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Artist Statement

 

Facing Paula Sarmiento´s artwork is an introspectional exercise such as to observe one’s own image into the mirror. With a seeming simplicity, resemblant to the uninterrupted act that revels who we are, the neon words wrote down in white light -La Obra de Arte Soy Yo (The Artwork it’s myself – I Am the Artwork)-, more than a declaration, a thought, or a confession, it brings out questions that are to the spectator to precise.

The light of the wording added to the bluish aura that surrounds it, product of the icy tone, evokes the sings of the American advertising culture in the 50’s and 60’s, where Pop Art was there not to only question the values of a consumerist society, but as well as a reaction to the traditional and established artistic canon, which limited creativeness with endorsed techniques. Not in vain, in some of the artis installations there are paragraphs along words and phrases suchlike: Yield, Do Not Enter, and One Way. The latter are daily public road referents that seek to control traffic, however, in this showroom, a new offered context, they enhance the message’s ambiguity to enrich the possibilities of meaning.

In “La Obra de Arte Soy Yo”, means and subject end in a warning for its unusualness. It’s not something that complies an unaware viewer, considering it’s not expected to be found in an urban scene. In the offbeat use of neon and affirmation, the mundane expectation gets frustrated. It is here where a fertile semantic field is originates, and allows symbolic, metaphoric, and linguistic interpretations that at the end are presenting a different way of being in the word.

Outside its usual environment, -the street-, the expressive faculties of neon added to words, which end up being statements build from light, allow a resignification of ordinary through spirituality, due to its symbolic substantiality. Rooted in our collective unconscious, the light is the concrete manifestation of an abstract reality, but not because of that trivial. On the contrary, in that common foundation of human beings from all eras and places, the light embodies ideas as life, birth, and knowledge. Shadiness and fogginess by opposition turns into the image of wisdom, evolution, and clarity. It is not by chance that lighting is understood as an encounter with truth, as well as it’s not by chance that this art piece aims to trigger a revelation in who is reading. The above is also merged to the searches of meaning of the contemporary individual, who, imposed by the advertising industry, has a frenetic rhythm to reach ephemeral success. Light here also comes as an alternative to the uncertainty and the emptiness generated by the system.

As many contemporary art pieces, Paula Sarmiento’s demands an unusual compromise from the viewer. To accomplish a production of meaning, observation must be replaced with participation. The passivity of the observer accustomed to being surrounded by bright sings changes and the luminous language used as a death metaphor expands to a new dimension. Besides, the writing being done in the first person of the singular, invites the reader to appropriate the message. The meaning of the aesthetic object is translated by those who read. “La Obra de Arte Soy Yo”, is a paradox, although it’s self-reflective, it functions as a channel for readers to understand themselves as the artwork.

Regarding the written component of the piece, it is worth questioning where the emissary stands. Bringing only the literally part of the text up will reveal that the emissary is not other than the author, as well as the artist. However, keeping in mind the autonomy of the text’s principle and Umberto Eco’s notion of an “Open Work”, the statement also works independently. Apart from its author and its biographical interpretation, the message extends its interpretation to a participating one. In the same way, it multiplies its semantic possibilities and, more importantly, empowers the reader to a truthful revelation: they are, we are an artwork.

Furthermore, the sinuous features composed by the neon tubes, as calligraphy, are hard to overlook. The cursive lettering, also known as italics or handwriting, is distinguished by the mastery of fluidity strokes. Considering that there it lays the origin of plastic representation, added to the letter’s continuity, the implicit language of the typography constitutes an additional piece in the matrix of meaning, which equates the human condition to the artistic one. Thanks to the constant hand movement on top of paper that the statement implies, it suggests a process. It is in life where artwork is forged.

In today’s historic moment, art pieces cannot be judged only on beauty standards. Contemporary art interests are settling down on core values open to aesthetic experiences, which draws it away from an agreement notion. That being said, the question for revelation takes on a special importance. Foremost because it unveils a carefree way in which we understand ourselves, but also because it tries to take it away from the seek of an uptight and demanding artistic validation promoted by the advertising industry, creating an open contradiction with those who approve artistic practices. So, what does it mean to even out the human condition to an artwork?

To recognize an object as an artwork means to grant it the quality of something able to reveal the economic and social structures of culture, including the ideas and values that build it. In a society that pays tribute to self image, a notion linked to a purchasing power that obeys appearance, to understand ourselves as art is a subversive idea. It allows us to reclaim the value of our own existence through everyday actions, despite the outside pressure to be so called “successful”. Dignifying daily life is to shift the concept, to appreciate the artistic trait of life’s process. Which involves slowing down, being in the moment, highlighting the peculiarities, clearing differences, and reclaiming the capacity of wonder. Denoting the human condition with these terms is an invitation to life artistically. Saying “La Obra de Arte Soy Yo” is to evoke Marc Chagall’s words “Art seems to me to be a state of soul more than anything else”, that deserve to be applied to our own humanity to enhance it. 

Instalación, Art Basel, Diciembre 2017, Miami, Florida

Instalación Permanente, Criadero San Cayetano, La Ceja, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Makeno Tienda, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Makeno Tienda, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Makeno Tienda, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Makeno Tienda, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Galería Arte Alto, Julio-Agosto 2019, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Galería Arte Alto, Julio-Agosto 2019, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Galería Arte Alto, Julio-Agosto 2019, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Galería Arte Alto, Julio-Agosto 2019, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Galería Arte Alto, Julio-Agosto 2019, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Galería Arte Alto, Julio-Agosto 2019, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Showroom La Obra de Arte Soy Yo, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Showroom La Obra de Arte Soy Yo, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Showroom La Obra de Arte Soy Yo, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Showroom La Obra de Arte Soy Yo, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, Restaurante Le-Chick, Miami, Florida

Instalación, Tienda Punto Blanco Centro Comercial El Tesoro, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Colección Privada, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Buró 2019, Bogotá, Colombia

Instalación Permanente, St.Dom Concept Store, Bogotá, Colombia

Instalación, Blue House, Medellín, Colombia

Instalación, Curators Art Project- Art Basel 2014

 Instalación, Curators Art Project- Art Basel 2014

Instalación, Colección Privada, Cali, Colombia

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección: Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista MagasIN, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Editorial: La Pachamama, Revista Magas-in, Edición 3, Colombia
Personajes: Paula Sarmiento "La obra de arte soy yo"
Vestuario: Moyano- Miguemo
Colección Vintage Paula Sarmiento
Parra & Parodi

Intervención Artística, Art Basel 2015, Miami, Florida 


Intervención Artística, Art Basel 2015, Miami, Florida

Neón One Way Permanente, Showroom Paradise Mi Amor, Miami, Florida
.
Instalación Permanente, Tienda Boho Hunter, Madrid, España
.
Instalación La Obra de Arte Soy Yo, Colección Privada, Miami, Florida
.
Instalación Stand Makeno, Feria Colombiamoda 2019, Medellín, Colombia