Light is one of the first things I remember

Light is one of the first things I remember. After being born prematurely, I spent the first few months of my life in and out of hospitals. The blinding light in neonatal and pediatric ICUs was my earliest memory. Perhaps it was then that light, to me, became inextricably linked with motherhood and birth (creation). In the years that followed, I would spot this connection reflected in my art in the most mysterious ways. As a child, I spent summer days lying on the floor by the window for hours on end, looking at reflections of light through sheer curtains. I lost myself in the dance of shadows, seemingly with a life of their own and beckoning me from a sensorial world of shapes that seemed to exist in a parallel reality. That was perhaps my earliest encounter with abstraction, years before I learned its language and to speak it in my own way. 


When I was nineteen, I had an experience that could perhaps be described as transcendental. Walking on a country road one day, I saw an abandoned house. I remember walking into it before losing consciousness due to exhaustion from the oppressive heat and humidity of Uruguayan summers. In my unconscious state I had a vision: before me towered four figures, robed in flowing white and surrounded by the Sun, the Moon, and the stars all at once. In soft whispers, they told me that they would be my guardians for life. I felt as if embraced by the luminosity of that apparition, warm yet not overwhelming. When I woke up, I found myself lying flat in the doorway of the house, half of my body inside, half outside, not sure whether what I had seen was a dream or a mirage. Night had just fallen. 

Light exists not just in my childhood memories and in the episode in my adolescence. It holds for me a spiritual significance. Born to a Christian family, I was raised to see light as a sacred and wholesome force of creation. Later on, light would dominate my artistic pursuits and philosophical musings, which are but two sides of the same search, perhaps all in an effort to make sense of that fateful night when I was nineteen. I wanted to capture light; I wanted to decipher it as a metaphor as I looked to religion and philosophy. The canvases became my windows onto the beyond, the locus of my contemplation. Each work of mine is an attempt to get closer to a somewhat objective truth, and with each foray into the unknown come new obstacles. Eventually, it is in the language of abstraction that I found what I was looking for. It opens me up like a vortex, or an antenna if you will. It connects me to another dimension, where my subconscious becomes one with the shapes and the shades of colors on the canvas. They speak to each other through a secret code of dots, lines and planes, about emotions and recollections. Something tells me that the images I paint once existed somewhere, beyond the cosmos and beneath my conscious thought, in a realm where make-believe becomes being. 


Light also dictates how I approach a particular work. I only paint in natural light, which means that even though my style of abstract oil painting has remained practically the same over a decade, each time I relocate, my works change as a result of the differences in lighting given the region and the hemisphere. Before I made a conscious choice for abstraction, I had been influenced by earlier generations of Uruguayan painters. The artists that have shaped my visual language the most are Roberto Matta (1911-2002), Chilean abstract and surrealist master, and Javier Gil, a Uruguayan contemporary of mine (1961- ) who began his career years before me.