The idea that a sense of place is always the present does not hold for paintings. The painting is not a linear process, but one that is as layered as there are places that I have seen.
Many places, many times intermingle in the work of Roberto Juarez. His life is so much a part of his paintings, that each new body of work introduces subjects, styles and motifs that seem to differ radically from previous work. Consequently, his succession of solo gallery exhibitions, which have typically occurred in two-year intervals since 1980, operate like time-lapse photographs. Between exhibitions, however, Juarez lives a life filled with travel, new relationships, literature, music, film, and art, all of which provide stimuli for his paintings (1).
Juarez often combines many different types of images, using both casual, small sketches he makes almost daily, as well as found botanical and other prints as sources (2). The dynamic between intended shapes and those that happen in the rush of emotional brushwork convey a physical sense of the artist's pictorial dance. These non-hierarchical images allude to the way artist's through the centuries have fixed the fleeting aspects of nature by using natural shapes and colors of flowers into permanent motifs, into symbols (3).
Viewers confront his personal experiences and perceptions, mixed with history and myth, transformed into a space that conflates western perspective with eastern illusionism. Juarez is an artist not afraid to travel among artistic disciplines, to draw from myriad sources for his work (4). Recently, Juarez has used printed materials from popular culture, such as Art Forum advertisements, which he rips up and then collages into studies for much larger paintings.
1. Bonnie Clearwater, " A Sense of Place"
2. Nathan Kernan, "Roberto Juarez: Paint, Paper, Peatmoss"
3. Cesar Trasobares, "They Entered the Road"
4. Lisa Isabel Liebmann, " They Endered the Road"