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.
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.
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.”
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.