José Horacio MARTÍNEZ




1st Floor Gallery
November 5 – 28, 2015

As charts for a journey on the verge of setting sail, one that promises to lead us to inhospitable domains, the paintings of José Horacio Martinez engage us in his spatiality so quickly that it is difficult to stop looking at and inhabiting them after we have faced them. A glance is enough to enter. But not to leave.

Continents, islands, oceans, mountains, deserts, forests, hills, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons, plateaus, snowy mountain ranges, beaches, coasts and isthmuses appear and disappear so quickly that it is not clear that they are there. One blink and the story becomes out of focus. It is hard to pay attention and follow the route, if there ever was any.
Among these shapes there are roads, paths, hiking trails and journeys that guide the gaze that becomes elusive. It is useless to look for a stop along the way: once we have entered, these maps begin to dwell within us, to take possession of our senses and lead us to think differently, with a logic that tries to decipher the great mystery that lies there. After a while, you end up understanding it is another time, another space, and it is comforting to know.

These paintings do not cease to be built, seem not to have a final layer of sealant to allow them to stop moving, that is their secret. Likewise, references emerge and are caught by the eye, constantly recreating the relationship between logos and mythos. Continuous apparitions speak from their symbolic integrity and no longer randomly relate to the geography they live on and with the other accidents or figures that emerge from below, behind or above. Similarly, the surface is smooth, organic and recreates a fractal system that remains unclear regarding the coordinates used in its design. In short, it is a journey on a Mobius strip that draws you in with the power of color, the plot of possible drawing and the wisdom of a new, different and necessary painting.

Pure and random spots, effective graphic intervention, printed stamps and a juxtaposition of color among inks and colors challenge painting from its canonical postulates to reach forms and concepts through the same united front: the sublime and timeless manifestation implicit in the notion of travel.

In this exhibition, each canvas is a world, the summation of a universe. With just a little skill and imagination, you can enter one and exit another; and so, jump between them with the certainty that something came inside with us. You can hardly be the same after running through and traveling through this cosmos.

Oscar Roldán-Alzate
Director Extensión Cultural Universidad de Antioquia