OKUDA SAN MIGUEL, GUEST ARTIST AT ART MADRID\'18

Okuda San Miguel.

 

 

Suddenly, when turning that corner in that street of Porto, an impressive figure hits your look. It seems to grow up in the road, it seems to spring up from concrete like if it were a creature come from a parallel universe. Tens of facets of color, a geometric organism raises up in front of you and, also suddenly, you realize that you are looking at a phone box. It is an Okuda San Miguel’s, his signature, his shapes that appear on walls, alleys, buildings, bricks of the main capitals of the world, India, Mali, Mozambique, The US, Japan, Chile, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Mexico and almost the whole Europe.

 

 

Okuda San Miguel. The International Church of Cannabis. Denver. 2017

 

 

His urban essence has enriched with time with the oriental philosophy, with metaphysical issues about the infinite, the universal, erasing the boundaries between the man and the nature, between the man and the art, to create an unique iconography that talks about the contradictions between modernity and tradition, between the homo capitalismus and the homo ludens, between the me and the myself in a continuous transformation.

 

“My art reflects my love for metamorphosis. Playing with the shapes I highlight this juxtaposition within my characters, mixing their profiles and personalities. I paint my faces with geometric patterns to show the equality between the different races, placing all skin types on the same level; this multicolorism symbolizes multiculturalism", Okuda San Miguel states.

 

 

Okuda San Miguel. Refugee Goddess. 2017

 

 

 

The jump from streets to the galleries, to the work in a studio, has been inevitable, a new generation of collectors and art lovers were asking for some fresh air in the market and this artist has brought to them a colour hurricane. "I use colours as a symbol of life and the natural world, while the gray scale in my paintings represents the concrete, death, dust and material of the classic sculptures," Okuda explains.

 

Now, Art Madrid, to celebrate its 13th edition and, why not saying it, to fight against superstitions, has asked to Okuda a little of his magic and he will be the guest artist in Art Madrid’18, joining the list of guests of past editions along with Ouka Leele, Carmen Calvo and Riera i Aragó, all of them seekers of new shapes and experimenters of the image.
 

 

 

 

Okuda San Miguel. Lion. Arcugnano. Italy. 2016

 

 

With Okuda San Miguel, and in collaboration with Ink And Movement, we will develop an exclusive work to Art Madrid and many other actions that we will tell about. Welcome, Okuda!

 

About the artist:
Okuda San Miguel. Santander, 1980. He lives in Madrid, where he also has his studio. Degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His unique iconographic language of geometric and multicolored patterns on the streets of cities around the world have made of him one of the most recognized urban artists today. Renowned for his large-scale projects, Okuda is recognized for the transformation he made at the end of 2015 of an Asturian church: "Kaos Temple" like it was renamed, which has become a new icon of contemporary art. In parallel with his work in public space, in 2009 Okuda began his own practice of study. Since then, his work has been exhibited in galleries and venues as diverse as India, Mali, Mozambique, United States, Japan, Chile, Brazil, Peru, South Africa or Mexico, in addition to almost the entire European continent.

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.