MARIAN F. MORATINOS: DEFRAGMENTOS
Press Note by La Caja Blanca
Every spring, La Caja Blanca gallery reserves a special space in its programming to showcase the work of an up and coming visual artist from the Balearic region. The artists are chosen for their professional trajectory, their potential for international success and their ability to offer a unique insight into the visual and conceptual concerns of artists from their generation in contemporary Spain.
This year, La Caja Blanca is pleased to present Marian F. Moratinos (Palma de Mallorca 1973). The young artists’ work stands out from her contemporaries for its distinctive use of traditional visual languages, combined with new technologies and instantly recognizable aesthetics. All the pieces included in the exhibition have been produced exclusively for the show, and represent a new series of installation-based work which the artist will explore further over the coming months through her forthcoming residency at the Slade School of Art, London. In her most recent work, Moratinos’ layering of photographic images, painting, drawing, and silk screened natural landscapes on planks and chunks of wood, have begun to drift away from the wall in search for a new sense of equilibrium and harmony. The wooden beams jut out of the walls and floors, sometimes aggressively, others peacefully or poetically, challenging gravity and the audiences ability to move around freely within the exhibition space. The works’ tendency to take over the horizontal planes within the gallery space, re-configure, cut through and challenge the natural order of the exhibition hall, references the emotional states which the works seek to evoke, as well as the dominant theme; the artist’s search for her own identity, her “place in society”. Moratinos’ first solo appearance at La Caja Blanca, comes at a key time in her professional development. The young artist from Mallorca, has just received the grant awarded jointly by London’s Slade School of Art and Palma’s Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca, for an artist residency in the UCL campus. The pieces presented at La Caja Blanca represent new work conceived especially for the gallery, which the artist has never shown previously. Arranged into four installations, the works illustrate a surprising shift in Moratinos’ work, whilst maintaining the poetic, emotional and delicate visual language which makes them instantly recognisable. Photography is at the core of a work which is produced laboriously, painstakingly, using traditional skills and the artists own hands. The digital image is transformed into an object with organic appeal, pulling away from the wall, taking over the white box, cutting through, fragmenting and reconfiguring the gallery space as we know it. The installations, composed of recurring and overlapping imagery, depict the ambivalent feelings natural, urban, and social landscapes can evoke in a human being. Chaos, claustrophobia, and serenity are sensations the artist seeks to re-create, making reference to a recurring theme in her body of work; the social and urban environment, and the key role they play in defining the individual and collective identities.
The contradictory responses to the cityscapes, the irresistible curiosity with which the artist scours the faces of the inhabitants, peers into the endless rows of Windows in skyscrapers, and tries to look behind the layers of obstacles, into the daily lives of individuals buried in this dense urban jungle; represents the artists obsessive search for her own identity through others.