ARMANDO MESÍAS (1986) is an artist from Cali, Colombia. His work deals with topics such as the passing of time, memory and identity.
Using the creation of images as a starting point, he explores materials and techniques; ranging from the classical to the contemporary. His process is one of continuous experimentation, in which wear and decay are as important as the representation of people and spaces from his own past and present.
THE FRAGMENTED MAN (13.06.19 Lisbon, Portugal)
By Jose Luis Guijarro
That which defines the contemporary artist in a hyperconnected, hypermediated and, ultimately, torn apart world - as Nicolas Bourriaud would put it-, is his condition as a ‘nomad', consisting of an inevitable departure from his geographical origins and the construction of the aesthetic personality by adherence of signs and meanings collected across the different cultures and identities through which he has traveled.
Armando Mesías (Cali, Colombia, 1986) struggles to survive such destiny. Well aware of his own fragmentation, which occurred during a vital journey through multiple places, he accepts in one hand the learning and experiences of this becoming while, with the other, he clings with strength and nostalgia to his roots to not letting them go. His identity, dislocated, multiple and changing as it was that of Pessoa, comes once again to Lisbon. Behind is a stage of isolation in the studio, of existentialist restlessness, to which the artist, like the poet, has responded in the only possible way: by means of evasion to the worlds of the imagination.
Made of present and past, taken upon again and again, the works of Armando Mesías show in their materiality this coming and going of time with which the artist challenges the linear flow of reality outside of study. Plots and textures, fleeting memories that manifest themselves in the form of marks and words, overlap one another with instinct on supports that fragment or divide, embed or juxtapose, expanding with each intervention the boundaries of the pictorial exercise.
In an exhibition about the possibilities of the medium and the human condition, the face acquires a special pre eminence. Projecting his artistic intentions and his personal memories onto his subjects, Armando Mesías reminds us, as Emmanuel Levinas warned, that although the face is the fragment that provides us with an identity, it is also an “exposed, threatened" place. Thus, it is the vulnerability of the faces; more so than the academic skill, the patterns that make up the chiaroscuro, the requirement of resemblance or the capture of the spirit; that which connects us as human beings to each of the subjects portrayed. Their appearance does not reveal the details of their individual biographies, however the artist's work on the faces gives an account of the marks and wounds caused by the passing of time, and the hidden life inside them.
The investigations and the purposes of Mesias, however, do not end here. On a return trip, his works and subjects return the gaze, establish an inverse relationship to question him about his own identity, perennially in motion, as well as his existence, fragmented without remedy.
To him, and so to us.