… la espalda del maestro… a propósito de Maikel Sotomayor

The second visit that I did to the young artist Maikel Sotomayor’s workshop, I must admit that the spirit that the space and his artworks emanate inspired the development of this text which expresses and makes an approach a piece of his original production. Something happened, I don’t know if mysticism of a reflective state when I leave the workshop. A lot of ideas about his job came to my mind.

Each scene performed by Maikel in his artworks is a different universe that characterizes the nature that surrounds and accompanies it in his diverse artistic and personal activities. Each canvas is home to constructions that underline as time went by, that speak about their past, and that manifest their present. Sotomayor paints canvases with load word where color is transformed into poetry, form into the meter, and subject into an excuse to describe provincial, urban or rural scenes. Each element put in the composition has a vital importance when making possible readings. He tries to play with observer’s sensitivity and bias

Maikel Sotomayor, I must say, paints sceneries. Actually, he belongs to the new generation of creators that are immersed in that can be named as “the restorers and successors of the gender.” His pose is very clear and defined: this, the scenery, is a link that makes possible the reflection of his concerns. I remember when we get together for the first time to talk about work. This time you taught me by separated folders his canvases and paintings.

In his combination was in front of an artist that takes advantage in his artworks of a geographic and philosophic metaphor. It strongly caught my attention a series of drawings that were part of his exposition Casita con C de Coco (2011, Casa de Cultura de Plaza Cultural Center.) They make me think about his first steps in the subject exploration of scenery. Here, the house is transformed into the starring element that inserted in scenery suggested and thought about current situations for our society. Maikel was, at this moment, very daring in the subject addressed; from ingenuity and pretending to be a child, his drawings mentioned topics that could harm feelings in any observer.

His style was evolving. He never stopped to painting and went always beyond the represented. His researches are about a culture other: the oriental one. Searching that made him find a new orientation and the last truth in the History of Art. His creative way is unique. We can confirm that Sotomayor has a very personal style; Rocio, imparted in his workshop in the San Alejandro Academy, opened to him a new window full of expressive possibilities through the use of color with the influences of European masters. Maikel knows that this step inside the group of the new masters is a ghost that accompanies him every day, however, He know how to control it and leave aside the use of strident tonalities. Now in his canvases predominate green, Carmelite, black, and white are the closest, lyrical, and even with romantic touches.

I remember, don’t know why, Munch’s classical artwork, The Scream, in which is appreciated and felt the spirit of the Nordic painting of the ends of the 19th century. Well, I do know, nowadays, Maikel Sotomayor’s canvases are a transition in a geography that needs to be traversed alone. The artist invites us to put his nature and discreet sceneries in which he meets day, night, and dawn closer in the same place; where, at the same time, the silhouette of the “Mater’s Back” appears with four Katanas hammered in it. Who is his master? He just knows it, and I think it haves to remain anonymous.

His artworks also suggest known and unknown atmospheres; we just need to know how to observe.  Trees’ trunks, rocks, water, mountains, light, shadows, and some objects work as linguistic signs that lead our glance and give movement and rhythm to the composition. Also, according to the art critic David Mateo, who has worked as curator in Sotomayor’s last exhibitions, “his atmospheres are more complex regarding structural solutions, more dynamic regarding the brush-stroke treatment, chromatic combinations, and the redistribution of the visual codes. When distancing from this covert adoption of the environment. Also, when privileging a type of scenery more condensed and concise, paradoxically his creative procedure has won a technique complexity and artifices of suggestion.”

We must keep closer the visual tasks of this young and talented creator. Maikel has clear goals. Scenery is his beginning and his end; it’s the essence he found to talk about his roots and, why not, his identity.

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