Myrna Baez Iconic “Selfie” Woodcut 1963

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“Autorretrato” 1963 Oil Woodcut by Myrna Baez

The painter Myrna Baez is one of the few female artist that clearly had a major impact in our art. It is clear that the art scene in Puerto Rico was dominated by male artist through out the 50’s, 60’s and even the 70’s and very few female painter where even consider accomplished artist due to this effect, BUT not in the case of Myrna Baez she was a very diverse artist dominating different technique like drawing, woodcut engraving and acrylic/oil painting.

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Myrna Baez in 1963 made a very special wood linoleum titled “Autorretrato” it was a simple yet powerful image of  young Myrna Baez at 32 years of age, observing the viewer with a steady gaze. The composition showed a sharp yet elegant look in her eyes which expressed a centralized woman ready to surpass all obstacles in her way specially for the 60’s.campechada_myrna_baez.jpg

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The work was such and important piece in her career that in 2014 the “Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico” used the image for the Campechada in her honor and even Lorenzo Homar one of the top engraver of that time used her woodcut for a Promotional Event. 

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These Self-Portrait to me is a very powerful statement that Myrna Baez sent to those male artist in that particular time in history. It said “I’m here to stay, weather you like it or not im as good of an artist as the rest of you”.  There is no doubt that the engraving titled self-portrait is one of the best works by Myrna Baez. To this date I have not been able to find a single Self-Portrait that has this simplicity but at the same time emit so much passion in a single glance. Many great master have practiced the “Autorretrato” task but very few have been able to achieved the fame that this work has received on the last 40 years.

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Luis Hernández Cruz, Antonio Martorell, Myrna Báez y Lorenzo Homar   *Biblioteca Digital UPR*

 

By Joey Medrano

 

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*Picture was obtain from the Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico Web Page

 

 

 

 

The Creational Process of Rafael Trelles

 

Rafael Trelles is the kind of artist which clearly thinks outside the box when creating.  His work is complex, chaotic, organized, spontaneous and extremely slow on creation. An oil painting can have a composition of more than 11 layer of paint, with each layer bringing to life a new segment into the composition.
On the following picture we can clearly observe how tedious is the process for the creation of this oil painting which naturally took more than 10 weeks to be consider finished.

At the beginning dabs of oil are apply with a plain old shirt in a randomly order. Then after the canvas has been cover on oil, Trelles analyze where the composition can be started, looking for patterns of faces, trees, birds as part of the foundation in the painting.

Slowly and patiently those random dabs of paint start to bring life into the composition. In other words, the painting stops being a chaotic mess of oil and starts transforming into a organized statement.
Fast forward 4 weeks ahead and you start to see the  birth of color. As gammas of green light start to illuminate the superior aspect of the painting and clearly the monochromatic theme is changing from a stepladder aspect into a syllabus of organic materials composition.

Keeping at a 2x speed fast forward and a  8 week advance into the future we continue experimenting organization plus a secondary degree of complexity being applied to this work of art keeping in mind that everything started as random monochromatic dabs of orange oil painting.

Clearly the spectator after understanding the last couple picture can conclude that the composition has been a positive linear vector to a figurative association into the surreal atmosphere of the work with every brushstroke bringing even more elements to life.

If you look closely at the green vegetation, and the tree trunk, characters begin to reveal themselves, taking the spectator into a surrealistic mystical journey which can take many pages to describe, but I prefer one simple word: Wow!

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From a Private Collection Krim-Garcia

Fenix II 2015 Oil Over Wood Panel

By Joey Medrano