Amparo Garzon

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Especial/El Nuevo Herald
In Timeo, Plato holds that geometry is the source of all forms of the universe and that the composition of the elements obeys the principles of spatial geometric organization: it identifies water and ICOSAEDRO, air and octahedron, and attributes the shape of the sphere to the planet, for it is this one that holds all the bodies and posses the largest dimension of volume in the minimum amount of area. Today, science reveals to us that water is a crystal, Earth is a sphere that displaces itself in ellipses in the cosmos, and registers the invisible geometrical structures of atoms. We have discerned the formation of the most beautiful existing compositions in any salt or beryllium crystal and—once the DNA has been crystallized—we find ourselves approaching the dazzling geometric structure of life. Such knowledge is key in order to understand what Colombian artist Amparo Garzón recreates in her work.
Each step in her path through art lead her, without she realizing it with the clarity of her present knowledge, to the essence of the "sacred geometry" that is present in all elements of her artworks with the intention of communicating a subjacent nexus with everything created. Garzón works on each painting over reticulums that control the very antique golden proportion and the number Pi, distributing them in different planes—planes behind planes—that admit diverse horizontal lines and, like those who place precious objects on altars, chooses objects charged with symbolism—trees, vases, colored pencils, childish erasers, candy, paper airplanes, toy cars, wheels, letters, wooden boxes—which have helped her construct a language that speaks to unconsciousness. Her paintings are visions that awaken in the spectator the memory of the inner child rather than that of childhood: a state in which all things are connected and it is possible to transit with such agility between the borders of fantasy and reality that the intensity of wishes is enough to precipitate the shapes. It is only in this way that a painting like Sueños de posesión (Dreams of Possession), where the house is attracted from a superior plane towards earth.
In her own journey, Garzón first studied pure physics and mathematics, yet in her eighth semester, when she felt more retained by the space from the faculty of art, where the students painted, she decided to change her career. Such initial knowledge of the physical work and the formal sciences is fundamental for her artistic work. Before reaching her own language, her personal journey included periods of time working as set designer of opera and experimental theater, an exploration through abstract art, fascination by the informality and a certain cult to the work of Anthony Tapies, and even more, the study of easel painting and of Spain’s museums.
It was in Europe, particularly in Basel’s museum of magic realism, where she discovered, thanks to artworks like Karl Korab, a language able to show the presence of what magic in reality, and to reveal, not so much the mental creations of the unconscious—the way surrealists did—but the fascinating order of the universe that beats underneath the surface of chaos.
In order to transmit to canvas her interior world, Garzón learned to explore the sensations that can generate from color after having crossed her own darkness, in a descend that led her to paint a series titled Las tentaciones de San Antonio (The Temptations of San Antonio), in which she avoided—like in a ASCESIS—color, and explored the anguishes of blame and of self-flagellation. An artwork like La víctima (The Victim), with a watermelon—an emblem of Caribbean painting and of feminine in her work—with nails on it is what remains of the territory already covered.
Amparo displays her consistent personal symbolism within the frame of magic realism. Each object is inserted in a code of antique representation and occupies a point in the universe of the painting that does not obey chance. The colors hold a relation with the elements: the blue with the water, the redish hues and dark to earth-tones, and the real forms are associated to traditions incorporated to the imaginary collective. The tree, for example, have always been axis of connections between the inner world, the earth and the sky. She paints them as filled with small gifts wrapped in paper instead of fruits, and conjugates her iconography with poetic titles that complete that effect of "total contemplation" that her work produces: Arbol del bien y del bien (Tree of the good and the good). The details are exact: they are ribbons and not bows nor chains what unties—without tying—the objects that hang and, just like in a Magritte or in a Marx Ernest work, they reintroduce the spheres and certain weightless forms such as aspiration to the quality of lightness.
Her bronze sculptures are, without a doubt, the best expression of her work’s sacred geometry; because the precise symbolization of her language stands out in third dimension. An ovoid, winged sphere, in green-blue hues, mounted over iron structures, creates Guerrero victorioso (Victorious Warrior) and the vases, through which the feminine dialogues are expressed—due to their character of providers, since the forms are made to empty its content—take force once they shift from the painting plane to volume.
Now, when she gets to know the metaphysical implications of space management, each time she makes an exhibit, she distributes her paintings in a way that indicated transit directions for the observation, like putting in a scene that final composition of the set of her work that consists in the act of giving the spectator a determined direction of movement in order for the work to be seen. She plans, for example, how to achieve that in the long trajectory of contemplating her work—shown suggesting a path that opposes the hands of the clock—a state of harmony is triggered , a form of meditation that obeys the effect that the sacred geometry of her art produces in the mind and body.
During her last stage of her artistic journey, in which Garzón chooses to ascend toward "the inner blessings", she has made a pause in her paintings in order to deepen the study of labyrinth-like forms and of the structure of shrines, and she has projected her artwork to a new plane: the wheels and the toys in her paintings are designed with the sacred geometric proportions in order for them to become interactive sculptures that can be placed in parks for children.
The first series, installed in a similar lineal disposition to some of her paintings, with the purpose of making children feel in a state of joy and harmony, is built in Guayaquil, where an exhibit of her artwork will take place at the Palacio de las Artes. This idea of filling up parks with sculptures that can be used to play with, to be touched and crossed through, makes it feel as though if she has reached a stage in which she, as an artist, can place her invisible universes in concrete spaces and give the common enchantment of reality.

Rene Magritte is one of the major exponents; the term ''Magical Realism'' was first used by the German critic Franz Roh in 1925. These works are characterized for a meticulous accuracy in shape, ambiguous perspectives and juxtapositions. It has influenced Neo-Dada art, super realistic Pop Art and is one of the bases for artists working in what has begun to be called ''Art Healing''.

Amparo Garzón