Jaime Jose


by Jaime José

To paint whatever may be, what moves, what flies, what delights, what pleases, what gives courage, what excites, what gives pleasure, what is forgotten, what frightens. To paint the divine, paint the profane, paint the myths, paint traditions, paint habits, what is denounced, what is remembered. Paint life, paint death, paint love, paint the erotic, paint the modest, paint childhood, paint truth, paint lies, paint dreams, paint laughter, paint sorrow, paint joy, loneliness, risks. To paint magic, paint feelings, paint what we await, paint glory, paint envy, arrogance, paint the simple, paint nature, the sea, the mountains, the flower. To paint birds, animals, paint a woman, paint injustices, corrupt them. To paint the greatest loves, the greatest submissions, the greatest passions, the most sublime, the most vile and evil; to paint humanity, paint humbleness, paint sacrifice, paint human comedy and its masquerade. To paint costumes, paint the contemporary, paint happiness, misery, indifference, resentment ; to pain irony, paint pain, paint sarcasm, the future and every act that is worth remembering¿ This appears to be the common denominator of every artist yet, in order to paint it, there is a need to feel the fire run through the veins, the one that cleans as it burns the body. This is how painting should feel: it should hurt you, delight you, it should talk to your insides and, at the same time, make you feel the great relief from its load. Sometimes calm and happy and, others, accelerated and aggressive, but devoting yourself to it with total authenticity of what is being expressed. Paint to paint, sing to sing, write to write; touch to touch, act to act, doesn¿t convey, doesn¿t have passion, and for the same reason, doesn¿t have meaning.

Allow the energy to flow with every moment of life; enjoy up until the last moment of existence on this earth; allow the blood to warm the brain in order to inspire the imagination and lead it to find emotional equilibrium, and, hence, the interior peace of the senses. "Extend my life", "Prolong my death"¿ Dilemma of humans as we tire ourselves from pleading. Everything is given, for everything has a fate that is not mistaken. It is the plan of a superior being that smiles as if saying: "Take advantage of time"; it¿s your time and nobody else¿s. Those things that have life brother, I will not leave to others! I want to be the arquitect of my own fate.

Paint and paint, walk and walk, without ever stopping the hands of time. Take me with you to the space where clocks don¿t work and time doesn¿t exist. There I will be eternal.

To be to convey something you carry inside and feel a need to communicate, is a personal act that requires sacrifice, submission, discipline, loyalty , struggle, risk; but, above all, it is an act of courage. Jeopardize everything for the sake of a dream, an inclination, an illusion, an adventure, a goal, a change of live, etc.

Whereas the results obtained are not necessarily the ones expected and lead to paths of frustration and depression. Only if the will is strong will one keep on traveling through the right tracks, and only time will be the judge of what has been done.

Turn the compass in the opposite direction where, because of custom or habit, one is used to walking. Such is my case for, since childhood, a great enthusiasm awakened in me as I discovered the effect that colors on the chromatic scale had on my spirit. Likewise, the pleasure of playing with clay and any material at hand, etched on my mind an illusion that I thought time would erase. Years went by and like any other child of my time, I longed to be a teenager in order to have my own bicycle. After that stage, I wanted a woman to share with me the passion born from love, and, of course, as a result of such passion: children. Life appeared to go by in harmony, without any problem; that is, the habitual and normal within a typical marriage. As time passed, however, I started sparing time to that hidden passion I held within me in order to keep it alive. As I did so, however, I roused within me sensations and emotions hard to describe.

This is how, the, after a series of projects that assured prosperity and education for my family (without any excess), I decided to study the great Shakespearean dilemma: "To be or not to be." I was not getting any younger (42 by then) and time seemed to fly by. Which is why, by the mid-80s, I left everything for the sake of an illusion. The questioning of my beloved ones did not have to wait, and I believe I had reason to spare for it.
By 1985, I realized my first collective exposition and, from then on, I see myself wrapped in a ladder that has no end nor beginning, where time keeps on flying and the things I feel need to shape and sculpt are many. Up until now, I feel no regrets. I hope God grants me the fortune of ending my life living this passion.

Expressive Skills of Jaime José

Several different aspects supply Jaime José¿s artistic iconography, ranging from his own life experiences that are kept nestled in an associative memory¿and, with no doubt, involuntary¿, to a lavish and plentiful imagination from which images that reiterate or show themselves in series that have diverse variants, sprout.

Undeniably, there exists in his work a deeply rooted popular tradition. There are times when that sense of collective imagination is also associated with a childish vision. Yet it would be a mistake to think that because of this, the artist belongs then to the breed of ingenious painters. On the contrary, Jaime José is very conscious of the scope of his work, inevitably etched in an American neo-baroque of various particular meanings.

There is a certain sense of scenery in the paintings of Jaime José that takes elements of everyday life as those that are generated by a deliberate artificiality. It is precisely in these imaginative and artificial constructions where the artist locates a creativity that distinguishes and identifies him.

Signs and symbols appear in his work (the cross is a structural constant that reiterates in him throughout time). Human fate is always present in these metaphors that act like disguises to the contemplation of symbolic vision, which do not lack a religious sense of existence.

Color has a protagonist role in his paintings and is associated with symbolic conception. In modern crossbreeding of styles and expressive media, several influences are manifested: from surrealism, usually present in most Mexican artists¿ works, to expressionism that brushes with magic realism and with the phantasmagoric.

Without a doubt, by using his dexterity with emblematic painting, Jaime José¿s artwork offers a world that has yet to be discovered.

Fermín Fevre

Buenos Aires, Argentina

September 2000

Mexican Influence behind the Symbols of Jaime José

The first impression we feel before Jaime José¿s paintings is the one produced by the effect of his jazzy ornaments, which imposes itself to us through the use of color¿intense and contrasting, as well as by the vitality of its forms, that seem to unfold regularly over the artwork¿s ordered surface.

To this first formal impression, one that is visually pure and immediate and composed of planes made of ordered chromatic agitation, it happens, in a second instant, the necessary decoding of the significance of the artwork; hence, the reading of the artwork¿s symbology.

The fact that the significance of the work appears on the second instant and not on the first, is not due to a higher level of difficulty, like a problem hard to solve. One doesn¿t have to be an expert in art in order to be able to understand the paintings of Jaime José, which are neither labyrinth-like nor hermetic in nature, on the contrary: the works appear to search for a simple and clear eloquence within everybody¿s reach.

Furthermore, that second moment in which one makes contact with Jaime José¿s work occurs almost simultaneously with the first instant, for in the precise second when one sees the forms and colors, one is able to recognize immediately that these represent people, fruits, objects, etc. But then, when questioned about what is being seen (which implies a second moment in the communication with the work), an association with such elements occurs, and a relationship is established among them, sometimes being deliberately ambiguous, interchangeable or ambivalent. Human heads may appear to be emblematic fruits, crosses or niches; or the fruits may become hats. It is in this way that a chain of identity games created by association, usually metaphoric, is summed to the subjective decoding and the affective projection of the interior of each spectator, resulting in the symbolic significance of the artwork.

The symbolic contents is fundamental in the paintings of Jaime José. This is what determines the character of his compositions and the stylized and stereotyped simplicity of his figurative elements, which attenuate the individual peculiarity in order to change¿almost¿into constant visual signs.

Between the symbology and the ornamentation, several composition aspects of the work are resolved, as are serial and modular repetitions, in planes or in peripheral strips, sometimes repeating regularly the same motives or alternating and varying them.

There are two ways of relating the component elements of the work of Jaime José in order to integrate a coherent composition: first of all, they have the mentioned symbolic relationship that determines the syntaxes that organizes it in order for the relationship to comply with its discursive function; and at the same time, they have a way of etching or engraving on a pictorial surface that has a visual appearance structured upon a game of planes and forms that fall in harmony depending on a rhythmic order, which is usually rotating, centripetal, symmetric, axial and semi-circular. The color is also a factor that acts as an integrating merger of the forms and as a visual stimuli that animates the surface.

As a result of the composition, the artwork concentrates on itself, retains the gaze, directs it in its visual lecture, and gravitates toward its central axis, without having parts predominate over others, keeping a general well-compensated and equilibrate compensation.

Jaime José¿s work achieves its highest point of communication if the Mexican codes underplaying his work are shared and understood, for these are the elements of his sensibility, humor, taste, idiosyncrasy; this is what gives meaning to his symbolic discourse. Yet it is not required to be Mexican in order to feel the Mexican elements in the artworks, which palpitate the same wishes, sorrows and dreams of every human being.

Peran Erminy

Caracas, Venezuela

August 1996