MONICA SARMIENTO: THE STRUCTURAL ESSENCE OF THE NATURAL UNIVERSE
In the modern era of globalization, it is becoming self evident that if we do not judiciously sift through the avalanche of information with which we are daily besieged, if we do not carefully analyze that information, we could at any time begin to lose our cultural identity. More and more we are inundated by a torrent of newscasts and data from diverse cultures and it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a firm grasp on our memory of past events, often diminishing our ability to gain insight into what has been and what will be. A knowledge of the past, as always, will lead us to an affirmation of our own unique character and is indicative of a willingness to explore our origins as a means to better understand ourselves. This is, without question, the case with Monica Sarmiento, born in Loja, Ecuador in 1967, who was nurtured on a rich and vibrant culture and whose roots are firmly planted in a past resplendent with a distinctive history. The diversity of traditions and ways of life inherent in the culture of her country has provided a rich tapestry for her works which, without doubt, are an embodiment of her own distinctive heritage.
Close contact with her natural environment has fashioned her destiny, has, in fact, fostered an incisive attitude that enables her to enter into the essence of the natural world and, with uncommon perseverance and hard work, delve into the secrets of nature that lie within. It is an exploration which derives from keen observation, rigorous analysis and intellectual reflection, all of which coalesce to produce a style that is intense and disciplined yet imbued with an inimitable subtlety of expression.
Both restless and curious, her constant experimentation embraces a boundless range of possibilities from which she harvests the maximum potential. She conscientiously analyzes each aspect, revealing its infinite complexities, assiduously examining the different levels and spatial dimensions, endlessly probing the possibilities within. Basic shapes and forms contained in her initial sketches and preparatory drawings evolve into creations of compelling dynamism in which time seems suspended in eternity. A striking optical matrix of luminosity suggest a complex chromatic rhythm infused with a primordial vitality in which the confluence of space, line, form and texture meld into one unified whole. Her imaginative journeys into the spatial realm draw us into the cosmic universe, a distant galaxy of stars, infinite in scope and obeisant only to its own artistic light. Structural concepts that begin with sinuous lines and geometric shapes as a fundament eventually serve to reveal the heart of the natural world at its very essence. Stirred by an awareness of the greater universe, she seeks new and innovative pathways as she draws from the deep well of her ancestral culture. Her symbols of expression are suggestive of a constructive primitivism and are redolent of pre Colombian art, an abstract geometry of form that never scorns figurative motifs such as trees, leafs or branches and all of which are integral aspects of her artistic style. The primary elements of nature are woven into the fabric of her art as a symbol of life in perpetual evolution and transport us into a transcendent ancestral realm that accentuates the cyclical character of cosmic evolution, a cycle eternally fused between death and regeneration.
Sinuous, spatial, mythological forms all unite in a spirit of natural being which flows through her works. It is a universe in which undulating, phantasmagoric forms appear in constant movement like celestial bodies permeated by a primordial life force. The search for both organic and inorganic textures draws us into an invisible world where the essence of life itself is transformed. It is a message replete with mystery but at the same time one of hope that the artist invites us to discover for ourselves.
Dynamic compositions of vast celestial spaces delight our tactile sense creating kinetic schema wherein we can wander in awe. Ingrained with a vibrant chromatic essence, her works possess a strong vigor and sense of optimism. In her passion to explore beyond the ecological spheres, Monica Sarmiento in the last several years has subtly introduced the inclusion of the human form into the natural world as she searches for a nexus between man and nature. She delineates a symbiotic relationship that creates existential links in which life and death, the cognitive and the emotional, immanence and absence all emerge as palpable polarities. Like a wise man who examines the essential components of a living tree, her works are a hopeful affirmation of the value of human knowledge.
Painting, sculpture, drawing and graphic art are a part of the multi disciplinary facets of her creative genius, all of which serve Monica Sarmiento as a palette with which she masterfully explores the natural universe as a metamorphic process, a phenomenon which forever continues to be the compelling principle of this singular artist’s inspiration.
JOAN GIL GREGORIO, Barcelona Spain.
MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ART CRITICS.
Traslate, Raquel Ogli.