Archive for the ‘On the Nature of Visual Art’ Category

Metaphors of Silence

November 24, 2010

An artist’s Manifesto by Ricardo Morin: Viewing of his Jersey City art-studio where he engages with his paintings [2005-10]; some artworks are in progress and some are part of a recently finished hanging scroll series, entitled Metaphors of Silence.

Abstract: Triangulation Series 2006-08

December 8, 2008

Platonic Triangulation, bodycolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches, 2008

Platonic Triangulation, bodycolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches, 2008

I choose the golden ratio 1 = 1618 as a consistent format which is clearly inherent of the infinite, to breakdown a dialogue on the fluidity of the vehicle of painting and its geometry.  At the same time, I establish a triangulation of the bare plane of the canvas which reaffirms its paradoxical nature as an object: where the fictitious flatness of the plane plays in suspension with the illusory spatial depth of forms expressed on it.

Ricardo Morín

December 13, 2008

Art as a Byproduct of Neocolonialism

December 5, 2008

Digital Image created with Maya and Combustion Softwares”]Digital Image created with Maya and Combustion Softwares[/caption]

It’s like a goat tied to a post, who can wander only the length of its tether

Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1986

Anyone who aspires towards a career as a visual artist understands that the constraints for survival are questionable and that destiny often is one of the many factors that determines recognition. One’s mission is not about seeking recognition or even permanence, but about maturing and sharing one’s talent through exploration and inquiry. Congruency with one’s ancestry, identity, and oeuvre is not a matter of commercial interest for any given national identification. These elements  are irreducible aspects of signification, undefined against perspectives concerning conventional pieties–imponderable manifestations of one’s existence: neither up to meeting others’ expectations, nor up to appointed entities and their economic models used as marketing ploys.

Let me begin by addressing the frustration of visual-artists with dual nationalities, who sometimes suffer in the corral of Latin-American fundamentalism. Let me also question why their resulting frustrations are an order of business imposed by contemporary Medicis who seek to buy a parcel of history in the parochial institutionalization taking place inside these artists’ countries of origin. These merchants promote their wares by controlling, by and large, markets located abroad.

Certain philanthropic foundations—I speak especially of the Phelps-Cisneros—sell themselves to museums as influential and often Darwinian laboratories with their claims of heralding innovative programs focusing on Latin American issues and fostering its cultural heritage. The above cited institution takes its leadership from a wealthy socialite, and boasts about its founder, as an amalgamation of bourgeois society and contemporary scholarly erudition. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, anthropologist amateuse and founder–deeply attached to her own ideas–, sees herself as neoembodiment of the 19-c. bio-geographer, Alexander von Humboldt: a man whom the contemporary Simón Bolívar (the Latin-American revolutionary and freedom fighter) cited as the real discoverer of South America.

Such portrayals, however, never yield balanced visions of pluralism. Only by peeling through layers of hubristic poshness, can one expose the foundation’s wish to create a dialogue about contemporary art with an historic nucleus set in Venezuela. But this desire simply reflects an aberrant fundamentalism; a rigidity whose aims are the preservation of certain regional traditions, which coincide with the institution’s own acquisitions. Undeniably, the preponderance of these cultural investments represents past meaningful movements, i.e., Kinetic, Op, and other neo-geometric derivatives. These movements, needless to say, are complaisantly popular, relatively noncontroversial artifacts among the political élites in Venezuela–from outright dictatorships, to feeble democracies, up to the presently evolving kleptocracy of the Bolivarian State of Hugo Chavez. They define as well the reoccurring themes coming out of this base which have found worldwide exhibitions and critiques. Contemporary art within this context exemplifies, nevertheless, exclusively the demagoguery of the ruling class’ claiming a national identity as stimulating and not one of imposed, antiquated historicism. This marketing ploy impoverishes both spontaneity and the local culture itself!

Succumbing to or courting this scheme is dangerous to artists and leads to alienation. Giving in promotes stagnation arising from these very institutionalized dictates. Such fashions segregate artists into a kind of regionalism and ideology, totally out of flux with the global community. Let me reflect on the raison d’être of any artist or, for that matter, of any human being; it must consist in a universal respect for dignity and freedom that cannot be sold, only shared. Let me underline that philanthropic societies that today yearn for an enforced authority through their wealth and through an enforced false sense of nationality and/or political or religious affiliation(s) are not only out of step with the transformative spirit of our times, but also with the globalized revolution taking placed in our culture, where the despotism of conventional borders and preconceived identities are lacking. This revolution is neither political nor economical; it is occurring within our very being, and it is the result of the change within ourselves of what is really important. We are dispensing with creative communities subjugated to a poisonous market place[1]. We have a new sensitivity and perception that will embrace cultural societies and producers alike. No simple answers arise; but we are growing in responsibility and self knowledge: we move to freedom and away from subjugation.

Ricardo Morín

(Edited by Billy Bussell Thompson)

[1] The mythomania of stardom by definition examines only the few. Complacency fuels scarcity of resources while alienating 90% of active artists and assigning value to market indices, thus staggering self-sustenance.

From The Margins of Immateriality

June 1, 2008

Look for renewals departing from Life.
Let us defile institutional theory mongering,
a corrosive taxonomy at the service of petulance,
Marketing anachronistic slogans of nonsense.
Subservient to infamy,
Cohorts of Dilettantes,
Not lack delimitation as handmaiden to ignorance.

Who promotes the edge of a new fugitive survival?
Fleshing out servitude as style,
Replacing intellect with mordacious rapacity,
Parading unclothed, bareness of duplicitous souls,
With a gashing defiance of insatiable desire to own,
Clandestine culture of misbegotten?
Board of museums and CEO’s glowing and bursting forth,
Grotesquerie of gulosity, take-over of corporate predators!

Let us not jibe and succumb to chauvinism,
Emasculated by oppression
Take heed that Freedom is not for sale!

Would the web revolution lead artistic endeavors to a political revolution,
By replacing galleries, museums and the collector’s system of ownership?
Would the internal calling of an artist overcome the external demands of market survival?
Would such a calling already exist in a natural state, without the intervening forces of manipulative trends?
Would such a calling be subscribed to the exchange of exhibitionism and voyeurism for sales, acquisitions, commodities, as well as to the will of managing agents?
Would we face a new reality, one free of stardom and economic maneuvers?
Would participation and isolation not make any difference if such a calling serves no other purpose but its own needs?
Would history become both irrelevant and important at once: irrelevant as to how one may fit in and important as to how one may understand its limits?
Would knowledge not always be intertwined with some burdensome measure of superstition?
Would we repel a paradox on an arrogantly moral ground or tend unabashedly to our primordial instincts?

Artist Website

Manifesto 2008

May 7, 2008

Triangulation Series #25-- oil on linen, 60 x 37 inches, 2009

Triangulation Series #25-- oil on linen, 60 x 37 inches, 2009

My work Triangulation Series 2006-08 expands on questions dealing with perspectives synthesizing concepts of pictorial space and infinity:  something I have worked on over the years.  I have allowed painterly abstraction/plasticity to express both in form and content a kind of art that goes beyond a material world of signs; my paintings reach for the infinite—the mystery and the poetry in every man’s individual drama.  I choose the golden ratio 1 = 1618 as a consistent format for nonobjective abstraction which is clearly inherent of infinite congruency [a manifestation common to all known perspective methodologies], to breakdown a dialogue on the fluidity of the vehicle of painting and its geometry.  At the same time, I establish a triangulation of the bare plane of the canvas which reaffirms its paradoxical nature as an object: where the fictitious flatness of the plane plays in suspension with the illusory spatial depth of forms expressed on it.   Though immersed in 20th-century aesthetics, I neither strive for a specific historical movement nor for the postmodernist agenda.  Simply, I look at making art as a “fleshy” product of human experiencing, a resultant of the maker’s own passion.  Just as the idiosyncrasy of an individual, indivisible in nature, is blind to causality, an aesthetic frame embraces all its senses and the image is only the result or residue.

Non-objective, timeless, or even existential—in this sense—the image or Kunstgegenstand proposes not to explain what the meaning of experience is; rather, the image manifests itself, provoking interpretation from the observer.


There are no outside sources nor preconceived notions of the final composition.  Gesturally and intuitively, I use the plane of the canvas as an active platform (in other words, a conversation, so to speak, takes place among the paint, the canvas and me as I apply paint onto the canvas.)  In variegated densities, layer after layer—transparent or textural—the work transforms itself gradually by spectral accruement.  In continuous dialogue, I work on several pieces at the same time so all are able to inform the other.  An inner rhythm from each composition thus unfolds and guides the shifts and the construction of forms: burials, resurrections, exaltations, veilings, reattainments—all thanks to the gritty and sumptuous nature of the medium; a moodiness arises from the interlocutors with its acrid qualities of dissonance and complementary transparency. Indeed, it is color, as texture that establishes the emotional landscape of each piece.  The finished work stands on its own as a concentration of multiple layers; each of the numerous strata is essential to the completeness.  There is a sense of multidirectional movement in each of the works that acts on the viewer’s eye as he/she glances over the delineated shapes and peers through the entanglements of strokes and arabesques.  The viewer comes away, I hope, with the sense of the works’ generative completeness of a universe making and remaking itself.


As I said at the beginning, I embrace in my love of art a sense of universality; I do this not for my own self-fulfillment, but for the cosmic order and interconnectedness in our own awareness of humanity, the unifying mode from all masters.  As such, I am perennially emerging as I wander around in my space of today’s uncertain and leaderless being, where authority is seemingly derived from conflicting, and confusing powers of disbelief.  Freedom has come to us but its ethers and incongruities make us stagger.

Ricardo Morin [1]

Artist Website

December 8, 2008

[1] Edited by Billy Bussell Thompson, Professor Emeritus

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