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

Deciphering The Balossi

In the plastic of Puerto Rico if we talk of horses, some artists will always comes to mind, say Epifanio Irizarry, Andy Bueso, Wichie Torres and even more Augusto Marin.

 But none of them made the horse symbol so iconic as did John Balossi.

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The simplicity of the line through the composition of the horse always tended  to catch movement or posture of the creature in several ways suggesting elegance, a quality that Balossi perfected early in his career.

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The painting titled “Speed” was an impressive 58 x 48 inches painting on canvas finished on the year 2000. The work itself is a complex work, full of interpretations. In the eyes of someone it could be seen as a sexual painting purely based on their anatomical position, To other it can represent harmony between rider and beast, but in the end what is really been suggested is a strong bond between animal and rider, something similar to a strong united couple ready to withstand anything on there pass. So in other words to some is just a pretty red horse to other it will involve the internalization in the emotion it possesses and evokes as the feeling that was projected by the autor at that precise moment of its creation. A famous statement by Mark Rothko said: ‘If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point.’… This statement couldn’t be more correct regarding the relationship to this painting.

Needless to say the work had extremely well-chosen colors that complemented each other. The red tones between horse and rider clearly marks the central point of composition as the key point of focus. The head of the rider is blended in a horizontal pattern that suggest the motion of the female by the “speedy” gallop of the horse, needless to say the end part was an illusional effect. The work was done at a fast speed. The multicolor background  with blue,green, mustard pale yellow overlaid with the center red horse, amplifies and doubles the intensity of the  composition in this case which is the woman rider on her horse.

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Balossi work without doubt has the potential to be in any serious museum. His painting and technique where complex and well elaborated. If any Reader has the opportunity to purchase an original acrylic painting by Balossi. I can reassure that you will instantly fall in love with his work and surely will be a safe and intelligent purchase in the near future.

Orlando Vallejo “Urbanidad”

Urbanidad is a 20 x 16 inches oil on canvas executed on december, 2015. The subject matter of this painting is over an abstract composition of houses with a simple yet beautiful landscape as a subject matter. There is no specific arrangement to the composition of this work of art. I tend to believe he just painted as his imagination saw the composition inside his mind. Another thing I love is the way there is nothing natural about the way Vallejo used some bold bright colors into this painting while applying thick but very precise repetition of his brush strokes to give some order of chaos into this composition.

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This painting has a nuclear blast of texture, something rarely used by Vallejo’s. Also keep in mind that the paint selected for this work was oil which at the end helps give the painting a more thick texture overall and becomes more visually stimulating when finished. Is clearly seen that the paint in this work was applied in a couple of layers starting out thin and getting more thick ending with more vibrant colors as an end result.

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To me Vallejo will always be notorious for his bold, dramatic brush strokes which expressed emotion and adds a feeling of movement to all of his works, any collector can instantly recognize one of his painting because of this unique style. Urbanidad has a very diverse selection of colors with some areas of the painting somber and dark color prevail, while other are blazed with color adding a perfect balance between darkness and light.

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By Joey Medrano

Note: The painting titled “Urbanidad” is from a private collection from Gurabo PR.  All photo where taken with permision from the owners

Investing in Puerto Rico’s Top Artists

What is an investment? An Investment is define as time, energy, or matter spent in the hope of future benefits actualized within a specified date or time frame. In the art world, making such practice is a risk that most collector tend to make when investing on any artist with the endpoint of getting a good work that is visually pleasant and safe in its economic aspect.

Below is a list of artists who have proven to be good investments on various prestigious international auction houses with solid evidence of high hammered prices on the past,  proving that in fact their works have appreciated over time.

ANGEL BOTELLO- ENOC PEREZ- ANGEL OTERO- ARNALDO ROCHE- FRANCISCO RODON.

We must understand that there are plenty of really good artist on Puerto Rico for example Luis Hernandez Cruz, Orlando Vallejo, Wichie Torres but most of them have never left there safe zone in Puerto Rico which  translate to no public record of what someone is willing to pay for there work in an international market. A  international market is the  key for any artist  to achieve high prices at auction and there current ranking.

Angel Otero is a young contemporary artist that has reach prices of $57,000 multiple times for a single painting at auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s with only 35 years of age. The Istambul Museum was rumor to have paid a whooping $150,000 dollars in 2015 for one of his painting.

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Angel Botello was an artist that died in 1986  but to this date his works have proven to have great investment potential and even have increase in popularity over the pass of time specially at the top auction houses reaching prices of $397,000 dollars.

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Francisco Rodon named Puerto Rico‘s most important 20th century painter at the Expo 92 World’s Fair in Seville, Spain, joining the 18th century’s José Campeche and the 19th century’s Francisco Oller have reached $302,000 dollars at Sotheby’s Auction House for one of his masterpiece painting named Puedo Retornar al Crepusculo y la Noche.

 

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Arnaldo Roche Rabell  in fact did developed a unique style, which for most artist developing a style may be there hardest task of all. His style was based on the application of layers of bright colors, which he covers with black and then rubs with a pallete knife to create dramatic and revealing images. Prices paid have reach almost $200,000 dollars at auction.

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Arnaldo Roche Rabell O yo O ellos 12 by 16 Oil/Paper 2001

 

And finally Puerto Rico most expensive artist… Enoc Perez with  painting reaching almost $400,000 dollars and 1 of the 100 most important artist from latin america is truely a good investment. A painter and printmaker, Perez embraces the ability to convey pleasure and beauty on the viewer. Although he works with a variety of subjects, including portraits, still lifes, and cityscapes, he is best known for capturing the utopian ideals embodied in the construction of architectural monuments.

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by Joey Medrano