City of Foreigners

therivervalley santiagoestellanobajaIn this exhibition Santiago evokes the trees of “El Prado”, a typical neighborhood in Montevideo where he spent his childhood. This is the artist’s world. Through time, the weave formed by the trees in his memory appears as symbols or strokes that remind us of and refer us to the calligraphy or paintings of the Far East.

His pictures, collages, paintings, and sculptures speak of a deep bond with nature and a longing for his native El Prado, his loved ones, the different situations that took him to live in different cities are at the root of his unattachment to a specific location. A contemporary Tachist, Estellano makes his “intertwined branches” into a symbol of it. “They are bonds, connections and elements in which we are all included. We are branches. We cross each other, come together, grow, we are strong and weak at the same time”.

He points out, “I work based on photographs of branches, where I transform the structure of the branches into a symbol that is repeated throughout my work. I start working with photography using different techniques such as ink transfer, engraving, drawing, acrylic and oil painting. There are many differences between these techniques. You have to study and assess what each work needs”.

They showcase an utter freedom of scheme construction, when color is not frequently used; paintings are almost achromatic and remind us of the informal style and lyric abstraction of previous painters.

Lines are characterized by color touches rather than by drawing. This undoubtedly expresses the artist’s emotional state, doing away with the subject of the work. It seems that the artist intends to express the emotion felt by light passing between the branches of the trees as if it were a unique and once-in-a-lifetime event that has to be attested. He fully achieves this through simple and refined pieces what promote a state of emotional stillness.

It is worth mentioning the color intervention on printed maps that relate the artist to graphics, his artistic stepping stone, and which create a mysterious atmosphere, especially because the printed maps date back to 1929.

In short, these are contemporary abstractions where the artist uses ink, acrylic and oil on different supports: fabric, paper, printed maps, and photographs. We can define this work as work of experimentation and improvement, and we believe that our participation in it is very useful.

“It’s my search for longing, it’s pretending to be kids once again…”

“Art must nourish the spirit! And it’s up to us to achieve it”.

 

Fragments by: Maria Julia Aparicio and Julio Portela. // 2011

01 redstudy1, fotografia digital 30x45cm, 2013

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