Critic's Notes

(Ricardo César Lescano Grosso), Art critic in Argentina

Ontological concepts, jubilant style and instinct make a magical mix in the works of Mauricio Paz Viola, creating visual images secure in their aesthetic expression, and marvelously incisive for the viewer ... terrific for those who are fond of introspection.


The works of Paz Viola alludes to the hidden charm of the abstraction to the point of almost subordinating all conceptual speculation to genuine emotional experiences, a proposal typical of any authentic art where aesthetics are at play with our senses. In his works - extensive, powerful color schemes in preliminary states, covering the canvas in an organic manner, with a rhythm as if animated by the compositional force that sprung from the bond between the artist and the Universe. I would say that even more significant is the visual materialization of the dialogue between the existential author that delves into the profound consciousness of origin.


If there were a way in which Paz Viola connects with art, it would be reflection, with his own techniques - which is why his visual language takes us directly to the core of his works and transforming them into purely symbolic elements. Nevertheless, the artist seems to be taking away from using a story or taking the reins of narrative, retaining on the canvas only what is perpetual, infinite and what speaks for itself ...


I believe that the magnitude of images reflect the artist's creative and cognitive will, and an example of this would be the series "Nothing in the Void" where the author expands on the extreme idea of a kind of meaning where the human-universe duality dissolves in the immenseness Presented with a subtle touch of personal nostalgia, the series nevertheless features explosions of color and spaces, enticing the viewer in an intense, limitless realm while striking music in their heartstrings.


(Martin Astorga), plastic artist and culture manager

Mauricio Paz Viola proposes a new approach to contemporary art through fantastical images of his own ideation, creating a wondrous landscape that invites imagination, physical and psychic, organic metaphors in virtual, ethereal and luminous worlds with a lyrical, person graphology like few are able to , In order to strive for perfection in beauty which springs from his inner cosmos.


The creative impulse is palpable all over the canvas, in its transparencies, its persistent yet innovative propositions of its own world, which opens to us through his writing, which is painting and drawing at the same time and masterfully and spontaneously conveys his cosmos, transforming The viewer into silent witnesses to a world where time loses its relevance and shapes indefinitely regenerate, becoming permanent movements in the eyes of observers.


Paz Viola eludes to straight-forward interpretation: rather, I have defined his own landscape, articulating new horizons of joyful inspiration, with singular effects of light and shade, of dreamy colors in their textures and shapes. Henceforth, Paz Viola reveals his anxiety as an artist and a human being - anxious to reveal his self, while his work appears as a fragment of a unique composition, an element of his secret intention to reveal the inner world of his imagination which Nourishes his creations.


The colors used by Paz Viola are not colors of the nature. Rather, they are invented, perhaps to generate uncanny visions of his dreams and his poetic wanderings: lights and sparks shining out of blue and orange, luring views to dabble in the world of Paz Viola ... unexpected radiance that takes views to the realms of magic , To an imagined and fabulous world sustained by masterfully wrought colors, in a state of constant change and creation, shapes that interlace and reinvent themselves, mixing colors, giving birth to new volumes, ebullient of perfect transparency and light.


Paz Viola presents a dynamic and incandescent landscape, which is deeply personal with an unequivocal singularity and originality, in which his works as a young artist and creator. While years will add to his mastery which is already evident, and will surely travel new paths towards new possibilities of wonder.


It is difficult to overlook his work: viewers are inevitably drawn to behold them, to enter them and be carried away by the artist's way of seeing and seeing - which alone can testify to its value the plastic expression. It is impossible not to explore the hidden nooks and corners and find them lights and shadows. Inertia has no place in his work, and monotony is nonexistent: with multiplied visual realms, of which each is a landscape, a vision, and all come together and form a parable - familiar, friendly, speaking to us in another tongue, in a Unique language of Paz Viola.


The vibrant lines elevate shapes and colors to glory, with magic transpiring from all his creations - an epic magic that lends itself to the movement of shapes and the vitality and transparency of color. Paz Viola blazes his own trail: he is his own influence, and therein lies the litmus proof of his weight as an artist. The spatiality in his paintings mark the beginning of the viewer's journey, while his impeccable techniques grips observers till the end of their artistic musings.


Paz Viola has a remarkable sensitivity with colors, and his paintings lay bare the depth and sensuality of his highly original textures that have broken free from conventions ... Peace Viola gifts us with his existential mystique in every brush, weaving fantasies that dance between the familiar and The unknown, opening new dimensions through his canvas wormholes ... Peace Viola shows a fresh path in a creative cosmos that exists only in his spirit and subconsciousness. From such intimate space are born his creations, which grow, change and multiple towards perfection.


Paz Viola is a good example of mediums at the service of ideas, of his unwavering horizons, of his colors - pink, orange, saturated or translucent, transfiguring in dark puzzles or luminous sparkles - like an x-ray of his imagination, of his Spirit


Emerging gracefully out of his experimental audacity, Paz Viola seeks in the other than representing his genuine essence as a human being and an artist through his intimate and distinctive touch.



The Art of Paz Viola: The Self Externalized

A Critique By Du Xiyun


Freedom is the soul’s desiring, and yet it finds itself everywhere in chains. In the literal sense, freedom comes at no light a cost. Yet, art holds out a way, at a price merely nominal. Artists are the blessed ones. One taste of freedom and they do not let go. The pursuit of freedom becomes the joy of their existence, the goal of their journey, and an indefatigable obsession. 


As a medium of expression, art can speak to a variety of topics, and claim its place in culture or politics. Yet Paz Viola tries to say as little as possible in his art, never using it as social commentary or political critique. Rather, he channels it as a vehicle towards his spiritual and subconscious world. A conscious choice made from his perspective on art. 


To compel the artist himself and viewers alike, art needs first and foremost authenticity, then truthfulness. Usually, works of art can contribute three things: emotions, concepts, and aesthetic originality.


The aesthetic potential of art has been practically exhausted after centuries of Modernism. Artists today do a few nips and tucks here and there, adding to an existing abundance or merely finding new forms to convey old ideas. Excess, particularly in this day and age, has largely eliminated the very possibility of aesthetic originality.  


Authenticity is inextricably linked with truthfulness. At a time of turbulence and rising conflicts between civilizations, communities of different faiths find themselves unable to reconcile their differences when it comes to their views on truth. 


Art thus chooses to begin and end with pathos. In giving freedom to emotions, moods, and mindscapes, art finds its most indispensable role. Hence, what comes out of the tips of paintbrushes are true reflections of the artist’s mind. That is because the act of painting itself is linked to emotions, spirituality, and the mind. People who paint at all know that it is nigh impossible to hide how they truly feel from the canvas. Once authenticity is given full permission, truthfulness is provided with the space to emerge. Whether and to what extent it chooses to do so depends on its own volition. 


Authenticity is Paz Viola’s first priority, a consequence of his disposition and views on art. When painting, he tries to minimize intellectualization, to protect the result from interference from the false self. The true self, then, is allowed to come through. The task of the artist is accomplished when he renders visible his invisible truths within. To do this as faithfully as possible, Joan Miró (1893–1983) fasted, meditated, or positioned himself head-down to get his conscious self out of the way, and facilitate the passage of his secret inner world onto the canvas. Similarly, Paz Viola works to translate his inner landscape—one that eludes knowledge and reason—into two-dimensional images. 

In terms of image and form, there is an apparent consistency in Paz Viola’s works that belies subtle yet steady changes through the years. On canvas, flowing shapes of bold colors swim and swarm, washing over each other like crashing tides. In the pregnant space between chaos and clarity, tension is visualized through a two-step process. Colors are allowed to run wild before they are reined in with delicate lines and thoughtful strokes.


To Paz Viola, the canvas functions like a matrix, a nurturing womb where mystic energies dance and simmer. The resulting images are perhaps an expression of the artist’s instinct, or an extension of a deduction—an intricate evolutionary language from dot to line, and from line to plane. As we speak, we are shaped by the language spoken. The speaker is in turn seduced and disciplined by the very sounds he utters—sounds governed by rules and features, sounds that together make up language. 


In the visual language of Paz Viola is an abundance of emotions, spirituality, and moods. They are passionate without being overwhelming, tender without being weak, and elaborate without being disorderly. Was there a conscious choice to hold them within a somewhat “normal” range? The act of painting leaves little hiding room for one’s authentic self. Thus, what we see on Paz Viola’s canvases—emotions, spirituality, and mood—is what we get, the artist’s true nature. 


In the works of Paz Viola, vibrance is a thoughtful product of structure, shades, movement, and layers. Poignant contrasts bring out from the darkness glimmers of light, which permeate and flow in all directions, filling the entire canvas with luminous hope. Light, even though obstructed and subdued, manages to pierce through the darkness. Sparkling, flickering, and pouring, light transforms Paz Viola’s paintings into worlds teeming with life and abundance. 


By choosing authenticity above all else, the artist instinctively reveals his vision of the world. People are strangers to themselves most of the time. That is, until they put a brush to canvas and are then confronted with what springs forth from the depth of their consciousness. The inner landscapes of Paz Viola evoke images of viscera, of caves and trenches, of mountains, rivers and oceans, and of supernovas and black holes. Why so? Perhaps not even the artist himself has an answer, because humans are creatures and no one is the creator of his own self. Vast and mysterious is the universe that defeats human measure, and elusive is the human mind that defies full self-knowledge.     


In recreating these inner landscapes, Paz Viola dives (or perhaps sinks) even deeper into the cosmic mystery. He finds himself in the realm of big questions that have perplexed humanity since the beginning of time: who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? Contemplating finished works, Paz Viola realizes that they are created from one and the same substance that once made up the stars and the universe. In his own words: “I believe the images in my paintings once existed in a corner of the universe when we were just particles of cosmic dust. As children of stars, we have memories of the eons past flowing in our veins. Capturing and recreating these dormant but forgotten worlds is what I strive to do as an artist.”


What Paz Viola aims for, however, is found in the realm of the transcendental, beyond the reach of knowledge. It is a territory where truths cannot be attained through reason or articulated in words. The universe is full of mysteries that defy human understanding. Spirituality may pry open a door, allowing one to catch a glimpse or a signal every once in a while. We take one step ahead, and yet again, we are confronted with the vast unknown. As Susan Sontag wrote in The Aesthetics of Silence: “art is no longer understood as consciousness expressing and therefore, implicitly, affirming itself. Art is not consciousness per se, but rather its antidote—evolved from within consciousness itself.” And that is where Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus ends: “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” 


May 12, 2023. Beijing.