Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

This document is an interview conducted by Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Puerto Rican curator who is based in the United States, with Domingo García, the artist. In the interview, García explains why, after mounting an exhibition of portraits entitled Íconos [Icons], he decided to organize a show of still lifes, landscapes, portraits, and nudes. The artist makes a special point of the arbitrary nature of boundaries between genres. To him, a still life is not so different from a landscape because actually, both “tienen que ver con cómo manipular las cualidades físicas de la pintura” [have to do with how the artist handles the physical properties of painting]. In addition, García defines the concept of “abstracción de los sentidos” [abstraction of the senses], discusses the “autorretrato” [self-portrait] motif in his works and explains his opinion of the landscape genre. In other words, landscape painting offers García new challenges and opportunities, since the place where it happens is surrounded either by sea or vegetation. Toward the end of the interview, the artist discusses the nude: a seminal theme in Domingo’s œuvre.

Annotations

The exhibition, Domingo Garcia: Transposiciones [Domingo Garcia: Transpositions], was held at the Galería Luigi Marrozzini (San Juan) from September 28 to October 23, 1993. Among the works shown on that occasion were: Vista de Mameyes [View of Mameyes], La Venus de Luquillo [The Venus of Luquillo], Autorretrato con desnudo [Self-Portrait with Nude], Flor amiga [Friendly Flower], Autoretrato II [Self-Portrait II], Playa Las Picúas [Las Picúas Beach], Orquídea [Orchid], Dionisio [Dionysius], all created in 1993. Domingo García (Coamo, b. 1932) grew up in New York City and lived in the Big Apple for long stretches of time; however, he never broke his ties to Puerto Rico. In 1957, he returned to the island, and one year later, he founded the Galería Campeche in Old San Juan. This gallery provided a workshop, school, cultural center, and gallery where art training was provided for many of the young artists of that time. From 1988 to 1994, he was the director of the Galería Latinoamericana in Old San Juan. He also served as an instructor at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan [San Juan School of Visual Arts], from 1990 to 1997.

Researcher
Flavia Marichal Lugo
Team
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico