"To Saint John of the Cross, each flower reflects spiritual perfection; to Novalis they are the symbol of childhood and an Eden-like age. Where Taoism is concerned, flower blooms are the result of an interior alchemy, the coming together of essence and breath, water and fire. The Mayans saw the flower as a symbol of fornication; for the Aztecs, on top of being an offering for gods and men, it was a symbol of the cosmic history's different stages. An artist such as Elizabeth González, even without taking all of this into account, intuits it or knows it, evokes and applies it, the way we feel her paintings. Furthermore, she establishes a variety, a support for ideas such as these : the flower is to her a form of self-recognition, to search in external shapes, reading in the hibiscuses, the cala lilies, the queens of the night and the orchids meanings that belong only to her. Put in a different manner: Elizabeth portrays herself in multiple indirect ways through flowers brought to us by her acrylic paints and pastels. Doing so, through closeness, by allowing us to see them, she also makes us part of these pictures. Does the flower portray herself in the artist, the artist involving us because of her mirroring condition? We cannot ignore any further the risk that painting flowers nowadays entails. Not only because of the almost infinite sequence that was achieved through it in the oriental tradition, but because the very act of painting seems to be obliterated in the decades we live in.
Ida Gramcko said sharply in 1984 as she saw the work of Elizabeth González, that even if we are created by our moment, we can still traverse time. Elizabeth is particularly gifted to achieve this: her significant career as an architect has granted her a perceptive capacity to handle space in the pictorial domain; her amazing dexterity as a drawer has facilitated a flexible re-appropriation of themes, which rhythmically brings a rare balance between what is concrete and subjectivity; her sensibility to colors is limitless, even if one of her chromatic guidelines seems to be the red color. More than twenty years ago, Maria Elena Ramos glimpsed at what we can nowadays contemplate. Ramos highlighted Elizabeth's interest in "center and depth. This is where it pulsates, tenses and delves." A trait that would become part of the artist's language and that Perán Erminy recognized in 2006 as the "very own structure of the abyss".
We now face her most recent work. The large format allows her acrylics to flow naturally. Flowers adjusting to the minutiae of the eye and that in spite (or maybe because) of this, execute an unexpected somersault in front of us : they move towards other possibilities in their forms and leave us an uncertain taste of fascination. Flowers made of skin, kisses and nightlight. Their mystery lie in the wise paint brush disappearing. The medium format of pastels, in which the pigment answers by itself but also welcomes the intervention of water, fingers, until it produces unforeseen effects in touch and volume. In each work, on top of the forefront splendor and the "elusive forms" found by Perán Erminy, something drags the viewer into what deepens, into the abyss: not the background of rich hues, but the lighting of the flowers which are floating and trying to break from that powerful longing in their selves. An expressive factor that maybe relates to the bursting sensuality of picture and color, synthesized in titles which allude to boleros in which it shows, but also implying a hidden melancholy and solitude."
For the exposition ILUMINACIONES. Alianza Francesa, Caracas
A look filling us with astonishment, to see what is seeming with a feeling of insight, invited into the depths, a tunnel in which the genuine femininity slides hidden, a flower. Flowers armed with the certainty of their fate, the knowledge of their wither, and that show a certain uneasiness in giving all their splendor before dying, looking up, ahead, to the sides, looking down and speak of some permanence without unveiling the mystery of their nourishing earth... an ancestral earth, ancestral petals, Tannö Itöy, a shrouded place that takes us to the deepest of our dreams and directly relates to creation itself is what has brought this new series of paintings.
Dancing night and day, water, wind and silence speak of sensuality, sadness and even violence. Sensual in its shapes, sad in its substance, violent in its colors, sensations that are to be face where the ancestral battle between love and desire takes place, unseen.
For the Ancestral petals exhibition, Paris
Chaos and abysmals
D'un gradin d'or, — parmi les cordons de soie, les gazes grises, les velours verts et les disques de cristal qui noircissent comme du bronze au soleil, — je vois la digitale s'ouvrir sur un tapis de filigranes d'argent, d'yeux et de chevelures. Des pièces d'or jaune semées sur l'agate, des piliers d'acajou supportant un dôme d'émeraudes, des bouquets de satin blanc et de fines verges de rubis entourent la rose d'eau. Tels qu'un dieu aux énormes yeux bleus et aux formes de neige, la mer et le ciel attirent aux terrasses de marbre la foule des jeunes et fortes roses.
Arthur Rimbaud, Les Illuminations, Fleurs
While I paint, curiosity leads to ask myself whether other people perceive as I do this set of colors juxtaposed or set on top of each other, there is no order, or is there... While I paint, the thought or a chaotic and abysmal present comes to me, one that hits us...
In Hesiod's Theogony Chaos was a God, the very first and the most elemental. The Bible also starts with a gigantic mass of dark vapor, an abyss from which the physical universe is constructed. Some branches of Hinduism foretell that the universe is created and destroyed in perpetual fluctuations. Brahman breathes, and each time he inhales he swallows the stars, the comets and the moon, like a rug you'd suddenly pull. He then exhales and the raw matter of the next universe gushes out. Other mythologies, new and old, also tell this sway between what is one and what is multiple. Between Chaos and Cosmos. Fans that open and close.
If we are to think that chaos is order and order is cosmos, we could relate each point that scatters our vision in the physical space as it does in my paintings. Space can be as tiny or as huge as we want it to see, as in each of my works that represents a forest we would arrive to the concept of entropy, where an established order cannot be seen but is felt nevertheless. Tree trunks elevating themselves towards the cosmos, towards chaos, chaotic themselves, sometimes contained by the horizon which sets the descent into the abyss, cosmos turned into foliage, chaos into arising.
The development of tissues, the dispersal of an ink drop in oil, the decaying of a fruit and other constructions (and de-constructions) of nature, it all weaves in a centrifuge tangle, if we are to see it more closely, the flower minimized to a chaotic point, magnified into a petal, a petal leading into the abyss that houses many mysteries and the original chaos, like lustral water, it takes further than our mundane sighting to beckon us towards a path of doubt relating to existence and of mystery in artistic creation.
Jorge Luis Borges puts it in the following poetic manner in his Cosmogony :
Ni tiniebla ni caos. La tiniebla requiere ojos que ven, como el sonido y el silencio requieren el oído, y el espejo, la forma que lo puebla. Ni el espacio ni el tiempo. Ni siquiera una divinidad que premedita el silencio anterior a la primera noche del tiempo, que será infinita. El gran río de Heráclito el Oscuro su irrevocable curso no ha emprendido, que del pasado fluye al futuro, que del olvido fluye hacia el olvido. Algo que ya padece. Algo que implora. Después la historia universal. Ahora.
EA for the Chaos and Abysmals exhibition
“Je finis par trouver sacré le désordre de mon esprit.”
Arthur Rimbaud . Une saison d’enfer, délire II, Alchimie du verbe
Forest, Forests. What does a forest hide ? Fables, maybe, ways of escape, ways to think, our animal, the one we do not see nor feel, and thus is left in the forest, wild, far from ourselves. This exhibit, four forests, might just be a way to unite, in different ways, the visions about all this. Forests : with this exhibit, four artists Nerio Moreno, Harold Tobías, Elizabeth González Aoun and Hernán Rodriguez reflect their impression, their version on forests. It is not forests that we know in conventional ways, but those that transcend and pierce through reality with imagination, leading to a personal plastic expression. Each artist speaks with color and shapes. Thus, "forests" are given specific traits. Animals that have never been seen before might be found inside, flowers and different waters. Forests, forests. What does a forest hide ?
"...Trees are sanctuaries. But who knows how to talk to them, who knows" hear them, learn the truth. They do not preach teachings and prescriptions, but preach, indifferent to details, the primitive law of life. One tree says : inside me is hidden a core, a spark, a thought, I am life to eternal life. The Eternal Mother's attempted creation of myself is unique, unique is my shape and unique are the fibers in my skin, unique is the each insignificant movement of my treetop's leaves, and the smallest scar in my bark. "My mission is to shape and present that which is eternal in my singular way..." Herman Hesse.
After showing us illumined flowers and after submerging in "Personal Forests" which revealed hermetic tropical paradises, infinite and transparent, Elizabeth continues her journey playing with lighting, shapes and colors... She experiments with the language of trees projecting their size in the unlimited celestial horizon. A tiny bit of tropical fronds for everyone was chosen by her taste, resized to our sensibility, the shred that inspires us the most, the one that speaks to us, moves us and makes us dream, this is the blooming purpose in this wondrous work by Elizabeth González.
Her novelty resides in the inescapable and vital call to venture into a lavish nature, to invoke an interaction guided by the spirit and essence of trees : our very own essence ! Rightfully do the Yanomamis natives listen respectfully to the singing of the trees that becomes tireless words, picked up into baskets to perpetuate the consciousness of their ancestors. The artist's creativity invites us to fill ourselves the jungle's song, with exuberant trees singing their colors, whispering love, vibrating with light, whistling timeless melodies, but that also know how to create nexuses silently... Their song relates to mood swings, it is a tempting magic containing wise warnings, urging to a fundamental preservation, feelings trapped in virtual frames so that we can move them to more intimate enclosures and coexist.
For the installation Frondas de El Estío. Galería Diaz Mancini, Caracas
Nature and Art: Endless continuums in the works
Nature encompasses a wide array of living beings whose souls come alive in endless continuum . According to artist Elizabeth González-Aoun, a tree synthesizes this ageless dynamic; without a beginning and without an end, the present, past and future found themselves in the infinite cycle of life. These ideas have led her to a constant experimentation, the results of which being a language bursting with vitality that reinterprets nature through the emotions and feelings it brings out.
Her career as an architect and an artist led her to work on the human figure, one that she has enlarged to a skin-detailed level scale. This has been complemented by developing her skills in : drawing, graphic arts, painting, stained glass, sculpture and art installations. Her experience has earned her various prizes, such as Salón Michelena (1983). These last years, Elizabeth has felt the need to emphasize and express the chromatic power of flora. In this regard, she has fragmented the shapes and played with scale to extract them of their original context. Without the reliance of a background, the wavy lines and the splashing in her work take hold, seduce the watcher's gaze so that new interpretations and links to real-life experience emerge.
Her most recent sculptural project named TRANS/SITUM mixes her reflexive-rational process, her sensitivity and self-expression in organic forms and warm tones of color; in small and medium sizes of metal and printed-paper. Her starting point is a Möbius Strip, symbolizing reutilization, the eternal return, infinity. For Perán Erminy, her works bring out "the eroticism and the sacredness in her expressive speech". Elizabeth arises to new composition challenges going from macro to micro, in order to depict nature's vital continuum.
By Zaida García Valecillo, 2014
(…”Hasta cuándo la mano del bosque en la lluvia
me avecina con todas sus agujas
para tejer los altos besos del follaje?
escucho aproximarse como el fuego en el humo
nacer de la ceniza terrestre,
la luz llena de pétalos,
y apartando la tierra
en un río de espigas llega el sol a mi boca
como vieja lágrima enterrada que vuelve a ser semilla". ..)
Naciendo en los bosques
There's a strange feeling of wonder, like being put under a spell, the moment you see the yellowish frond of the araguaney, when you go through a tunnel of purple transmutations, in fall's golden colors, in a red vegetal stain, or is it ochre or orange, dancing off the color palette as the seasons come and go. Light is what gives us this magic. Glimmering light of the tropics, nuanced light in the middle latitudes, the light of an everlasting winter, daylight or nightlight, it is always responsible for our visual perceptions of nature and light. Even in the jungle's darkness it unravels mysteries and magic. Light, in the savannah's silence, a silence painful to bear.
Silently, a risen, gilded column emerges, a virtual trunk and serpentine branches of gold, hugs and kisses in conjunction, golden idol, the highest, most treasured and adored. Trunk and branches support a verdigris foliage which, defragmented, rises in spirals, looking for a way out into continuity as it's only outlook.
One could imagine the progressive journey of these follages into tiny fragments, like stardust, belonging to a cyclic quietness, spreading through the earth looking to be reborn in their next step in a colorful explosion where all species of their kind reunite to invoke their existence, in an amalgam of shades. A multicolored forest as some poetry of the soul, framed by a natural garden as some urban poem, used to reflect one's dreams, needs and contradictions, fusing the immensity of the natural environment with the fragmentation of memory. A window as a frame, juxtaposed concepts of nature and artifice, a poem and reality.
In the end, between dots, lines, planes and space, tools of imagination and logic, of madness and reason, one of the tree's moods rising to the search for celestial infinity, another, the flowered forest, extending horizontally trying to close the terrestrial circle, they both try to manifest the act of crucifixion as a third state. An imaginary condition as a omen of extinction, or rebirth and re-creation.
EA, for the exhibit Nature Imagined, BBVA Fondation,Caracas