Lately in Puerto Rico Urban Art has made a strong impact to the art community. Can we describe this movement as Urbanism? Because the definition clearly states, is a style of art that relates to cities and city life often done by artists who live in or have a passion for city life. In that way urban art combines street art and graffiti and is often used to summarize all visual art forms arising in urban areas, being inspired by urban architecture or thematizing urban live style. Based on this definition Omar Velzquez work can be categorize as modern Urbanism which make this, a special feature unique to his work, like this example
Velazquez work is Fresh which to me is what puerto rican art need at this moment, something that break all classical rule of what a good painting should be, no more perfect composition, no more finesse, just something creative. In my opinion Velazquez has the talent to become one of the best contemporary artist of Puerto Rico, at short time he has proven worthy of the Lexus Grant here in Puerto Rico soon he will start his masters at one of Chicago’s best schools, Which for me is just the beginning of good thing to come into his future. Taking this into consideration now is the time to invest in his work because surely this artist will make a strong impression in the states and who know if he can become the the next Enoc Perez, making his work a smart investment.
Can we consider this kind of art a social criticism? The modernist model of public art, which relied heavily on what we might call abstractionist inspirationalism or on architectural or social critique, had elicited increasing incomprehension and annoyance from the wider public noticing that in the recent year Puerto Rico Financial crisis has let many abandon building all around the island and this is clearly one of the main topic which Omar try to illustrate in his work, making the suggestion of “Chatarra” in one of his recent paintings. The complexity of city life often appears, from a governmental standpoint, to be a troublesome, This is why Omar’s Work is clearly giving us a clear statement of Puerto Rico present in such way which was never tried by many puerto rican artist, art as a social criticism of the financial status in the island.
The output of those who felt that “traditional” forms of art were becoming outdated in the new economic, social and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world where correct, taking this into consideration. This new movement will surely leave a foot print in our history, Change is inevitable to any civilization and this kind of work that break all rules and boundaries is the type of art that we should lift an eyebrow and analyze carefully, who knows if we might have the next contemporary master and still haven’t had the opportunity to figure this out specially in Vazquez’s case.
By Joey Medrano
Note Only the last two painting in this blog are from my personal collection.