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What is Art

Art is Art, but only time will really tell

Who says something is art vs. anything else. Who decides that what today is junk tomorrow may be a precious gem? Current artistic success is not necessarily a deserving trait of a living artist. It may even have no connection with an artist true quality.

Some of my fellow artists may be upset by this statement, but the truth is that success is not necessarily a matter of how good, how innovative, or how brilliant an artist may be. In today’s world it may have more to do with of marketing, promotion, the right word in the right place, the right image at the right time…so many different issues. Van Gogh did not sell one single painting while he was alive. His paintings were mocked as childish, lacking technique, depth, or clarity. 100 years later he was revered, loved, copied, and altogether declared one of the greatest masters that ever walked this earth.

How many great painters have not only managed to not survive their own casual fame, but have disappeared altogether from the history books? Probably most. Then fame is ephemeral, but staying power will only be granted to those who are truly unique, brilliant, and ground breaking, and above all, to those who survive the view from a different light than that  which was the accepted parameter of their time.

As we survive the waves that hit us, we become stronger artists, and many years from now, may also become deserving of much applause, books, reviews, comments and admiration. Only generations after we are gone, will the question of our true impact as artists will be answered.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy our ephemeral success and hope that life allows us to live doing what we truly love. That will be one of the greatest gifts we can hope to enjoy in this life.

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Promoting your Art What is Art

Paintings are words, words are paintings

First of all, I want to thank everyone who visited any or all of the 4 websites over the last few days (since they were sent “out there” just a couple of days ago). It has been great to hear from everyone and so encouraging receiving so many positive comments.

I have been asked where and how do I get my inspiration. I am pretty sure most artists will share a common familiarity with some of my own experiences. To me, inspiration is like being taken over by another entity (picture yourselves in  Avatar for a moment) . It feels as if I am being worked from a remote location,  channeling experiences and feelings some of which I easily recognize as my own, and some of which I need to look very deeply within to see where they are coming from.

In a way, I see myself drawing, painting, mixing colors in such a fashion that sometimes it leaves me thinking, as I move back and see a complex scene …”how did I do this?”. It is not in terms of technique that I may wonder (technique is a development that builds on over the years and which can be easily traced) but in terms of the paths taken to accomplish a certain result.

I always remember the words of a well known local curator in Buenos Aires, who said of my work that one of its strengths was the fact that even though the ways in which I tell a story are unusually complex, I manage always to synthesize everything in a very clever ending.

I mention this just to point out the critic´s view of art, which is very similar to that of the reviewer of a novel. Just as our modern letters originally developed from “paintings that told stories” thousands of years ago (see the image below), a single work of art can be interpreted pretty much like a complete book or description of events seen from one particular eye witness viewpoint.  It always has a narrative. Sometimes it is a simple story told beautifully, sometimes it is like a Stephen King novel and full of thrills. But whatever the tale and whatever the writing style, you always need a good resolution to avoid all that work just fizzling out at the end. In a painting, resolution is vital, it gives meaning, substance and sense to what the artist proposes. Great inspiration can lead to bliss or can leave you with an empty feeling if the message gets lost somewhere.

Like with everything in life, I learn something new every day, and I incorporate this new knowledge in each of my works. I hope in years to come I manage to surprise you and satisfy you with every new work I present to you. Thank you for your continuing support.

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Ante todo quiero agradecer a todos los que visitaron alguno o cada uno de los 4 sitios que inauguramos hace unos muy pocos días.  Ha sido muy bueno recibir tantos comentarios positivos y tanto cariño de todos Uds.

Una pregunta que me hicieron es de donde salía la inspiración para tan variado trabajo. Estoy seguro que la mayoría de los artistas debemos tener experiencias similares para contar. Para mí la inspiración se parece un poco a Avatar, la película. De alguna manera uno es ¨manejado” a distancia, canalizando experiencias y sentimientos que a veces reconoce con facilidad como propios, y otras veces uno se ve obligado a explorar mucho más profundamente para reconocer de dónde vienen.

De alguna manera uno es llevado a pintar, mezclar colores, dibujar, y componer de una manera que obliga a preguntarse en algún momento, mientras uno se aleja lentamente de una escena muy compleja y ya terminada … ”y cómo llegué aquí?”. Y no es un cuestionamiento técnico (al fin y al cabo la técnica es conocimiento acumulado a lo largo de la vida del artista) si no una pregunta sobre la senda  inspirada que me dejó en ese punto de la historia que intento contar.

Siempre recuerdo las palabras de un conocido curador local quien, hace unos años, comentó sobre mi trabajo diciendo que, entre otras fortalezas, mi pintura lograba componer historias complejas con egañosa simplicidad, y que lo más importante allí era que llegaba siempre a una conclusión conceptual de la narrativa muy apropiada. 

Esto lo menciono, no por los halagos, sino porque quedó grabado en mí lo que puede ser la visión del analista experto de arte, que es muchas veces idéntica a la de un crítico literario, como si fuera un lector embebido en los laberintos de una gran novela. Tal vez, así como las letras del alfabeto moderno no son otra cosa que evoluciones provenientes de “pinturas que contaban historias” originadas miles de años atrás (vean la imagen del desarrollo de 3 letras modernas más arriba), cada obra artística se parece en mucho a un libro o historia contada desde una visión particular. A veces es como una simple historia relatada de manera hermosa, o a veces es como una novela de Stephen King, repleta de sobresaltos. Pero sea cual fuere el estilo narrativo, siempre se necesita una buena resolución de la historia para que la obra no se desarme y pierda sentido al final.

En la pintura, la composición y la resolución son vitales. Le dan sentido, substancia, y lucidez a lo que el artista propone. La inspiración puede llevar a que una obra sea comprendida de la manera más satisfactoria, o que descontrolada, nos deje esa sensación vacía que uno tiene cuando el mensaje se perdió en alguna parte de la historia y el final se “desinfló”. Yo siempre lo comparo con esas películas que vienen muy bien y en los últimos 20 minutos queda claro que el director y el guionista se quedaron sin ideas y arruinaron los 90 minutos anteriores de buen cine dándole un cierre muy poco satisfactorio. 

Como todo en la vida, uno va aprendiendo a medida que avanza, y así va incorporando ese conocimiento en cada una de las nuevas obras que realiza. Desde ya, espero que pueda satisfacerlos y sorprenderlos con cada nuevo trabajo que les presente a lo largo de los años.

Nos volvemos a encontrar muy pronto.