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ArtBo2019: Juan Walker. Landscapes of trips to ... SOUL

ArtBo2019: Juan Walker. Landscapes of trips to ... SOUL

The artist at the fair

Man, in time has used to create the most unimaginable materials. With the passing of time and centuries, the vast human mind recognizes that everything serves to make art, you just have to pass it through the sieve of talent and the infinite inspiration of the artist. That being that can engender wonders with his hands and creativity. Therefore, every encounter with Art, in these meetings, becomes a magical space, that those of us who have the opportunity to be in their “birth” and preparation, reach moments of amazement, due to the originality of the proposals, the effort and the love, with which artists and specialists lift them, many of them in their place, although the vast majority is already finished. No matter why they cross time - transformed into work, love, dedication that makes them important, unique ... - In addition to the material or object.

Juan Walker (Colombia) “sowed” in the space of the Aurora ArtBo 2019 gallery a photographic ensemble that has given much to talk about at this Fair. The young artist is well known for the originality of his proposals. Years ago, I was doing an original job with the posters I found in the city, loaded with Bogota's DNA, because they were exposed to the weather for long periods. With his hands he pulled them from the walls, and he gathered them to do with them works of great volume, which looked like pieces of wall with the burden of history and time. Other times he put together collages that became abstract pieces of great aesthetic value. Now, transformed into a photographer, he gives to the visitors of the Fair an original set of images that catch everyone. They are part of the Expandable Peripheries project that was born in 2017.

Known in Cuba for having participated in the 12th. Biennial of Havana, in the project of the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro - where in addition to exposing and giving the School one of his previous pieces with the posters, he offered an interesting talk of his artistic work-, Juan Walker spoke with Arte por Excelencias about this series that arose from a master's degree that he made in the Laboratory of Creation of Plastic Arts two years ago.

Following talks and readings related to expeditions and trips, adding love for the creator's cinema - who has even been in courses at the International Film School of San Antonio de los Baños, in Cuba -, in making visual records from the environment "I planned to go to places, territories where the climate is adverse for the human body: heat, cold, wind, water ... That way," he said, "I could establish a relationship between the elements of Nature: water, fire, earth, air, with my body. “And I went to explore them in my country, which, fortunately, has all the climates. The work became more spiritual / existential”.

He toured the Guajira (sand, desert, heat), Cocuy (snow), Chingaza (water) and Neusa (wind, land). Camera at the ready, the trip was transformed into a sort of existential search “to find or lose myself”. And as one walks, he said, the territory changes. I made very interesting records of the land, the water… and, above all, of “how I felt like a human being in those spaces that transformed me too”.

Already in Bogotá he had time to reflect on all that, on the borders, the traces that one leaves when walking, and the body that is the instrument to write in memory, the archive of experiences ... Look inside, weave the feelings with the images, thinking took a long time. “It was a personal experience, but at the same time I felt it universal. Because human beings do not sensitize with the weather: the heat, the cold, the loneliness that I often experienced in those places, in those intricate landscapes, and above all I analyzed how small we are before the great landscape of Nature.

Images of other unreal worlds?

On the walls of the unique Aurora gallery - directed by Dr. Andrea Walker, the founding director of ArtBo - which is a ray with its own light in this Fair because of the quality and humanity of the proposals brought to her stand, where other names of creators of the size of John Nomesqui, Natalia Mendieta, Daniela Mejia and Kindi Llajtu, lie the photographs resulting from that human / artistic adventure that led the young creator Juan Walker to wander through adverse and different areas of his beautiful nation.

Before his works we were trapped. The sight finds, when touching with the eyes some of them, first strange shapes and colors, as if we were entering through the labyrinths of an abstract painting of extreme beauty; in others we travel the landscape in search of something that tells us that it is earthy, because they give the impression of walking through other universes, extraterrestrial places, strangers ... Among those sensations, there is something that attracts attention: the shades and their various combinations, the light ... the colors? Juan Walker commented: “That is the climax. In the photos I give the feeling of being in another world, in another reality. There are many reddish, purple, fuchsia tones that are saturated, as if it were Mars, for example, another planet, another universal reality”.  The images are designed from the patina, the atmosphere, the contrast, vibration, colometry ... and endless ideas because in the end they are pictorial, but they are photographs!

And he wanted to say goodbye before explaining that because of the small shared space he could not bring videos, other photos, installations ... that arose from this pleasant, comforting experience, which has made him more human and sensitive when touching the Earth with his own hands, of Touch it with Art so that it belongs to everyone. In addition to unraveling inner mysteries, which I discovered after these trips to the center of the Soul. Many of these images come from those distant places that we know little about ...