Italo Calvino uses a verse from Cavalcanti’s sonnet (“and the white snow that falls without wind”) and another one from Dante’s Inferno (“as the snow in the Alps, if there is no wind”) to talk about two completely different conceptions that describe a similar fact, where the conjunction “AND”, in the first case, brings together visions, where the images happen/occur /follow and the changes are continuous, and the adverb “AS ” , in the second, encloses the scene, in such a way that the metaphor makes reference to a specific reality. Equally, the “AND-AS” (“Y-COMO”) taken as a title for this project, refers, in the same way, on the one hand to a vision of the evanescent and light and, on the other hand, to one of the stable and defined.
Roberto Batista, October 2019
Two Different Views of Existence,
Two Different Dialogues with Nature
We human beings have an innate need to elaborate an expression of our existential situation, for the dream is about us.
El Mundo de Sofía, Jostein Gaarder
The two artists from La Palma, Roberto Batista and Medín Martín, have dedicated most of their lives to two disciplines that belong to the attractive world of the fine arts, painting and sculpturing. Through them, both artists offer us, in this exhibition, their latest creations, Des-signación and Atrapa.
We can enjoy more than just the aesthetic and artistic expressions from Roberto’s painting and Medín’s sculpture. The works of both authors respond to their attitude towards life, and to the conception of existence that each one of them possesses. An idea of the different existence, that seems more positive and contagious in Medín; and more silent and reflexive in Roberto. We, the diverse audience, will have the option of identifying ourselves with a more passionate conception, that of the sculptor’s; or with a more existential one, that of the painter’s. Some of us, moreover, will be able to capture, reflected in both works, different moments of our personal experience, instances or stages that have been conjugating through all our life.
Medín conceives his pieces of work as an existence formed of realities that, during the process of creation, suffer a beautiful metamorphosis till they give origin to new forms of life that signify modern and innovative advances, great and profound progress. Roberto’s painting seeks to communicate the idea that a dignified and humane existence is only possible from resistance. Following Gilles Deleuze’s ideas, the painter says: “We have to resist the present, a flattened present, transparent and positive and do it from seclusion, reflection and the raising of awareness, from the depth of the marginal.”
To materialize this way of interpreting the world and taking a stand, both artists blend in a tender embrace with nature. Medín dialogues with the wood while he sculpts different elements related to the organic world. They are different realities that become metaphors of our plural society; realities that link to science and technology, and that walk towards a sustainable and intelligent life.
Roberto dresses his canvas with three natural elements—Water, Aire and Earth— that along side with fire constitute the archetypal energies that influence our conscience and way of understanding the world, in our capacity to survive, for they constitute the synthesis of all the physical and psychic manifestations of each being. Water, Aire and Earth are the protagonists of these paintings where the painter presents a unique abstract and universal place that becomes the anchor of this series that is included in a major project, continuous that is titled Re-sistencia.
For Medín, the universe and nature respond to an order and they are similar to a chain where the links correspond to the causes and the effects that originate the different realities. He considers that there exists a natural and rational order of things, and he defends, as Seneca did, that “The total harmony of world is composed of a natural agglomeration of discordances.” Roberto’s idea about nature is far from Medín’s stoic conception. Our painter believes that disorder, chaos and randomness reign the natural world. As Italo Calvino, he thinks that the universe is a whole that “precipitates hopelessly into a whirlwind of entropy.”
Roberto’s work, elegant and poetic, talks to us about a reflexive man that appreciates calmness and evades chaos; about a person that prefers silence and solitude to high emotions; about an artist who transmits the whole spectrum of human emotions. Medín’s pieces of work, vigorous and artistic, allow us to acquaint a man who gets positively or negatively emotional with things from his everyday life; a person in his search of happiness, who knows which steps he should follow to endeavor his desires; an artist who looks for the stimulation and rejects routine.
Medín creates a universe of shapes and volumes with motion that trap all the knowledge and information, the vital experience and dreams that accumulate over time in the natural world and in the history of the human being, and that bring about a modern and advanced society.
Roberto imagines, with lines and streaks, glazes and colours, an anonymous and timeless place that flees from the cry, the noise, from all the disruptive elements that always entail an attack against nature. He pursues a contact, a direct talk with it, a relation that excludes the presence of human beings -in his paintings there are no human shapes-, whose acts have provoked the accelerated loss of the biodiversity, a symptom of the degradation of the planet. Two different views of existence, two different dialogues with nature: passionate colours, sensual and sublime-red, gold and silver-, opposed to the mastery of greys and neutral colour tones; diverse shapes and volumes that speak to us about a more plural and heterogenous globe opposed to uniform lines and streaks of a more restrained and homogenous cosmos. These relevant characteristics of the works of art invite us to make a double journey; one, through the complex interior world of the two artists, and another journey through our own existence.
María Eugenia Padrón San Juan