I’m giving back to the Universe what the Uni-VERSE gave to me. Participacion Mystique
I’m letting go of what is. Being. Of what is becoming. L’ Avenir. Letting go of what I AM up to now which in turning echoes what is. ((H))echo. Letting go, for there is no need to take. Everything has been given to you. The Potlatch! Every-thing and no-thing is in front of you. Gnosis. Therefore, let go of what you possess. Deseo. For when one lets go, one receives. What does one gain by worrying of the day. Oh anxious eye! One must learn to breathe again. The first breath was born from a seRene one. (Circular Time) The second from an earnest one. (Linear Time) Unos Mundos. Death to all anxious objects!
I’m in the world now. I’m out of the wor(l)d now.
Between and including Consciousness and Unconsciousness there is becoming. There is connectedness. Mysterium Coniunctionis. There is balance. It is a prime mover. It is creation. We are the re-sounding fact of creativeness. ((H))echo returns! It is sufficient unto itself. That is all!
-Rene´Angulo Trujillo "OtrO Angulo" November 2004
From Willy Riefkohl for 'El Puente Latino' 2000
The work of artist Rene Trujillo is tinged with philosophical and polictical ideas, but that doesn't mean it has less of the beauty that makes art transcendental.
Trujillo was born in Phoenix to a family whose origins are Mexican. His paintings are characterized by the emphasis on reason and reveal the powerful influence of the philosophers, poets and mathematicians he has read: Octavio Paz, Jacques Derrida, Carl Jung and Sir Issac Newton, among many others.
The artist also draws on various artistic currents such as Surrealism and German Expressionism to create his works, in which he mostly uses pastels or acrylics on canvas.
"Some painters appeal to emotions, while others consider intellect to be the goal of art," says Trujillo, who received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from California State University in Los Angeles, in 1989. "As for me, I want to reach the mind as well as the heart."
Trujillo's latest show, entitled Solo-Retro (Gnosis) at The Ave 50 Studio and Gallery, is both a reflection of this opinion and of his search for a philosophical and artistic knowlege. It is no accident that the artist uses the word Gnosis, (from the Greek, knowledge of spiritual truth) in his title.
Works such as '"Living Death (Cool World)" and "SIN (rostro)" e.g. faceless reveal the influence of German Expressionism, which Trujillo employs in representing anguished, deformed faces. Other paintings, such as "Carnal-val" and "Xhibalba", in which the artist uses bright colors, masks and the juxtaposition of faces, animals and smybols, show Surrealistic tendencies.
"Here, " Trujillo says about the paintings in his show, " I employ ideas I have interpreted from Derrida, Jung and others. For example, how to subvert the forms in which a message is received, phallocentrism, Surrealism, mathematics, the visible and invisible and in particular, the concept of diffe´rance from Derrida, whose ideas have made me think about the place that my art occupies: the periphery or the center?"
"I am many things at the same time," adds the artist. "I am Mestizo (Indian & Spanish). But I am also American, Angelino, Universal! 'La Raza Cosmica!' I couldn't be essentialist even if I wanted to be."
Of all the works in his exposition, "The Ego has Landed or How I learned to stopped worrying and love the bomb or the eclipse of Consciousness or something is missing . . .etc". is the most impressive and complicated.
Its lengthy title corroborates the author's intention of deferring the meaning of the painting, which is divided into four equal sized sections marked by the use of black and gray. A crucified Indian on a cross crowned by a decapaitated eagle appears on the left side while on the opposite side a rocket takes off into space. The
top half bears the Consciousness (Gold) and the lower half reads Unconsciousness (Cocaine).
A colored oval, inside of which we can read We can finance you! Even if you have bad credit occupies the center of the painting. Below this oval appear the words massa confusa and the Newtonian equation F=MA.
The controversial piece, originally rejected because it contradicted a more docile image of Mexicans, was whitewashed in less than a year after its inauguration. It was later uncovered in the 1960's and has now been conserved.
On the other hand, Trujillo makes use of gray and black to establish an emotional distance, and the juxtaposition and fragmentation of elements, whose purpose is to break with the painting's visual center.
"In this work," says Trujillo, "I am trying to provoke people. I use an image similar to Siqueiros'. It is a violent painting. In the past, people were exploited for gold. Now they are exploited because of drugs. But (the painting) is also positive. The rocket is an element of escape. Perhaps in the future we will be able to solve our problems."
As a final point, Trujillo reveals that he has returned to drawing and the use of nature as his theme. "I am a draftsman above all else," he says, "For me, drawing is an experimental phase. Besides, every artist always goes back to nature as a source of inspiration."