JAMA

Geometry in MotionThere is a warm comfort in viewing the works of Cuban born artist JAMA. This sensation could be mistaken as the experiencing of something familiar. However, there is a dynamic in his paintings that brings us away from that perception, and after a while we realize that familiarity only exists in his method, and his paintings are quite unique. Why then this sensation of deja-vu mixed with the excitement of discovery? I think the answer lies in JAMA’s use of geometry in his depictions of life and nature. JAMA has taken the geometric forms so important to Artistotle’s view of the empirical universe, and infused these shapes into his own representations. JAMA sees the basic construct of life as a circle. He then fuses simple geometric figures to the circular form to create his own language of interpretation. In this fashion, he can break down the essentials of nature, life, people and the world he lives in, to an ordered geometric dialogue with the viewer. Aristotle is, as JAMA confesses, the reason he left the academic world and began to paint. In fact, it was Aristotle’s views on the order of the universe that launched JAMA on the soul-searching journey that all artists must make to get in touch with their identity and their gift of expression. After reading Aristotle, he felt that he had found the tools necessary to commence his artistic journey of self-awareness; transcribing his discoveries and emotions to the canvas in the language of geometry. With his use of primary colors, JAMA has preserved a certain natural simplicity in his work. The power of his art is not, however, simplistic. There is a complex energy and sense of motion that flow through the figures that inhabit his universe. They appear to be existing in a primitive world, floating and interacting along the lines that connect them. They are engaged in their own dialogue of circular and linear reasoning; a dialogue that reveals truth and beauty. If that sounds terribly Platonic, then that is appropriate. Plato represents another important influence on JAMA and his work; in just another example of how his academic background continues to affect his artistic expression. JAMA is comfortable with the intellectual aspects of his method of working. He sees himself embroiled in a constant, life-long pursuit of his identity; and, he fully realizes that the answer will forever elude him. In his heady search – he will never become a master. The emotions expressed in his art reflect the pain and sadness of that realization, as well as the joy of the pursuit. He will, however, utilize all of the information that he can glean from his intellectual mentors to sharpen his insights and skills along the way. Each new day represents a fresh opportunity for an idea that JAMA can bring to his work. He lives in his head, as he is wont to say. His focus is on the construction of each piece and how he will assemble the various elements into a collage of texture and color. He finds his method of expression in the process of creating, and not through the precise recreation of a preconceived image in his mind. To judge from the finished works, it must be an extremely painful process; as he wrestles each element to the canvas and captures it in his geometric net. Some of the figures appear to be startled at having been subdued as part of an emotional display, and give a sense of wanting to escape the confines of his concepts. It is this tension that provides the powerful feelings of movement and immediacy so apparent in his work. For those familiar with the work of the Australian Aboriginal artists, there will be a flicker of recognition of their technique present in JAMA’s methods. Amazingly, he has never seen their artwork, but he walks about along the path of their inspirations. He dreams and has visions; he stares for hours at the horizons, the stars and the awesome face of nature; he endlessly reflects on the futility of the human condition and the unanswerable questions of our existence – he ponders the imponderable, paints it’s enigmatic face and falls down before it to worship…and to ponder again. He invites us to accompany him on his journey and to share his revelations along the way. It is an invitation that I am happy to accept. For more information, please call: 786.497.1111

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