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Juan Camilo Arango - The Artist

In spite of his complete awareness of the developments of contemporary art, or precisely because of it, Juan Camilo Arango - who has produced installations and sculptures and has deliberately transgressed the expositive or museal orthodoxy - prefers to remain within the parameters of painting. However, his proposal continues to be the original plastic expression of arguments, sentiments and unedited appreciations, simultaneously generating a system of work that allows him to investigate painting in its materiality and its capacity to become a vehicle to self-referential analysis.

His work is the result of a deep knowledge and a careful analysis of the history of art and in particular the pictorial medium, but his intention is to go beyond what has been achieved and proposed up to now artistically, with the goal of generating new realities outside the rules that were expounded by styles and pictorial schools. It is worth remembering that the death of painting has been proclaimed cyclically since the appearance of photography in the mid 19 th century, but has invariably been revived with new practices and objectives and as a context for the expression of ideas and unknown appreciations.

At first glance his work could be compared with Abstract Expression; but the artist is conscious not only of this movement's contributions to the history of painting, but also that its most conspicuous figure, Jackson Pollock, moved within certain pre-established parameters that led him to gush oil from four sides of the canvas located on the floor in a central direction, and which exercised an evident control of this 'drizzling' in relation to the size of the canvases.

Thus Arango separates himself from all these guidelines to establish new rules for his expression, such as the standard dimension of frames and the control of the time spent in execution of the works. His work also manifests a clear rejection of the traditional way of constructing and producing paintings, since it is sustained in the use of industrial materials - synthetic colors, lacquers and resins - that the artist acquires in hardware stores, which also implies new temporal and spatial conditions in their production, besides a total transparency relative to what he intends to transmit.

For this artist, what is most important is the moment of realization of the works, the expression of everything that comes together in his reasoning and intuition while he carries out the works, without posterior re-touches or adjustments, so that a certain relationship between its production and surrealist automatism can be established. But paradoxically, at the same time that this unyielding spirit is liberally shown off in his gestures, it is the product of an investigation on the behavior of painting in its essence and constitutes conceptually structured analytical pronouncements, made evident in the titles granted to each one of the pieces.

Texts by: Eduardo Serrano
Art historian, curator and art critic

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