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Samuel Melendrez photo



Why the city and the memory?

Because the city is a container of living. And these livings are stored in the memory. We are condemned to drag our memories. We drag them like heavy shackles. Every corner of the city has the potential capacity to store time. And the time that has been lost hurts. We stay stunned before the ephemeral of the life. It’s already been very well expressed the replicant of Blade Runner: The lived moments vanish "like tears in rain." Moments of joy and sorrow that once filled our lives and we miss to get lost in the nothingness.
Because I want to summon the ghosts of the past. There is only the past. This is a leaky faucet every second fluid that fills the barrel directly navigates to the drift towards death.
Because memory causes absence and manifests as sensible presence. Memory is stored time, and through time and space can flirt with the idea of manipulating the problem of being and not being. There is no way to explain the almost mystical emotion that can be experienced on admission to an old house, an abandoned factory or even archaeological ruins. It is as if we had the ability to hear the voices and noises generated for many decades. When looking at the sky, one can see the light from a star that died millions of years ago. Similarly, if we have the proper disposition of mind, we can experience the distance of time elapsed flowing from the walls of an old building.

Key moments in the starting point

In the late 80s, I was at my parents' house in Zapopan, Jalisco . In an idle moment leafing through a magazine at the University of Guadalajara. The cover was illustrated with a picture that caught my attention. Not only pulled my gaze, but also caught me with a strange seductive magnetism. It was a painting from a teacher named Javier Campos Cabello. The paper described a scene darkened room traversed by the projection of the shadow of a profiled in the light of a neon lamp window. The effect was immediate and lasting. Studying 2nd year of studies in sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, I was torn between the option to continue my career in social orientation or to heed my inner impulses that demanded me meet a growing inclination towards colors and brushes. I was immersed in doubt vocational. No exaggeration to say that a strong image had the magical power to tip the balance towards the territory of the Arts. Removed from my mind any trace of insecurity. Not only that, it was a moment of revelation. He acted as a compass that told me the way. Suddenly, I could follow the trail that would lead me to the admiration of the details of the urban environment. Its beauty and mystery.

Later, as being a student of the School of Visual Arts, I found another image that would have great influence in my training. For the first time, absorbed, contemplating the "ladder " of Paul Delvaux . Chromium came included in a beautiful book dedicated to naked. Such strange spell from that painting. To my mastery of a real surreal presented. I felt transported to a parallel universe. " So are dreams ", I thought. Rare night. With that artificial light appearance. Classic architecture organized the whim of the author, with clearly defined shadows projections but also deliberately incongruous. My eyes wandered avid for every detail. A blue velvet curtain pick a lock with no apparent goal other than to serve compositional pretext. Sequence of shots spliced in tune with forced perspective and neglected. And drain the horizon, with its lunatic ridges hinting at how far the extension of this dream beyond the foreground world. And heaven. You have the ability to know if a sunset or dawn. Calm and Clear Sky transmitting a serene beauty. Backdrop presented as a reminder of our finiteness and smallness of our intimate connection with the vast cosmic arena of imagination. This must be paradise. When my time comes, I want to wake up in that universe.

It was my turn to meet Magritte. From this painter fascinated me is its economy of means. With few colors constructed images that stick in the memory. Leaves imprint on the brain. His scenes have a synthetic appearance, with a treatment that is ahead of the texture images generated in digital animation. That part of his genius. There is much talk of the play of meanings and coexistence of contradictory elements in the construction of visual language, but few pay attention to his blunt style minimal implementation of the technique. Your well-defined shapes and elegant and strong color treatment. The elements of his compositions convey an individuality of a staging of a mock. Magritte 's painting is a daunting austerity, quite in tune with its discreet and demure personality. The author of "This is not a pipe" hated exhibitionism and narcissism, attitudes as well as practiced by some of their fellow travelers. He loved to remain ensconced in the warmth of your home studio.

"How you paint a picture" is the title of a text published some years ago the writer and painter Hugo Hiriart in the newspaper La Jornada. I keep those yellowed newspaper paragraphs and saved clipped to the lapel of an art book. In them, the writer recounts the difficulties to start building your own pictorial language. How can we get into the arduous path that leads us to encounter the inner voice?

"You can paint what you see, like Van Gogh or Monet, a landscape, a fine portrait, some lemons on a table, the rotund apple can be an aesthetic adventure, or what you see in a photo, like Degas or Lautrec. Or you can´t paint what you see, but what you invent, athletic and wildly, as Pollock or Franz Kline, in huge boxes; or gently, in small squares, like sweet teacher Paul Klee. "

The paint is not the realm of "anything goes." All box generates an internal order. Each item in the box promises to others. How to overcome the initial paralysis that causes us to face a blank canvas? A logical and effective method is humbly copying the great masters. But not copy to become literal player, but to achieve "something like that". Working to scan and decode, to achieve unravel the hidden secrets of the trade.

"Half of a painter is to appreciate. Stravinsky also advised: if you feel uncertain or confused, take a model and stick".

In painting, there is nothing reprehensible appropriating other people's ways of doing things. You can take an item here, a solution there. The secret is to sort all these solutions under the baton of the creative impulse itself.

Creating uninfluenced not exist. All artists are indebted to someone.

Samuel Meléndrez Bayardo




Cities have their own hidden and unsuspected beauty. Buildings, full of occurrences and memories, are huge containers of life experience. Through architecture, we can honor memories. The tragic aspect of humanity is echoed by constant reminders of time lost and the painful awareness of our fleeting existence.
The indolence of such imagery transforms the din of the city into a haven of exacerbated tranquility. Gone are the sounds of street bustle. Sidewalks lay bare, displaying a strange cleanliness void of turmoil, where the city becomes a collection of objects arranged like a big puzzle, reflecting a desire to erase the memory of original sin and recover, in the timeless city, the perfect past of a lost paradise.

This image is a metaphysical vision of chilling precision. Places so ordinary that they become unrecognizable and seem made up. It is a postmodern poem in honor of the melancholy that strips, peels and tears cities into pieces. The calm hides within the chaos, within the desolation hidden in the mechanical ebb and flow of the crowd, the sense of peace one desires upon the realization of one’s own fragility in an environment where aggression leaps out at the slightest provocation.
The frozen film sequence that deliberately denies that which is organic and to a large extent the creation of explicit metaphors. This is the eternal question of art: omitting something only to redefine it.

A circular movement around our worries that takes us right back to them once the circle is completed. Within our urban travails, where stress is prevalent, a similar movement occurs: alongside our hurried notion of time, under a bristling epidermis, we experience an unbridled desire for stillness.
The passing of time, of life, is inexorable. And that notion of timelessness gives way to a troubling awareness of our ephemeral state and its archetypal manifestations: incessant waves of troubled new generations attempting to overcome uncertainty, the relentless blossoming of new ideas and new notions about halting the march of history, the desire to realize utopias through perfect lives, steadfast and uncompromising. Man reasons and death intrudes upon his aspiration to comprehend eternity.



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