrando hacer predominar las imágenes sobre las ideas.

Por tanto, dentro y fuera de la isla, las artes visuales cubanas y las artes visuales en general, creo, tienen por máximo peligro, estar tan pendientes de tendencias globalizadas dirigidas a saciar el gusto consumista y a entretener al gran público. Nuestros peores enemigos son modas y apetitos creados artificialmente. Al perder fuerza las grandes utopías colectivas –en los 90’s del siglo pasado- y sin una aceptación ecuménica de la democracia, sería terrible no intentar conectar al arte con nuevos ideales; es esto sin dudas lo que debemos priorizar, el lugar donde debemos tener puesta la mirada, y no en los rencores personales, sociales y políticos que podamos haber acumulado en nuestra vida, un artista no puede alimentarse de odios y resentimientos.


Aldo Menéndez

12 de diciembre del 2014.   

Nota: Durante otras intervenciones y respuestas del panel al público asistente, dejé claro que estábamos mirando al futuro, pero que no olvidaba nada de lo ocurrido antes, sin embargo deseábamos partir de cuestionar la mas palpitante actualidad sin salirnos demasiado de nuestro ámbito artístico. Además, si analizamos el pasado, es bueno resaltar lo que ha cambiado, rectificado o superado en ambas orillas, sin insistir tanto en flagelarnos con las barbaridades cometidas por otros; mientras distinguimos a aquellos que en cualquier sitio han hecho y hacen esfuerzos por mejorar las condiciones de nuestras artes y cultura.


jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2014

NESTOR ARENAS @ FARSIDE GALLERY

 
FARSIDE GALLERY PRESENTS

Néstor Arenas:  Paisajes Transformer
Exhibition of Works by Néstor Arenas
On View November 29, 2014 through January 8, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 29
7 to 9 p.m.
 
Néstor Arenas: Paisajes Transformer, curated by art critic and independent curator Dennys Matos, is an exhibition displaying the latest paintings and drawings by this important neo-figurative Cuban artist, based in the United States. 
 
Néstor Arenas was born in Holguín, Cuba, in 1968.  He graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) de La Habana in 1990 with a degree in painting.  In the early 90's he settled in Spain and, after a series of personal projects, he developed a neo-figurative poetic marked by the appropriation of different styles of contemporary art history, from Russian constructivism neo-Dadaism, Pop Art to neo expressionism.  Adopting a downright parodic attitude, Arenas cannibalizes the symbolic capitals of these styles as if they were a sort of files or sources to be manipulated or juxtaposition to shape a particular interpretation of poetic neo-figurativeFrom the point of view of discourse, the notion of landscapes take on crucial relevance in those years. Through this notion, on the one hand, he addresses the complexity of development between history and representation, between truth and ideology of the ways they are interpreted. The exhibitions "Paisajes y Fragmentos" (1998) Galería de Arte Lausin & Blasco in Zaragoza, Spain and "Pinturas" (1996) Galería Colón XVI in Bilbao, Spain are emblematic examples of this proposal.
 
In 2001, Néstor Arenas settles down in Miami where his poetic neo-figurative acquires a more iconographic character and, in addition to painting,  gives way to photography, video and sculpture art. The combination of these new expression formats are evident in exhibitions such as Legopainting (2010) Lyle O'Reitzel Gallery in Miami, FL and Solo Show (2008) ISM Gallery also in Miami, FL.  In them he essentially maintains the notion of landscapes, but they begin to shift toward a contrast between the worlds of life generated by the two grand narratives produced in the development of modernity: Capitalism and Communism. In Néstor Arenas: Paisajes Transformers the artist investigates the iconographic nature of the languages ​​of contemporary art, while trying to imagine a socio-cultural future in a globalized world.  From the material and spiritual cultures produced by these narratives, he creates an imaginarium to ponder about utopian visions where images that make social, cultural and artistic references to what was the communist utopian project as well as those derived from the mass culture of triumphant postindustrial capitalism coexist.  In these paintings and drawings with a strong iconographic character, created between 2009 and 2013, Arenas builds a world that invites reflection about imaginary spaces in which both iconographies devise unpublished historical narratives.
 
This exhibition will be accompanied by a full color catalogue with an essay by Dennys Matos.  For more information visit the artist's website:  www.nestorarenas.com.
 
The opening night reception for Néstor Arenas: Paisajes Transformer is Saturday, November 29th,
7 – 9 pm and is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on view from November 29, 2014 through January 8, 2015 weekdays from 11 am to 5 pm, by appointment.
 
Farside Gallery is located at:  1305 Galloway Road (87th Avenue), Miami, FL 33174
 
Free parking is available across the street at the Central Bible Assembly of God on opening night.
 
Venue:                               Farside Gallery
On view:                            November 29, 2014 through January 8, 2015
Event name:                      "Néstor Arenas: Paisajes Transformer"
Event contact:                    Raissa Soler
Event time:                         weekdays 11 am to 5 pm by appointment
Event email:                       farsidegallery@bellsouth.net
Event cost:                         $0.00
Event venue address:        1305 SW 87th Avenue, Miami, FL 33174
Event phone:                     305-264-3355
 
(info via Farside Gallery)

miércoles, 19 de noviembre de 2014

Artistas en el purgatorio

lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014

11 / 11 -Eleven Artists on the Eleventh Month @ SERGIO PAYARES STUDIO



ARTISTS
 Pip Brant
Adriano Buergo
Randy Burman
Ana Albertina Delgado
Miguel Dotres
Tomas Esson*
Mary Larsen
Rafael Lopez-Ramos
Sergio Payares
Natasha Perdomo
Magin Perez Ortiz
*On loan from the Stefania Barrionuevo Collection

Opening Nov 7th, 7:00 pm

1480 NE 131 St. Unit 105
North Miami FL 33161
Ph 305 338 2968

Curated by Rafael Lopez-Ramos
cooperation with Sergio Payares Studio in support of Miami local artists



This exhibition was originally intended to include a larger number of artists and, for different reasons, it was finally reduced to 11. Then there was the coincidence that the opening will be on November, 11th month of the year, turning the coincidence into synchronicity. Thus the 11:11 numerical sequence popped-up. There is no better image / concept to found an artistic project on than these numerals, evocative of human growing and spiritual enlightening –a path especially important in times of turmoil and distress as the ones humankind is going through now.

Nonetheless, this show was and is going to be about gathering our works on a true spirit of friendship, and the fact that these works result from a similar concept of art that seeks a balance between a thoughtful narrative and a crafting that corresponds to its aesthetical and semiotics needs, but is in no way an end by itself. Art is a way of thinking with the tip of the fingers while teaching its viewers to think with their eyes.

Pip Brant, Two Girls and a Donkey, 2014
Hasenblut (rabbit blood) on Paper, 10” x 8”.

Pip Brant, Tommy and Harumi, 2014
Hasenblut (rabbit blood) on Paper, 10” x 8”.

Pip Brant, Big Head, 2014
Hasenblut (rabbit blood) on Paper, 10” x 8”.

Pip Brant, Looking Out, 2014
Hasenblut (rabbit blood) on Paper, 10” x 8”.

I have been raising rabbits for meat for three years, but seeing the hasenblut drawings of Joseph Beuys on my last trip to Germany, talked to me.  
So making full use of my rabbit project, I am using their blood as pigment. I have gone from straight painting, monotyping, to silk screening the blood and a combination of the three different options of image making.
This works honors the lives of the rabbits in way that is partly performative.  This brings a level of immediate sacrifice to the giving of life.
Pip Brant, artist statement

Adriano Buergo, Palms & Roller coaster, 2012 
Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 47". 



Adriano Buergo is among those Cuban artists ambidextrous enough to integrate his art into the dynamics and aesthetic itinerary of a collective such as Puré [which he co-founded] and at the same time successfully create an individual body of work, both in the context of the so-called “Prodigious Decade” or “Cuban Renaissance”: the mythic 1980s.”
“Utopia, transformative will, disillusionment, exodus, rootlessness, and reunion: all are experiences common to the lives of artists from Buergo’s generation who, like him, ended up emigrating—some without the possibility of return, an option that Roto did have. As a result, this work and its creator became a parable about situations in which many Cubans, artists or not, found themselves.
Buergo’s dexterousness was already apparent in previous works such as Naturaleza Muerta–Naturaleza Viva (Still Death–Still Life, 1988), a painting born of the irreverence and scatological humor flaunted by Puré—an art collective created in 1986 by Buergo and classmates Lázaro Saavedra, Ciro Quintana, Ana Albertina Delgado, and Ermy Taño. As Mosquera wrote in the previously quoted catalogue, “Buergo is the painter of Cuban filth,” and his attitude was that of a participating critic—a position perhaps symbolized by his description of “a cross composed of a loaf of bread and a turd, painted by the artist,” which corresponds to Naturaleza Muerta–Naturaleza Viva.” 
Israel Castellanos León, The Farber Collection


Randy Burman, Contemplation, 2008
Collage, Black marker drawing with cut paper, 20" x 26".




Randy Burman, An Elephant Never Perplexes, 2008
Collage, Black marker drawing with cut paper, 20" x 26".

Randy Burman, Seeking Meaning in a Glass Half Full or Half Empty, 2008
Collage, Black marker drawing with cut paper, 20" x 26".

Randy Burman, Self-realization Upon Meeting a Glass Half Full or Half Empty, 2008
Collage, Black marker drawing with cut paper, 20" x 26".


I have a serious preoccupation with the intuitive aspects of art making. There is an internal dichotomy that drives my creative process on several levels: I’m compelled to make serious statements, but find myself subverting that goal with irreverent humor. Precise execution is integral, yet playful strategies are often a point of departure. Though I toggle between these parts of my practice, the recurring result is work that engages the alchemy of juxtaposed elements, meanings and scale.
Though the execution is very exact, the starting point is often circumstantial. Placing found objects next to each other might act as the beginning of a piece. Other times work comes out of the leftover materials from separate projects or the appropriation of visual material from a swathe of sources. The resulting sculptures, installations, paintings and print media explore themes of metaphysical confrontation and identity while often encouraging dynamic interaction with the audience.
Randy Burman, artist statement


Ana Albertina Delgado, La noche y su yoyo, 2008
Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18.

 Ana Albertina Delgado, El reflejo de Irma, 2008
Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18.

 Ana Albertina Delgado, Danza con fuego, 2008
Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18.



Ana Albertina Delgado, who has produced a marvelous body of paintings in oil on canvas, in which the use of color is of fundamental significance, prefers in her drawings the delicacy of color pencils – so closely associated to our childhood lucubrations. The artist uses color in a precise manner, concentrating it in details, neuralgic zones where the dramatic tension of the narrated or suggested story is concentrated in the manner of a “chakra”, an energetic center which will trigger the precious moment of illumination.
Ana Albertina’s peculiar universe is charged with the most varied influences contained in Cuban popular culture, especially the heritage linked to the peasant and Afro-Cuban imagery, the popular Mexican culture, as well as the feminist and feminine tradition that floods all her work.
Like a delicate thread, Ana’s stroke sews one drawing to another to create a continued history that is born in itself, takes the course of the sensual line and becomes definitely installed in the viewer. Such is the magic that inhabits this series of drawings in which the artist achieves impressive synthesis and overflowing sensuality. 


 Miguel Dotres, Transparent Melrose Ship (Undefined Space Vision), 2001
Watercolor, postcard, corners on paper, 28" x 20".

Miguel Dotres, North Side Royal Palm, 2001
Acrylic, watercolor, postcard, on paper, 28" x 20".


“The dawn of modernity and, ultimately, of phenomenology, thought that the range of meanings of the geometry has to be changed. Interestingly, it is visible in Dotres’ work, which realigns the model with its origins in nature and domestic surroundings. The diaphanous, billowing watercolor ribbons reminds banana leaves and waves, like light that seeps through the horizontal blinds called Persianas in Cuba and are a staple of late colonial architecture such as the vibrantly decorated windows colorful stained glass. Light is the oldest and ubiquitous symbol of the divine and the infinite, has been united for centuries in Cuba to other models that permeates everyday living spaces. 
The geometry begins to reveal its new destination everyday significance in tropical hyphens.”
Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Miguel Dotres: Geometría íntima, o las paradojas del hábitat



Tomas Esson (Stefania Barrionuevo Collection) 
Después de la tormenta, 2014 
Oil on canvas, 24" x 24".

Tomas Esson (Stefania Barrionuevo Collection) 
Bandera de Junio, 2003, oil on canvas, 24" x 18".
 
Tomas Esson (Stefania Barrionuevo Collection) 
Hula-Hula (sketch), 2014, charcoal on paper, 13" x 13".
 


“...the aesthetic category of the grotesque retains certain transgressive capacities and political thrust, as it renders the terms for an inversion of social hierarchies, for a confrontation of xenophobia and racism, and asserting the identity of alternative sexual orientations. Painter Tomás Esson renders contemporary versions of this subversive character of the grotesque.”
“...he depicted Cuban and American flags. He replaced the stars by phallus-like horns, whereas the stripes consist in grotesque sequences of glans, vulvas, thick mouths, tongues, teeth, ejaculations, and butts. Esson points both his humor and his rage against nationalistic symbols that have been emblems not only for lofty values, but also for intolerance and chauvinism.
Contemporary artists have used flags to subvert patriotism and make political commentaries. For instance, David Hammons changed the colors of the American flag, and turning it into an African-American Flag. Hammons suggests the possibility of writing an alternative story, perhaps with different values. Chilean Arturo Duclos made a flag of his own country, comprised of sixty-six human femurs, in an obvious reference to a past of murder and disappearance during Pinochet’s dictatorship.”
Ernesto Menéndez-Conde, Tomás Esson: Flags and Other Monsters



 Mary Larsen, Crossroads, 2014
Mixed media on wood panel, 16” x 20”.

 Mary Larsen, Dreamscape, 2014
Mixed media on wood panel, 16” x 20”.

Mary Larsen, The respite was brief, 2014
Mixed media on a book, 14.5” x 10”.


Mary Larsen, Conscious of desire, 2014
Mixed media on a book cover, 14.5” x 10”.


Through a meditative process of layering paint, ink, paper, found images, maps and silkscreen, Mary Larsen creates dream-like landscapes that are at once disorienting yet somehow familiar. Disparate elements work together to create an ephemeral atmosphere of violence and beauty, filled with contrasts and contradictions; balance through imbalance. By obscuring and revealing, each layer unfolds the narrative. The power of nature, history and chance coalesce to form an unsettling place that glimpses the possibility of hope. Each layer adds richness and depth, creating intimacy. Man is overwhelmed by the sublime power of nature and the pessimistic state of the world. The individual is depicted as a solitary figure in nature, all of his/her energy spent, on the edge of danger. The process is a transformative experience that informs the work. Images of violence and war and the power of nature are transformed into beauty and hope. 
Mary Larsen, artist statement




Rafael López-Ramos, The Noise Abatement Society Tapes, 2014
Acrylic on canvas, 26 1/8” x 37¾”.


Rafael López-Ramos, Yawning All The Way to Heaven, 20014
Acrylic on canvas, 11” x 14”.



Rafael López-Ramos, As Above, So Below, 20014
Acrylic on canvas, 11” x 14”.

"Rafael Lopez-Ramos’ artwork inherits the rebellious spirit and legacy of most of the 20th century, from Rauschenberg’s Combines and Lichtenstein’s paradoxes to Bad Painting, passing trough Malevich and Magritte, the multi-imagery of David Salle, the disturbing messages of Brazilian political artists Meireles and Oiticica, to the recognizable civic pathos of the dynamic, anti-establishment 1980s Cuban art."



“In Wonderland there are no hierarchies. The most innocuous objects –icons of our everyday life- coexist with heroes, politicians, and legendary dragons, among other characters, all of them amalgamated into an exhuberant pastiche that embodies our contemporary society.” (...) “Irony and kitsch are the two main resources threading through the discourse of the series. López-Ramos’ mordant approach is deeply rooted in an extended feeling of disappointment and decay experienced daily by common people in our globalized world, where trust and a sense of the future become merely a mirage, achievable only though the fallacy of the mass media.”

Janet Batet, ArtNexus Magazine Issue 91, 2014, p. 134.
 
 

Sergio Payares

Energía traducida en rojo, 2013 
Sanguine and graphite on paper, 29½” x 41½”.
 

The art of Sergio Payares appears to resist interpretation. In fact, it is necessary to view it attentively (which is doubly rewarding). Payares proposes a search for equidistant forms constituted by connective and angular linear strokes and luminous edges, with a doubtful tonal restriction. His composition is not geometric in the manner of optical art, neither is it abstract in the strict sense of the term. Color is not and end to itself, but rather a medium to provide a meaning to the artist's signature style.
The art of Sergio Payares suggests positive encounters. His art speaks about social co-existence. Payares' symbolism goes back from abstract to the concrete and from the universal to the particular. He prefers to highlight balance and fortunate coincidences. Communication - the artist tells us cannot exist by and for itself. Human interaction is what contributes, inevitably, to the progress of the human being.

Conceptualmente, y partiendo de ciertos presupuestos minimalistas que no tienen otro sentido que evitar lo superfluo, Payares dispone su propuesta a partir de configurar en sus obras acciones ideográficas que hacen de la carencia todo un ideario estético. Este ideario lo reordena visualmente, a través de la composición de grandes planos sometidos a un paciente proceso de veladuras que hacen aparecer y desaparecer ciertas manchas de colores, provocando así un efecto de densidad atmosférica que, junto con los colores pasteles, hacen menos patética y más ilusoria la frágil comunicación entre los despojos de seres sobrevivientes que pueblan sus obras.
La pintura de Sergio Payares está hecha de restos de sueños y ausencias. Acercarnos a ella es iniciar un diálogo silencioso con nuestras propias carencias. Entonces, durante este imprevisible diálogo, sucede algo que nos transporta del mero placer retiniano al ejercicio mental. 
Juan Carlos Betancourt, "Al contacto... vislumbré la ausencia"



Natasha Perdomo, The Bridge, 2014 
Acrylic on canvas, 33" x 44 ½".


Natasha Perdomo chooses the landscape to reflect on postindustrial civilization while giving a wink to certain kitschy aesthetic traditionally associated to this painting genre, which brings to mind Komar and Melamid's research on this aesthetic issue. Her work however, brings together the typical backlighting of Romanticism and a Surrealistic random juxtaposition of images freely flowing from the unconscious mind, to create serene visions often infused with a nightmarish atmosphere that allow us to make our own free associations and readings. Thus, The Bridge seems to refer to the rustic zigzagging road that disappears within the clouds into the infinity but it really is a metaphor on information technology and its revolution on the way we communicate, learn, and work, bringing a huge leap to human civilization. The over scaled tablet standing on the left side of the composition shows the logos of social networking services, as virtual doors to other people, while the secluded landscape surrounding it rather suggest a state of isolation and loneliness which finds a correlate in the screen background image, a virtual representation of the sky, juxtaposed to the real thing. It all carries a sour-sweet synecdoche of the new cybernetic culture dominating 21st Century and its ambivalence as bliss and anguish.  
RLR



 Magín Pérez Ortíz, Proyecto inútil para paraíso inconcluso, 2012
Oil on canvas, triptych, 353/8" x 71".



In visual terms my research took as initial source of reference the designs and projects dreamed by Leonardo Da Vinci for his war machines; in a postmodern gesture I have condiment them with the edgy spirit of Dada and Russian Constructivism.

The system of gears, pulleys and helm of my winged machines, always wish an impossible escape, being just portraits of the livelihood mechanics on rudimentary means; although the structure of the idea always consciously transgress the thin and limited walls of chauvinism. 
Magín Pérez Ortíz, artist statement