Female Titans Of Puerto Rico ( Baez, Ruiz, Albizu )

Female artists in Puerto Rico have often been mischaracterized, both intentionally and unintentionally by the times specially in the 50’s and 60’s. Women artists ALWAYS faced challenges due to gender biases in the mainstream fine art world, mainly do to higher male artist population, is a true fact that female artist encountered difficulties trading their work, and gaining recognition in such world.

Puerto Rico is no exception, but one thing that Puerto Rico has never lacked in the art world is Raw Talent… Olga Abizu, Myrna Baez and Noemi Ruiz are without doubt the 3 most important female artist that Puerto Rico has given rise in contemporary times. They have three very different style Albizu dominated the Abstract Expressionist movement while Noemi Ruiz mastered the abstraction and Myrna Baez the complex world of light. If you ask me who’s work is more talented I would only say that beauty and talent is in the eye of the beholder, so it should come as no surprise that art lovers constantly will debate which painters have the greatest talent among them so you be the judge.

Myrna Baez

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Extremely talented woman even Marta Traba once wrote, that Myrna Baez is the most qualified person that she knew in the visual arts in Puerto Rico and thats a lot to say coming from one of the most notorious art critics in latin america. Myrna Báez work is coated with an intention of affirmation in the Puerto Rican Landscape employing and abstract yet subtle point of view while maintaining that Criollo flavor to the paintings as she tends to apply a color definition which blurs the way to allow more focus on the light, her work has always had a mayor landmark which is an intense preoccupation with light through the representation of various ambiguous levels in her paintings… EVERYTHING is Light in her work.

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“El árbol amarillo” (1995)

Myrna Baez also is consider one of the top printmakers of Puerto Rico studied with Lorenzo Omar at his workshop in San Juan and in the Pratt Institute in New York, which in 1970 she would win an award for her Printwork from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) In New York. Baez work can be seen in most museum collection in Puerto Rico and this Year “La Compañia de Turismo de Puerto Rico” is dedicating la Campechada in Honor of her work, is needless to say that Myrna Baez has done it all from studies in different foreign country, to one of the best Master Printer of her time, to even resident artist from the USC which earn her a Doctor Honoris Causa in the year 2000.

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“Recuerdos” (2003).
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“Contemplación” (2004).

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Noemi Ruiz 

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Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imaginary in art and Noemi Ruiz say “My language is abstract” so is easy to categorize her as a modern abstract painter. The gamma arrays of color are ALWAYS part of her painting,which necessarily demands or calls attention to the central geometrical composition and two-dimensionality of all of her paintings. The paintings below are perfect example of her work which are strictly characterized by primary bright colors, in the integration of white and black grid lines clearly defined her radical approach to a more modern touch which provides a sharp contrasts of form and color, creating compositions that do not have to be tied to a realistic picture

In 1974 she won First Prize in Painting at the Ateneo Puertorriqueño Competition, she also studied lithography at the University of California, Berkley and a Doctors Degree at the Universidad Central de Madrid.  Noemi Ruiz in my opinion is one of the top female artist from Puerto Rico since she is one of the few artist including Olga Albizu that has a sense of dimension and space which is communicated through the vertical or horizontal alignment of the composition and through color as light, rather than through complex details.

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Noemi Ruiz “Mi isla verde” 1995 Acrylic on Canvas  48″ x 48″

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Olga Albizu

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The BEST female abstract expressionist painter that Puerto Rico has given to date her work is extremely simple but complex at the same time. Her composition where arrangement of carefully balanced squares, rectangles and anonymous object shapes with a medley of small, packed juxtaposed color pattern. Her painting can be seen in top american museum like the  Smithsonian American Art Museum, Private collections like J.P Morgan Chase Collection any many more.

To this date she holds the title for the highest price paid to date for a Female Puerto Rican painting which sold at Christie’s New York in 2014 for $58,000.00.

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“Equilibrium” 50 x 32 Oil on Canvas
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“Untitled” 30 x 25 Pastel on paper

By Joey Medrano

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FOR SALE-Puedo Retornar al Crepusculo Y la Noche

Puedo Retornar al Crepusculo y la Noche is one of those painting like no other, is definitely a visual poem where the arrays of colors blend so perfectly forming a perfect harmony, which in this case is hard to describe in simple words. To me this work is a very Important painting that was finished and sold by Francisco Rodon at the beginning of 2005. The painting is a Masterpiece with an excessive of 115 color applied to the heavy paper, the work was last seen at Christie New York which sold for more than $ 300,000.00 around 9 years ago. This month was again offer by the oficial facebook page of Francisco Rodon with rumors of a hefty price tag of around $275,000.00. This piece in any collection will be surely become a pride possession and worthy of any Museum.

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Oil on heavy paper laid down on canvas 44 1/4″ by 31         Original Painting

If you are the the type of person that loves good art but cant afford such a piece like the original there are other alternative available. Rodon produce a 50 example linen serigraph version that are identical to the original painting and prices in the open market ranges from $6,000 to $8,000. The advantage of this serigraph is that is a little bigger than the original painting of 2005 and make such a powerful statement in any collection like the original would.

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Linen Serigraph Version of Puedo Retornar al Crepusculo y la Noche 34 3/4 x 49” 2010
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Paper Serigraph Version of Puedo Retornar al Crepusculo y la Noche 34 3/4” x 49” 2010

The Arquitect Painter Called Enoc Perez

Many in Puerto Rico may have never heard the name Enoc Perez and rarely know that his works command a huge premium at the art market. Inspired by the late Andy Warhol and his screen prints on the New York art scene, Perez developed his own innovative method that mimicked the process of color printing which in some cases can fetch a jaw doping $360,000 for a Print/Painting like the example that sold at Christie New York in 2005 title Normandie.

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“Normandie” 80 x 74 in. Painted in 2005.

Enoc enjoys the creation of  sensuous nudes, still lifes, tropical resorts, and modern architectural icons in a sleek aesthetic with dazzling, vibrant colors but his best known for his paintings of modernist buildings that nostalgically capture the imagination that inspired their construction. His technique is a simple one, most of his examples were made via a meticulous process of transferring oil drawings to the media, sometimes dozens of layers of this drawing, by hand then using a brush he gave his work a more personalize, abstract feel, with thick drips and daubs adding texture making this his trademark technique.

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Normandie 12″ x 16″ Oil Print Screen Paper Edition of 5

Perez also paints retro-ish, slightly tone nudes colors that in some cases get more extreme, tending toward dark, tones buffering the photographic paper transfers that in some cases giving the work a much deeper, more substantial feeling while finally finishing with a figurative and near-abstraction composition. The architect’s trademark buildings, tends to become an abstractions under a vigorously brushed sky in a rich, electric shade of a subtle violet midnight blue. making this another technique employed by the artist.

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“Nude” oil on canvas 2012

Enoc Perez said once in an interview “One of the interesting things about his method is that when he layered enough, it produces a sense of decay, like real life. In a way, it contradicts the sense of optimism that the buildings embody” making this statement true in most of his pieces.

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“Fontainebleau” screen print on mirrored paper 22.5″ x 29.75″ Edition of 50

Collectors collect for many reasons. Not every collector buys a paintings because they love them, some buy them in order to make money over time. It depends on the reasons for collecting artworks, in particular modern art. However there are also many collectors who love collecting modern artist like Enoc Perez which have proven to be a serious and creative artist and a safe investmente over the last 10 years. If your reason for collecting is monetary or purely decorative in this case both can coexist perfectly thanks to his ingenious modern technique.

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Don Q  Oil on Canvas 80 x 72 in.  2004

The intelligent color of Moises Castillo

Diversity is a key factor which any artist should always have, it plays a crucial and important part for the success of any artist in today standards and is without doubt a strong quality of Moises Castillo work from realist landscapes, to abstract composition and even as a portrait painter making this his top quality as a painter.

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“Esperando una Contestación” 48×36 Acrylic on Canvas

In modern art market abstract composition are the most popular theme that an artist can produce and sell which make Moises work spectacular. Subtle brushstroke with heavy texture are his trademark signature for his abstract composition as seen in the paintings below. The perfectly chosen colors blend in such a way where the color is the primary vehicle towards an emotional reaction evoked in the viewer, striped of any aesthetic or decorative emotion.

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Castillos recent works are decidedly figurative, a far cry from the vast, abstract works he’s notorious of producing. His settings come together as an eclectic mix of seemingly unrelated subject matter, becoming blurry figurative abstractions that in my opinion are his best work as a more modern painter. The of dark tone with pink contrast background like the work seen here is a painting with a very subtle yet intelligent integration of colouration.

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“Abstracto Rosa” Acrylic on Paper

Moises Castillo early works were fixed on portraying things with photographic precision, though with a distinctive attention to detailed surface patterns as often using large masses of solid color and painted with a broad brushstroke. Definitely a more complex technique that Puerto Rico artist are notorious of mastering the “Costumbrismo”. This work has always been very well executed by Castillo but in my humble opinion his later works are the one that command higher price and collectors tend to acquire more thanks to the beautiful arrays of colors and composition brought by the artist.

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“Untitled” Acrylic on Canvas

In my opinion Moises Castillos is a very complete artist his works share an emotional intensity, an undercurrent of raw feeling dictated by the use of bold colors, a structure and consistency that leaves the spectator wanting more. Any GREAT collector should have a Castillos work in their collection since already he’s consider a modern Puertorican master and is a SMART investment for the future with a very high probability that his work will be part of every museum collection in Puerto Rico in a near, future making his work a must for any private collection.

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Armonía Gestual 32×60 Acrylic on Canvas

By Joey Medrano