Since the first time I saw the works of the Mexican sculptor Javier Marin in Milan – roughly 10 years ago at the Rotonda of via Besana, in the square of Palazzo Reale and at Piazza della Scala – I have been surprised by the monumentality and expressive power of his work.
I have been lucky to see other works of his dotted around the world and despite the use of different materials, dimensions and subjects, each time my attention has been drawn to them like metal to a magnet.
Excited at the opportunity of visiting CORPUS, his retrospective at MUDEC Museum of Cultures, I chose a rather late Thursday evening in order to have the space almost to myself.
Over the threshold and into a large space with high ceilings, visitors are met by the extraordinary sight of ‘En Blanco’, a maelstrom of bodies made of polyester resin and iron, intertwined and swept away in a huge wave that is not just very impressive because of the sheer scale, but especially for its emotional impact.
All the thirty-six works in the exhibition, made with different materials and techniques, focus on the theme of the human body.
Whilst the materials of each piece play an important role, it is the way they come together which attracts me the most. The truly beautiful pieces are the ones who have gone through a process of deconstruction and reconstruction. Mostly due to the size of firing kilns, works are often taken apart and later joined together. While other artists tend to blend in and erase any sign of a joint, Javier Marin makes them stand out by putting pieces together with staples, wire, rough seams and other always visible elements.
Similarly to the Japanese practice of Kintsugi, which arises from the idea that an imperfection or a wound can be the source of an even greater form of aesthetic and interior perfection, by drawing the attention of the visitors to the way these works have been assembled, this artist turns a weakness into a celebration, an imperfection into an affirmation, cranking up the visual drama at least tenfold.
Though the exhibition at MUDEC closed on 09/09/2018 , you can still see Javier Marín at the Museo Espacio of Aguascalientes until February 2019 and at the San Diego Museum of Art until 03/03/2019.