January 14, 2001

CAROLINA OTERO...HAMLET OF COLOR

By Elizabeth Schön, Venezuelan Poet, Playwright and Essayist

EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

Galeria Felix – Caracas, Venezuela

Carolina Otero has exhibited in several cities: Caracas, Maracay, Oslo, Paris, New York, with special resonance for having converted her art in a sort of “Caserío del Color” (Hamlet of Color). I give her this qualifier because, it is through the reading of her chromatic spaces, where I realize of the free development of an expansive language, dazzling, intertwined, that focuses the palette of colors with confidence, establishes an assortment of clusters, motifs of vital and energetic mobility. Furthermore, for our unsuspected affinities, I discover in her work a novel and wise creativity in the use of colors.

 

I capture the live and fecund integration of a color hue connected to another, without losing the power to be a form inside another form. In this way, I contemplate how each scrap, each stain, trace, feature, engages the fragmented paper without any of them neglecting each other. Much like water in a riverbank that reaches the deepest roots. In such a way that  it strengthens as an extensive circular image of homogenous and bustling coherent unity, sparkling reality crowded with surprises, unexpected remoteness and darkness.

The collages exhibited at Felix Gallery look like dusk. They  are inhabited by an enriching chromatism that lived inside the artist waiting to burst her creative forbearance, in such a way that  green, purple and blue could surface, and the presence of each form be born and resonate with the energy and strength of a big boulder rolling swiftly, to run aground in the destructive muddy waters. It is easy to see in a vertical collage how the black round shapes slide like a dire avalanche, crushing the bottom that starts to deform.

I remember, and I don’t know why, perhaps my early hours would know, what Martin Heidegger said: “Language is the house of being.” In this exhibition, her color becomes words for the only reason to perceive that there and silently, inhabits the invisible. There is a relentless heart beat that embraces each collage.  Present throb, alive inside the link of one fragment with another, placed in one side of the painting or just anywhere, like a verb that waits to connect with the audience.

Perhaps if  I insist in what has been said before, I say that her artistic path carries the certitude of the connection, the security that the elements are placed as a consequence of life and existence, they are stringed skillfully, to transform, to conceive a new reality, and therefore, different of all that surrounds us.

Colors in nature are the result of internal conjunction of every plant, tree.  In painting, in this case in Carolina’s painting, these respond to the experiential intensity of red, of white, of ochre, as much as the creative need of every true artist. In such a way that the formal coloring of the exhibition has a difficult pursuit: to contain what the artist reveals as the universal vision of life and existence.

In the beautiful and vibrant collage entitled “Cadencia”, the color hues become quick shapes, free, flexible. They seem like floating over the reddened surface of the wooden canvas. Looking at them gives the impression that there is a gale resolved to drag them to the side, but because these are plastic shapes, they endure, with the trifles, bends and swarms that are glued to a piece of paper, with color shades and hues that exist gracefully, because of Carolina’s plastic sense. Jointly, in the same painting, where many white bulges stand out, like bright constellations, we perceive a wavy movement whose aim is to run through the edge of the collage, but the totality of the creative image does not follow through, stays firm and secure. The moving force keeps pushing. It wants to hoard what at the end imposes the process. There is a mobile, invisible force that stays into the rigorous and skilled plastic spontaneity, describing without suspecting it, a dance of endless continuity.

Carolina works the horizontal and the vertical. She selected wood as the structural support for her creative life lesson. Acrylic paint, oil pastel and chalk, and pieces of paper are the materials that Carolina uses to create through a masterful mixed media technique, a powerful and agile, evocative frame, dramatic at times, even maternal, expressed by means of tonality, motifs, tints, whose presence does not represent the exact figure of a root, a broken tree branch, a rose. On the contrary, she exhibits without graphic explanation. It is the integration of unity, where fit a piece of newspaper showing a handrail made with small balusters, or a piece of magazine paper with an open fan signaling happiness, anguish, drama, wait. The totality has a unique presence that prevails. It carries inside everything that beats intimately in the artist, inside the waters and earth, even in the invisible spaces, limitless and in disarray. Colors like these will never be able to return to what they were before, or what they would be if they could be others. They stand there, fresh, intact: powerful signs that Carolina lays to seal her inexhaustible expression and remain forever, perhaps, like a heavenly body that will never end.

Elizabeth Schön (1)

  1. Elizabeth Schön: (Caracas, November 30, 1921- Caracas, May 15, 2007) was a renowned Venezuelan poet, playwright  and essayist. One of the most brilliant and lucid feminine poetic voices, not only of Venezuela but also of Latin America. She was awarded the Municipal Poetry award in 1971 and the National Prize of Literature in 1994. She has more than twenty poetry books published and half a dozen plays.

View works from this Exhibition: CASERIO DEL COLOR (HAMLET OF COLOR), AND PULSO, COLOR y GESTO

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