“Romance” A One Man Exhibition Essay by Orlando Agudelo-Botero
In the studio, 2am… the complex world outside, in peril. The world inside, warm, safe, progressive, promising, beautiful, above all, motivating; it offers me the opportunity to retrospect, to think of the now, to explore beyond that which I have known as reality, to discover and to create new works of art in which the concept of love as the most significant force and power in human life is at the very center as a balance to the current estate of the world. I feel that it is my responsibility and hopefully my contribution to others.
Commitment and optimism are guardians and protectors of the innate love always present at the core of who I am since birth...and also of my inner need to understand the emotions present, which during and through this process are translated into uplifting ideas revealed to me at past 2am while being aware of the fact that in my creative space the concept of time ceases to exist. Day and night become one and in the glory of creativity, curios and humble I stand.
At that instant my presence of mind, clarity and awareness allows, "Romance” as a lens which provides me with a unique vision of “Life” and of our world, a kaleidoscope if I may. I was born and raised in Colombia and Romance becomes second nature to me. As if by magic, the concept of Romance runs deeply through me, it filters into the studio and caresses the canvases one by one… It is then when I am no longer intimidated by the raw white canvases in front and all around me, the unknown becomes possibilities, I listen to my spirit and a new body of works begins. The genesis is here and with much eagerness, thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm about the very familiar “unknown”, I give myself to the exploration process which leads to the discoveries, evolution and the establishing of the new… I am the first to witness this phenomenon, I am the first to be surprised by its revelations and I am the grateful one in my private space I call "my temple", the studio. Whether the studio is large or not, whether it is luxurious or not, whether I find myself under a bridge in the cold of winter, it makes no difference to the creative process and its outcome… If I am at peace with myself the environment in which the creative process finds me need nothing else but the truth within.
I never wanted nor tried to be an artist; creativity was engendered in me at the time of conception of my being and at the age of 3 it began to manifest itself in drawings, imaginary human forms scribbles and faces, all done on the walls of my parents home. Even when I did not want to engaged myself in a lengthy and agonizing creative process my artistic nature won and I reluctantly responded to later understand the reason for which I had been called to duty. My art revealed to me my purpose in life; to express myself through colors, lines and formes and to bring light and a sense of joy to others.
As an innate artist, I do not understand everything about my art works, I am not an engineer nor do I posses the ability to plan in advance the details of the painting that is unfolding in front of my own eyes… I do not want to know how a painting begins nor how it is supposed to end. That would rob me of the unique pain and at times frustration saved for and assigned to me during the conception and the delivery of the new born painting; the conception, gestation period and natural delivery accompanies each individual metamorphosis of my art.
And so, I enter the space with faith, self assurance, abundant curiosity and love for what has been trusted in me and for what is about to be revealed to me first and then for others to see and to experience…
The body of works titled “ROMANCE" was exactly that, a soothing surprise which revealed to me concepts, colors, lines and forms; some familiar, some totally unknown to me… My quest was to present a balance to the world at a time when conflict among humans of all walks of life was and is unjustly and unnecessarily taking place. Why not give us a pause from the sad news of each passing day? Why not convey to people a message of the goodness and beauty in us and why not create paintings which potentially, if for a moment, could accomplish instances of inner peace for us?
In hoping so, in giving myself to the very natural creative process in me, I also protect myself from outside forces which do not belong in my life or better yet, in our lives.
Colors become my vocabulary and the romantic sounds of the masters of classical music whom, since my childhood and the following decades have been my ever present and faithful companions once again are with me to become witnesses to the first few lines on a canvas and the initial outburst of energy as the genesis of the new body of works makes its presence as well as at the conclusion and signing of the paintings and the gratifying feeling of peace. The painting must be a mirror to my inner being, otherwise it stays in the studio with me for whatever time it is necessary, perhaps days, months or even years… until it finally reflects and projects my quest, my sear, my truth.
The studio fills with a unique light and energy and then, the first signs of evolution of these works in which the concept of romance is felt and seen in every aspect of the paintings is now a tantalizing vision of hope aiming at preserving beauty as our main source of nourishment… I then feel at home and unequivocally give myself to the creative light which encourages in me the freedom to allow the creative process to unfold naturally without any human judgement on my behalf, but rather allowing and encouraging my spiritual presence to come forth and on to the canvases. I become an instrument of a universal system of which I am an extension and the rest is a simple, pure, uncomplicated and wonderful quality of Life at its best! The ups, the downs, the moments of self doubt, the moments of euforia, all of it!! all of them individually and collectively; I recognize and appreciate each of them and the function and contribution to my process and eventually to my art works. The metamorphosis continues then and once all the emotions and the technical elements find a way to coexist, I humbly present to my collectors my art; my concepts and my seeds in hope to provide each person looking at my art work a moment of grace in his or her daily life ... in a broader spectrum, my hope for a more peaceful and beautiful world for us all.
| Posted on January 21 2023