Sunday, September 24, 2006

Enrique Martinez Celaya

Here is an artist that I really like. He came to Berkeley and worked with Paulson Press to produce some wonderful prints. I really like the mysterious dark imagery that he produces, but I also his use of symbolism and the way he manages to keep a consistent form of art making no matter what medium he might be using.

Some of his prints of Enrique Martinez Celaya at Paulson Press

His own wedsite : Enrique Martinez Celaya

Enrique Martinez Celaya

Enrique Martinez Celaya is not afraid of the dark. An artist who saturates his canvases in tar or washes of blood, the Cuban-born painter, 41, is engaged in a deeply visceral approach to art. The source of the blood he uses, human or otherwise, he won't disclose. Children, primarily boys, are the subject of most of his current work. But these are not studies in innocence. He gives young children credit for being complex, pensive beings. What could be more mysterious than the troubled brow of a silent 7-year-old? They are neither vulnerable nor frivolous nor mere sexual objects, really—though there is a sensuality to the diaphanous pajamas worn by Celaya's nephew in the sole photo in the show. And one might wonder why the boy paired with the girl (Boy and Girl) is missing a hand. What did he steal? What did he touch? Particularly striking is Boy in Icy Landscape, a Scream-like figure hunched in front of an iceberg, rendered on paper in blood, watercolor, and charcoal. The boy is curiously self-possessed despite his chilly solitude. Blood Landscape is not as dramatic as it sounds: A shirtless, androgynous child bows before a blossoming bough, a gesture of sad introversion, perhaps shame, beside a symbol of spring, life, and hope. The work is quiet and delicately painted in what could pass for a diluted burnt sienna with the absorptive quality of sumi ink. Tu Sonrisa, Miguel is half mirror; as positioned here in the gallery, it turns a neat trick of reflecting another painting from across the room. While Celaya's likely intention was simply to include the viewer's visage in the tableau, this effect is more interesting. This work is inspired by a famous poem by Spanish Civil War hero Miguel Hernandez, who while imprisoned lost his son to malnutrition. The son never lived to the age depicted in the painting, making the image a sad chimera. Poet and physicist Celaya is clearly a thinker, and his ruminations are deeply and physically imagined. "Splinter. Return." at Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., 206-624-0770, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Ends May 13.


wes said...

heh. he was my undergrad painting prof.

lost said...

i like him, you're right he has a consistency throughout his work. by the way did you get my prints?

Mandy said...

Hey wes...I never knew that. Thats's awesome. I was looking at paulson press website...what a small world!

wes said...

he was a very intense man so we often butted heads. but i eventually appreciated the rigor he made me realize i needed to have in my thinking. in some ways he was indirectly the reason i decided to do the dual thing.

in light of your latest entry, you might be interested to know (if you don't already) that he also writes and publishes his poetry.

Mandy said...

Wow...he does poetry too. Cool, I'll have to check that out.

I'm confused about the rigor of thinking part? It's something that I've come up with when working with Scnell....she wants to find out how I think about my art. It's hard for me to explain when most of it is just winging it, and any explanation probably comes across as being really cheesy.
I guess that is why I like your work. I can tell that you really think deeply about what marks and choices you put on your paper, but also it is playful.

Haahaa I can't imagine you buttign heads with anyone....funny.

Eddie NYC said...

EMC wrote in his blog that Miami is a more cultural city than NYC. What Miami has is South and Central & Hatian America living in their own little worlds. New York is so Beautiful that you'll see ALL cultures living in ONE building AND SPEAKING to one another. Not like Miami where there is so much hatred and segregation. It really is sad & Does not Inspire. Miami Is a City Full of Pretenders. Their Minds on Materialism. Even Artists are distracted with the Shiny Life. Not Like NYC where you get deep into your THING. NYC ALWAYS imitated Never Duplicated.... Good Luck EMC in Ca. Its alot like Miami so you'll be ok.

Bricco said...

NYC, EMC did not come out directly and say Miami is a more cultural city than NYC. If you took his class you would have learned to pay attention to the details. EMC wrote the following:
"But in order to develop a world-class art community, South Florida needs to overcome some challenges. For instance, Basel has been good for the city but furthering the art’s community dependency on the Basel Fair is a precarious formula for success. Another danger is that the city can give in to the temptation of being a satellite of New York or a playground for the city’s well-known collectors—there are already signs of some of this going on. An approach the city could take to develop itself independently of Basel, New York and powerful figures, is to encourage education and exhibition spaces."
The Blog is not about NYC vs MIA, NYC vs CA or MIA vs CA. Maybe if you weren't so defensive you would learn a thing or two about the art culture in other cities other than Williamsburg.