La Luz de Venezuela
5 painting positions from Venezuela
Curated by Starsky Brines
Starsky Brines / Enay Ferrer / Luis Lizardo / Rafael Rangel / José Vivenes
29 June 2019 - 31 August 2019

The exhibition La Luz de Venezuela, dedicated to the homeland of these artists, also reflects on the current situation of Venezuela and its state-owned enterprises: Run-down institutions and the fundamental political crisis have drastically influenced the everyday life of Venezuelans. The light has left Venezuela, symbolically and literally: in fact, the light is absent in the streets. The country has been left in darkness and hopelessness. Nevertheless there are still signs of hope. We are talking about millions of Venezuelans who fight every day inside and outside the country to ensure that the little light that is left does not go out.
Holding on to the idea of light is what brings together the five renowned Venezuelan artists in this exhibition. They are aware that they must believe in the democratic future of their country. This small group of Venezuelan artists who has dedicated their lives to art and continue to work and create in times of destruction and darkness deserve our attention.

Where there is shadow, there is light!
 
This group of artists comes together for the first time in our exhibition and we are pleased to be able to present their exciting works to the Frankfurt audience. We are specially honored by the participation of Luis Lizardo one of most renown artist in Venezuela and influential for younger generation of artists including Starsky Brines, Enay Ferrer, Rafael Rangel and José Vivenes. The exhibition was curated by our gallery artist Starsky Brines.

Starsky Brines' paintings and drawings fascinate with their unique style and a recurring theme, the search for the nature of humanity and interhuman relations. In his bold works, the artist concentrates on characters that emerge from the combination of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic attributes and the appropriation of elements from his childhood comics and toys. On the one hand, these characters distort reality in order to venture into an environment of subcultures and urbanism, created by the spontaneous intuition of his strokes and the appropriation of contemporary iconography. On the other hand, they move in a sphere of fantasy. In particular, the animal beings with their human characters evoke associations with fairy tales or comic strips. They are reminiscent of the world of theatre, in which fantasy and poetry, but also comedy often serve as catalysts for the creation of critical meaning. Personally, influenced by his mother, who produces colorful dolls for the Caribbean Carnival and art-historically influenced by Latin American figurative art, German Neo-Expressionism, the Italian Transavantgarde, and the COBRA group, the painter's works oscillate between figuration and abstraction.  Brines was born in 1977 on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela. He lives and works in Caracas, Venezuela and Miami, Florida. Brines has graduated in Fine Arts at the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Superiores de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón in Caracas. His works have attracted international attention in exhibitions and have been included in major collections in cities such as Caracas, Berlin, Basel, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Santander, Singapore, Kuwait, Miami, Madrid, New York, Seoul and Zurich.

The medium and large format paintings of Enay Ferrer depict Self-portraits, Saints and Heroes. His paintings are the result of an investigative work based on the idea of "False Heroes". The depicted characters embody a game between manipulation and demystification of the heroic image in relation to state representation and interrogate the relationship between the religious, the political and collective memory. Characterized by a free and at the same time strong brushstroke and with a palette dominated by red, black and white, the characters of his paintings evoke at the same time seriousness and humor. By using collective symbols and references relevant not only for the Venezuelan society and Latin America but the world at large, Ferrer’s works are reflections and comments on the society he belongs and at the same time are open to additional apprehension for a larger public. 
Enay Ferrer, born 1974 in Caracas, studied painting at Technical School of Plastic Arts "Eloy Palacios", and at Institute of Higher Studies of Plastic Arts "Armando Reverón" in Caracas.

The works of Luis Lizardo are a continuous examination about the silent expressiveness of materials. Lizardo is a painter, even when he cuts papers or produces collages, he is a painter who pursues the visual openness that only the image created by hand can produce. In this sense, as a painter he has sought, in different ways and media, to grasp that image capable of concentrating the silent moment of the world. Some of the works presented in this exhibition show a series of paintings in which blue becomes, by excess, in density and chromatic absence, a visual language with its own grammatic and syntaxes, capable of communicating beyond words. Indeed, blue is diversified and densified in the richness of its many nuances, creating compositional structures that seem to come from its own existence. These painting are a fragmentary codex certifying that the magic of painting consists not in what is being made visible, but in what is still unrevealed, because every finding is just a call to other finding. For Lizardo painting is a "doing" of the body, of the hands and the eyes, of the look and the touch, capable of silently contemplating the world of the sensible without converting it into concrete meanings or ideas, maintaining the "carnal" formula of its presence.
Luis Lizardo born 1956 in Caracas, lives and works in Carrizal, Miranda, Venezuela. From 1973 to 1976 he studied at the School of Plastic Arts Cristóbal Rojas in Caracas. Between 1978 and 1980 he did postgraduate studies in Painting at Central Saint Martins, university of arts in London, UK. Since 1981 he has worked as a teacher in painting workshops in various institutions in Venezuela, including the School of Visual Arts "Rafael Monasteries" (Maracay), Institute "Federico Brandt" (Caracas), Higher Institute of Plastic Arts "Armando Reverón "(Caracas). Lizardo is one of most renown and influential artist in Venezuela. 
Since 1995 Lizardo has participated in collective exhibitions in various spaces in Latin America, the United States and Europe. His work is present in collections such as Banco Mercantil, Cisneros Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Polar Foundation, National Art Gallery, Athenaeum of Valencia, Museum of Contemporary Art of Caracas, Museum of Modern Art (Bogotá), Museum of Fine Arts (Caracas) and the Jacobo Borges Museum.

Rafael Rangel has been developing his research through the accumulation of visual codes extracted from manufactured products and mass consumption. These resources he uses to develop a universe of situations that interrogate our reality, elements of the purest daily life that incorporates three-dimensional structures of random and organic forms. His paintings acknowledge the place and context of standardize utilitarian objects in our surroundings. A plastic cup, a spoon or a straw in its paper package carries for Rangel a weight that portrays a complex narrative behind the subject itself. In his paintings he uses formal aspects of abstraction as a tool to oscillate between the recognizable, the familiar and the representational image. Removing the object’s function, its meaning becomes symbolic, internal and poetic, among other things, revealing visual questions generated by the pre-established lines of a language that surround us endlessly and that keeps mutating interacting with a consumer in a relational standardized and fetishized space. Rafael Rangel was born in New York in 1978. Lives and works in Miami, Florida. He graduates with honors in Visual Arts at Pratt Institute in 2001. That same year, he works as an assistant for Matthew Barney and starts his exhibiting career. From then, has participated in group shows in Germany, Canada, Spain, United States and Venezuela.

José Vívenes practice is directly linked to the essential aspects of the human condition. He shows the existing contradiction that shapes our humanity: certainty or doubt, kindness or evil, beauty or ugliness. A face can either cause admiration or rejection. A gesture can denote honesty or hide an unhealthy interest. These contradictions are, ultimately part of the human existence. Vívenes perceives and draws. The faces in his works are those of existing characters that the artist meets in the subway or on a bus. Sometimes they are details of people in different circumstances and crude evidence of an undeniable reality.However, one of the most relevant topics of his most recent work is the absence of identity which is manifested formally through gesture of erasing and the formal alienation of the human body. His figures are, according to the artist “landscapes without faces”. Human beings with no identity. José Vivenes born 1977 in Maturín, Venezuela, complete his studies at the Institute of Plastic Arts Armando Reveron and at the Metropolitan University in Caracas. He lives and works in Caracas, Venezuela.