Artist Portfolio Magazine – 5 Year Anniversary Art Exhibition –
Albeiro Rojas Tomedes – London, UK
I grew up in the Colombian Amazon and now live and work in London.
I feel deeply for the natural and cultural riches of the Amazon that are increasingly threatened by encroaching development. My work recognises the very differing pressures upon life in the jungle and those in a dynamic, modern city environment. The colours, language, skills and heritage of the Amazon are a source of inspiration but the destructive forces of gentrification and globalisation that are undermining nature’s magnificent legacy bring a driving anger to my work.
Having developed my own, highly distinctive technique, I use the skins of gloss paint that have been dried over a large area, peeling them off in sheets by separating the skins from the wet underside, thus providing an unusual raw material for my work. The paint takes its own form and is liberated from the canvas. Freed from traditional constraints and artificial boundaries, I variously cut, rip, peel, fold, layer, twist, roll or even weave the paint, giving it an independence and allowing new forms of expression.
My work is often influenced by the impact of development on the natural environment and local culture. The deconstruction of my paintings echoes the destructive forces impacting upon the Amazon. Reflecting the slow erosion of native cultures, the paint is often seen unravelling, scarred or torn, oozing out between layers, or hardened into drips around the edges. My palette often reflects the environment and issues I focus on. Bright primary colours of jungle flora contrast with impenetrable black that may symbolise the night or the violence, pollution, anger and assault subjected upon beauty and nature. The shine of the black gloss paint also suggests an allure and power that masks inherent evil and malign intent, just as industrial development promises prosperity yet unleashes degradation and destruction.
I want to provoke the viewer to think on multiple levels. My pieces occupy a space in-between painting and sculpture, stimulating thought about the role that paint can take and the form I have produced. These “liminal” zones between painting and sculpture; dependency and independency; and the creative and destructive forces of mankind and nature are recurring aspects of my work.
I want to share with my viewers the emotional journey taken with every piece I create. I think about the natural richness of the world; people who live in many beautiful places; the traditions developed and sustained across the generations. Everyone should feel anger at the damage being inflicted upon these places, the impact on local people, the loss of sustainable natural resources and historic culture. The new spaces in which paint exists in my pieces when freed from historical constraints, challenge the viewer to consider the spaces between blinkered, modern comfort and open-eyed realisation; to look at existing limitations and the new existence that can be created; to see the link between destruction and creation. I want viewers to see beyond the painting and to make their voices heard.”