22 de febrero de 2021

Felix Carmelo. Rhythms* (English Version)


Felix Carmelo

Felix Carmelo’s artwork reveals his intense esthete’s gaze, forged in a persistent search for the intrinsic beauty of forms. The study of languages derived from geometric abstraction and associated with minimalism, has given him the expressive tools to carry out an artistic proposal that fulfills this fundamental interest. However, the practice of this artist is not merely analytical. On the contrary, it is addressed to recreate the encounter with pure forms and with the rhythms that their relationships produce, in the apparent chaos of the surrounding reality.

Untitled, 2021

Untitled, 2020 (4 pieces)

For this exhibition, the artist started from views formed by the architectural overlaps and interactions—e.g., facades, cornices, gates—of some buildings in Coral Gables, objects, and landscape’s natural elements. These images, captured photographically, offered him a starting point to undertake—via digital or through pencil sketches—a “shape hunt”, executed after a careful looking at each detail. Focusing on those whose aesthetic quality escapes by the naked eye, the artist creates new compositions, accentuating, continuing, or combining their forms and rhythms with those from other images obtained in a similar way. Even these "found compositions" often act as a source for searching new details, in a process that insistently run from the macro to the micro views. The artist's intuition and sensitivity play a preponderant role in this post-photographic exercise of searching, encountering, selecting, combining, and creating.

Untitled, 2021

Untitled, 2021 (12 pieces)

What gives this exhibition its title is precisely that visual rhythm. In the artwork, it is created from the articulation of shapes, lines, spaces, and colors; but it can be also the internal rhythm produced when traveling through the city, concatenating panoramic and quick views, with slow glances at significant nooks. In the end, it is the rhythm that we develop as we go through life—a heartbeat or a pulse—, building order into the chaos, beauty into disproportions, or form into the formless.

Katherine Chacón

Felix Carmelo (Arecibo, Puerto Rico, 1968) is a visual artist based in Miami, Florida. Since he was a child he demonstrated passion and appreciation for design and art. This led him to earn an Architectural Drawing Associate Degree at the Liceo de Arte y Tecnología de Puerto Rico and, later, to study Interior Design at the Miami International University of Arts and Design. His refined aesthetic sense has been influenced by the experiences left by his travels, visits to exhibitions, and a profound love of books. Since 2016 he joined a contemporary artists group called Generación Reactiva, which is consolidated with the support of the Petrus Gallery in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2020 he studied painting with artist and professor Guillermo García-Cruz at the Abstract Art School S35 in Madrid, Spain. That same year, he began artistic coaching sessions with the Venezuelan curator Katherine Chacón. His work is represented in various private collections in Puerto Rico, the United States, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico.

* This essay was written for the exhibition «Rhythms. Felix Carmelo», held at Imago Art in Action (Coral Gables, Florida, USA), from February 20 to May , 2021. 

Félix Carmelo. Rhythms*


Félix Carmelo

El trabajo de Félix Carmelo (Arecibo, Puerto Rico, 1968) devela su intensa mirada de esteta, fraguada en un persistente ejercicio de búsqueda de la belleza intrínseca de las formas. El estudio de los lenguajes derivados de la abstracción geométrica y asociados al minimalismo, le ha otorgado las herramientas expresivas necesarias para llevar adelante una propuesta artística que dé cuenta de este interés fundamental. Sin embargo, la práctica de este artista está lejos de ser meramente analítica, y se encamina, más bien, a recrear el encuentro de estas formas puras y de los ritmos que sus relaciones suscitan, en el aparente caos de la realidad circundante.

Sín título, 2021

Sin título, 2020 (4 piezas)

Para esta exposición, el artista partió de vistas formadas por las superposiciones e interacciones arquitectónicas —fachadas, cornisas, portones, por ejemplo— de algunos edificios de Coral Gables, y de objetos y elementos naturales del paisaje. Estas imágenes, captadas fotográficamente, le ofrecieron un punto de partida para emprender —vía digital o a través de bosquejos a lápiz— una “caza de formas”, ejecutada tras un mirar cuidadoso de cada detalle. Focalizándose en aquellos cuya calidad estética escapa a simple vista, el artista hace surgir nuevas composiciones, cuyas formas y ritmos acentúa, continúa, o combina con los de otras imágenes obtenidas de modo similar. Incluso, estas “composiciones encontradas” le sirven a menudo de origen para buscar nuevos detalles, en un proceso que va insistentemente de lo macro a lo micro. La intuición y la sensibilidad del artista juegan un papel preponderante en este ejercicio post-fotográfico de búsqueda, encuentro, selección, combinación y creación.

Sin título, 2021

Sin título, 2021 (12 piezas)

Lo que da título a esta muestra es justamente ese ritmo visual, que en la obra está hecho de la articulación de formas, líneas, espacios y colores, pero que es también el ritmo interno que se construye al transitar la ciudad, concatenando vistas panorámicas captadas rápidamente, con lentas miradas a resquicios significativos. Al final, es el ritmo que construimos al pasar por la vida —un palpitar o un pulso— e ir cimentando el orden en el caos, la belleza en las desproporciones, o las formas en lo informe.

Katherine Chacón

Félix Carmelo es un artista visual puertorriqueño residenciado en Miami, Florida. Desde niño demostró pasión y valoración por el diseño y el arte, lo que lo llevó a graduarse como técnico en dibujo arquitectónico en el Liceo de Arte y Tecnología de Puerto Rico y, posteriormente, a realizar estudios de diseño interior en la Miami International University of Arts and Design. Su refinado sentido estético ha sido decantado por las experiencias que le dejaron sus viajes, visitas a exposiciones, y amor a los libros. Desde 2016 pertenece al grupo de artistas contemporáneos Generación Reactiva, consolidado con el respaldo de la Galería Petrus de San Juan, Puerto Rico. En 2020 realizó estudios de pintura con el artista y profesor Guillermo García-Cruz en la Abstract Art School S35 de Madrid, España. Ese mismo año, inició sus sesiones de guiatura artística con la curadora venezolana Katherine Chacón. Su trabajo se encuentra representado en varias colecciones privadas de Puerto Rico, Estados Unidos, Italia, Brasil y México.

* Este texto fue realizado en ocasión de la exposición homónima, presentada en Imago Art in Action (Coral Gables, Florida), del 20 de febrero a mayo de 2021.

27 de marzo de 2019

Toña Vegas. Energy Matters (English Version)*

The long night. The sound of the water says what I think.


The recent work of Toña Vegas gathered in “Energy Matters” seems to be guided by and to propitiate an ineffable knowledge. The patient and methodical contemplation of nature that the artist has carried out as part of her existential experience has led her to understand the hidden essence shared by everything—the breath of cosmic life that is energy. In the pieces displayed, she transfers that energy by registering their tracings or by picturing their waves and effluvia.

In the contemporary critical perspective, rooted in the western philosophical tradition, the fact that art produces a diverse mode of knowledge—in which forms and images involving both the spectator and the artist access a subtle understanding of reality and a special awareness of the world—is often left aside.
Following this idea, “Energy Matters” is presented as a sensitive lesson that suggests the great mystery of who and what we are—part of a nature that contains us, part of a cosmos that inhabits us, and part of an energy that transforms and continues towards infinity temporal space.
In the works of the Shizen and Scripture series, the “silent writings” of the sea, the surfaces of rocks, the bark and leaves of trees, or the shapes of clouds—“unveiled” by subjecting photographs of these elements to a high contrasting technique—have been transcribed into perforations on black-painted paper or, as in Traces, into the “positive” silhouettes of its contours. 

Scripture and Traces Series

Shizen Series

The Energy Matters series comprises paintings executed by Vegas using her fingers; this allows her to materialize her own energy pictorially. In the process, guided by her senses and intuition, energy appears simultaneously as structure and vibration in layers that overlap and interweave, creating a complex and deep space. These pieces are also traces, vestiges of an energy that is transformed into lines and stains, of a continuous flow suggesting skins of animals, leaves fluttering in a breeze, the wall of an old cave, or a burning emotion.

Energy Matters

Energy Matters

Energy Matters

The nature of some works of art could be related to Eastern philosophical practices which incorporate subjectivity and non-explicit notions as parts of the knowledge process. As in Taoism—where the teacher does not teach what he knows as something that he possesses and transmits rationally and objectively—the work of Toña Vegas communicates knowledge in a poetic way, through “brushstrokes of meaning” that trigger understanding. This process assumes the relativity of the cognitive experience and, subsequently, the immeasurability of any notion of reality.

Katherine Chacón

* This essay was written for the exhibition «Toña Vegas. Energy Matters», held at Imago Art in Action (Coral Gables, Florida, USA), from March 8 to May 3 de mayo, 2019.