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Luis Luna Matiz - The Artist

Luis Luna is an artist whom in the alchemy of his works uses uncommon means to express himself. He draws on copper. Paints on glass. He uses calligraphy that is projected by shades. These are just a few of a variety of creative processes used by Luis Luna as the means to expand his poetic territories. His works depict conquered spaces, subdued materials, landscapes which outline his trips in a geography that is internal as well as external.

The artist’s paintings, like cartography, are the result of his concern about wandering in his travels. Projections of his own roaming and trips are always present in his works. A variety of landscapes have been the theme of his paintings. The series on “The Silk Route” was born in the nineties while he was assimilating all the paths and routes he had followed travelling in Uzbekistan. Another series was the one he developed in the year 2000 where he was trying to absorb the landscape of the Amazon jungle within the context of the “The Rubber Route”. Luis Luna's paintings are the result of a voyage within trips. His continuous practice of wandering and roaming has resulted in an aesthetic proposal.

A universe of calligraphy also exudes in his works. It is conformed by signs and symbols that originate in crossroads between the past and the present. Color territories appear in his works of lights and shadows, whose geography includes disowned graphisms and a narrative that is projected on the wall as a shadow. He uses glass to search for the light and the transparency of color.

Luis Luna addresses the ancestral vacuum left by an extreme change of course generated by the Spanish Conquest in America. He quotes fragments of the Spanish Chronicles of the 17th century, as well as the song book of the Cathedral in his paintings. The artist retakes the graphisms of that period and includes them as ornaments, developing a hermetic code in his work. He uses words and detaches them from their context. He uses different forms of expression and leaves behind rusted metals in bronze that pick up time as it passes by and on which he draws the human condition. Oil paintings that contain a variety of elements. Landscapes that roam over different geographies with his unique manner of using color; reds, blues, ochre and black stains that are definite as well as rippled, provide gravity to the pictorial surface. Fabrics are sewed into the paintings, symbolically healing the wounds of history.

He uses industrial enamel for calligraphy to pick up traces from the past in the present. He takes art history and recreates his own version of, for example, the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer. In other cases he uses the imprints that Goya’s “Caprichos” (whims) left in his mind. His works are light as well as dense, formal as well as informal, graphic as well as pictorial, but Luis Luna provides us with a personal testimony of the reason for being. His paintings portray a code of his own statements about art, life, philosophy and history.

Text by: Ana Maria Escallon, Art Critic

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