PaperCity Magazine

January 2019- Dallas

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Page 32 of 83

31 T here is much to be said about sail- ing against the current — walking boldly into the crowd with an air of unusualness and nonconformity. This applies, of course, most commonly to the world of fine art and its expected purpose of forcing us to rethink tra- ditional notions of beauty. A classicist will define a work, perhaps, by its perfection of technique, or where it falls within traditional confines of what is popularly considered beautiful. A more contemporary mind may broaden this definition, giving the label to objects and works that push our common perspectives into unchar- tered waters, forcing even a moment of discomfort. But what say you of the physical world — the faces we see in magazines and on television, the visages we en- counter in our daily lives or in the multimedia worlds of fiction. Here, what can be said about beauty — and what, in the end, defines it. The human sphere, now, is one where uniformity has been traded for outlandishness; tradition ex- changed for disruption. One could argue that beauty, even in our decision to make up — or not make up — our faces, is more in the eye of the beholder than ever. Modern beauty, by definition, is subjective. And there is importance here: For pushing boundaries and redefining our visual palates has always been at the root of great art — and what better canvas for our creative pursuits than the face we put forth. Few more fitting examples of this exist than in the work of internationally exhibited Javier Marín, Mexico City–based sculptor who makes his Texas debut this month at Art of the World Gallery in Houston. While comparisons have been made between Marín and Rodin, it is Mannerist master Jacopo Pontormo that the artist himself most identifies with — if not for Pontormo's contorted figures than for his dra- matic strength, two elements that shine in Marín's ouevre. As Dallas Museum of Art director Agustín Arteaga writes in his 2001 essay, "Back to the Pedestal," of Marín: "The surprising thing about this insolent and subversive young sculptor is that he sails against the current … He cynically returns to the origins of classical sculpture, setting out from that point, immediately upsetting it, manneristically … With striving and spirit, he managed to put sculpture back up on its pedestal … and reactivated the pendulum of art history." No doubt, this observation is a keen lesson in philosophy — not just as to how we should view art, but how we should define beauty within ourselves. "Javier Marín: Masterworks" at Art of the World Gallery, Houston, January 16 – March 16, artoftheworldgallery. com Javier Marín's maquette for Cabeza de Hombre "Soplador II" (Head of Man "Blower II"), 2017, at Art of the World Gallery, Houston

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