El desacato de lo sensorial

In this inverted world everything seems possible,

Even living ourselves upside down

(Carlos Franz).

Through of this epigraph I would like to represent the dissonance and at the same time the concordance existing in this real world and that of Samy Benmayor (Santiago, 1956), who arrives at the Gabriela Mistral Gallery, with the third hand, shows that it gathers about 40 works done by this visual artist between 1984 and 2016, who unconsciously shakes us with that kind of suspension bridge that is sometimes shaped cadenza and pendular and others moved by the abrupt action of that lucid hand, crazy and alien, but at the same time calm and restless and abject. The one that without preamble shows to a creator that finds in the color and the gesture the primordial tool to materialize this visual chronicle through a video- recording of a personal journal, commented by the same Benmayor – “I knew that all the artists had diaries and maybe that’s why I wanted to have one. They represent an intimate space to be able to develop a job that nobody sees.” However, here its shown in its real magnitude, with drawing, watercolors, painting, engraving, collages and other unpublished pieces, evidencing another 30 years of undisputed trajectory.

In this curate retrospective by the artist Cristián Silva, one perceives not only the arduous work that implied to be reconnected with works that neither his own author had seen for years, but the painstaking work of search and selection of the same ones, since more of some like portrait of my friend Bororo (1992), with whom he also shared a workshop, went to the Venice Biennale in 93’, being acquired by Dutch collector, after 20 years put it on sale, so he could return to Chile and be in this exhibition located in a space that by itself is intimate, especially by the proximity shown by an author that goes from the most pedestrian and daily to the most universal and transcendent. In total correspondence with one of his favorite artists Philip Guston – “I don’t know what a painting is; who knows what causes even the desire to paint? It could be things, thoughts, memories, sensations, which has nothing to do directly with the painting itself. They can be anything.”

What is crucial in Benmayor is that he has tried to decipher his own phantoms, those that are part of a cosmogony, using a language without monolithic conditioning, loaded with vitality and carefree with winks to Neo-expressionism, pop and comics, but In all of them with a marked chromatic accent that in the 80’s, was seen with some distance by those who assumed the conceptual and the rigor of certain tones (white, black and gray) as a valid and univocal mode of expression in front of the dictatorship . Nevertheless, the optics towards this visual artist and others of its congeners like Pablo Domínguez, Fernando Allende, Matías Pinto D’Aguiar and Bororo changed radically, since it stopped being seen like a mere subjective and impetuous exercise and began to be understood as a doing Reflective that goes from the impertinent and provocative aggressiveness to an elaborate chromatic gesture with measured touches of humor that have always accompanied the work of Benmayor, almost like an unprejudiced seal that refreshes from the first moment his painting, which we can appreciate in El Shaving and the tongue of hedgehog (1984), The dancer and the wallet (1987), The chicken cowboy (2007), The reader (2009) or From the series To the people of Santiago, (2016) , Just to highlight some fingers of this hand.

Simply unpredictable, Samy Benmayor, makes the sensory a code that goes from the abstract to the figurative, from the geometric to the spontaneous, from the brief to the outburst of color and a form that flees the label, and as his Healer – “In this exhibition energy, freedom, imagination, humor and refinement prevail, and above all the keen eye of Benmayor.” More than a sample The third hand, is a magnificent reunion with a versatile author who does not deprive or leave loose ends, on the contrary. From his palette he approaches a myriad of aesthetic currents, supports and themes that underlie from the depths of his being, as seen in Una (1999), A la música (2001), Tambo (2005), Alma (2007) From the series A painting to the day 365 to the year (2009), Landscape with brick (2009), Of the series of the blackout (2012), Four directions (2013), For Wislawa (2014), Series of the isometric space Open-eyed series (2016), in a tale ranging from a Calder-type mobile, to a solitary and pressing ceramic sculpture.

Thus, this artist, one of the main figures of the so-called “return to painting”, a movement characterized by the recovery of the painting as a primary support, surprises us by flexibilizing his own frame, opening himself up to an unsuspected universe, where he plays with tradition and Time with the vanguard to consolidate a very personal voice, eminently loaded with references to universal art, but also to this world that so often turns in reverse.

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