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Arte al Limite - Marco Lamoyi: An apology of painting

The Mexican painter settles into the international art scene through the intensity and purity of his "painting of painting". Tangible, slippery, tough and creamy-looking, Lamoyi's painting is the immortalization of matter transformed into a visual product.

2007 will be a busy year for this versatile artist: MiArt in Milan; SOFA, New York; and for the second consecutive year, ArtCologne. He will also have his first exhibition in Chile, at Galería Matthei, throughout May.

Por Carolina Bravo

Marco Lamoyi (1957) is a multidisciplinary artist who jumps between materic abstract painting, object art and monumental photography. He is an example of what Andy Warhol said in the 60's -"You have to be an Abstract Expressionist in the morning, a Hyperrealist in the evening and a Conceptual at night". Painting, photography and installation are to Lamoyi like a menu of possibilities available to anyone who wishes to state an idea. "No doubt the artists have had this approach since Renaissance, we have the example of Leonardo Da Vinci. But in the course of time the market rules obliged them to restrict their production in order to fit into the limits of each genre, and the commercial fields of artistic production were so defined", he says.

In observing the varied production of Marco Lamoyi, it might first appear to be lacking in stylistic unity because he has a very special view of what style is, which has nothing to do with the canons of art. "I have always thought the style of an artist depends more on his market than on his need for expression; at other times it's the result of his intellectual limitations, minimized by the practice or the cysted habits. Due to this theoretical attitude, I can freely use the techniques of painting. But I have produced very realistic works for many years", he says.

Painting made sculpture
During his 20 years of career, his interest led him on to discover new ways of language which fit his expressive needs. That's how the pigment became the main character in his work. His painting focuses exclusively on evaluating the results of the intervention exerted on the material -oil- and on its accumulation, until it reaches a volume that exceeds the 6 inches thickness. We can see it in his "Uussshhh" series, whose title tries to reproduce the sound of wind.
The painter explores deeply the colour and consistency of oil painting through these works. Texture is a key component here, as Lamoyi applies oil on canvas with a mixture of care and spontaneity which make us think of some kind of giant brushstroke. The manufacturing process demands a lot of patience. Drying is slow. Paintings must spend six months horizontally before they can be hung on the wall. The weight of wet paint would make it fall on the floor if the drying process were interrupted.
This proposal pays homage to the material that makes painting possible: "Before becoming a victim of the avant-gardes of the twentieth century, painting favoured the creation of ingenious proposals which declined the traditional discourse of the bidimensionality of the picture; trends that have consolidated their presence in the visual arts as more dinamic and critical artistic ways in the last two decades. Today's artist has exhausted the relationship he had for centuries with painting, and he is therefore unable to satisfy neither his sensory nor social desires. So, condemned to live conformed to the always-present cultural rules of market or to the globalization of art, now we try to ignore the nature and limits of pictorial language", he says.

The magic of Polaroid
Photography represents to Lamoyi another road to explore. His last photographic production is "Kassita Kit", a photo installation that tells, from dawn to dusk, the life of a middle populated city, its urban and rural environment, its customs and adequacies to the commercial proposals of globalization. A journey through nine cities located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator.

His first experiences with this medium were in Tabasco, his homeland. A tropical climate region where the sun burns hard. His childhood passed in Villahermosa, a very isolated zone where there was no constant television signal, what turned the local radio broadcaster into the medium par excellence.
There started the artist to develop himself. As a child, Marco used to spend the nights with his brothers telling ghost stories around a bonfire, and once in a while they enjoyed with the pictures of paintings they could find. That's how he met the great masters of Renaissance and Baroque: "Our natural geographic environment was like a school which favoured my taste for the images and my desire to create them", he says.
In 1975, he went to study fine arts at Escuela Nacional de Pintura y Escultura "La Esmeralda", and later he started Architecture at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. From that point on, his career -which includes more than ten solo exhibitions and about 150 collective shows in different countries such as Italy, Germany, France, Japan, United States, Canada an Cuba- began.
In 1993, he settled in Xalapa, Veracruz. From this date forward, he spreads his time between New York, Paris and Venice. During the last year, he has remained in Venice the most of the time, completely devoted to a series of Murano glass sculptures in the Adriano Berengo's studio, which have been shown in many different places thanks to Adriano Berengo Fine Arts.

Translation: Raúl Molín López

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