In the mid 70's, while a student at the art institute, Bellas Artes, in my native Colombia, one of my classes was, "An Introduction to Sculpture." It was a class that I enjoyed immensely. Since my studies were centered around my specialty, oil painting, I was advised by a professor to drop my sculpture studies so that I could focus on and master the art of painting. Years went by and in the early 90's, I was offered an opportunity to learn the lost wax process. For nearly three years, I studied the lost wax techniques in earnest. Today, with the exception of the actual casting (which is performed at a foundry) the lost wax process is used to generate the majority of the art created in my atelier. Most of my sculptures depict people and their relationships with each other.
During my years in the art academy, I learned to use pencils and pastels before moving on to oil painting. Of all the many two-dimensional techniques I learned in art school, I enjoy painting with oils the most. Oil has proven to be my most reliable and principle medium for canvas work.
I was first moved to create bronze reliefs when my work was exhibited in the National Galleria Museum in Florence, Italy, in 2000. I was particularly inspired by a Michelangelo creation that featured a mother and child in the form of a marble relief. It affected me profoundly and when I returned to my New Mexico studio, I immediately began to create high-relief bronze wall pieces. Over the past decade or so, bronze relief has become my favorite form of artistic expression. I mount the finished pieces on heavy-gauge aluminum plate which I typically paint black in order to provide a striking contrast for the actual sculptures.
I sculpted this piece at the same time that I was working on another creation called, Despair. Fully realizing the relationship between victory and despair, I developed these two works simultaneously. Feelings of great despair in life can sometimes provide us with the necessary impetus and drive to move forward and achieve our goals. When we meet Despair on the road to victory, we must remember that encounters with Despair where we persevered and succeeded. We must move forward with the inherent knowledge that "this too shall pass." When we encounter situations that seem hopeless, instead of giving up or fleeing, we must look Despair in the face and overcome the challenges it puts in our way. Only then, can real victory be achieved.
Sketching is the fist thing I learned at the Institute of Bellas Artes. Sketches are almost always used as the base plan for great paintings and sculpture and they stand as the foundation for nearly all my work. Even though sketches serve an important utilitarian purpose, l love and appreciate the sketch as a form of art in and of itself. I love the simplicity of a sketch and I love the fact that I can be just about anywhere and all I need is a pen and something to draw on and I can bring forth new artistic expression.
“When I look at a person, I see beyond the persona and the temporary attributes of age, beauty and style.
It is there that I find the circles and roundish forms that define the very essence of the human figure.”
“When I look at a person, I see beyond the persona and the temporary attributes of age, beauty and style. It is there that I find the circles and roundish forms that create the essence of the human figure and define my preferred artistic style—Bolismo.
My subjects are purposely devoid of recognizable facial features. If I provide the viewer with identifiable characteristics, then I play a part in accentuating the differences between people. Instead, I prefer to underscore the similarities common to all humanity.
Typically, my paintings and sculptures depict two or more people. This is simply meant to express my understanding of humans as social beings. Like living people, my characters are most happy when they are among family, friends and others with common interests.
I believe art to be one of the universal languages and I have always sought to create beauty that speaks to people from all corners of the earth. From all walks of life. From all political spectra. From all age groups
Namaste is a word I first heard when I was greeted by a yoga instructor. She explained that "Namaste" is a salutation that originated in India. Translated, it means, "My inner light says 'hello' to your inner light." As an artist, I often feel that when I create my work, my muse is saying "Hello!" to the art lover's muse. I believe that an artist who is in touch with his or her muse is able to express their true heart to the world. S/he has the courage to venture beyond the warm, safe glow of their community in order to commune with a deeper part of their being and allow their inner light to say, "Hello!" Oft times, that light has been extinguished by disappointment, fear and "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." When I paint, my inner light comes on, my muse guides my brush, and part of my conscious self fades to the background as silence gradually becomes my soundtrack.
With every stroke, I am more inspired and increasingly under the spell of my muse. The paint flows from my brushes and a part of my physical self seems to no longer exist. During this time, I'm lost in a world of beauty and creation. Even though I am alone for long periods when I am painting or sculpting, these are the very times when I feel the least alone; for my muse is with me. My inner light is saying, "Hello," to the spirit of each and every individual who appreciates my work.
What is your inner light saying to you? What sort of creation is it asking you to bring forth in the world?
There is nothing more natural than the human body—the temple of our existence as human beings. Despite our ever-increasing technology and progress I don’t believe there is a machine as complex and brilliantly evolved as our bodies.