STATEMENT

Statement

All of us have a dream. My dream is to paint and to express the ideas that dwell in my imagination. In fact, my dream has already come true.
My aim is to create an invented world with the fantasy and imaginary elements that live within me, that invisible realm that dwells within each of us. My art mixes the invisible and the visible-physical plane and brings forth the “metaphysical” as well as the experiences from my childhood and my life in El Salvador until the age of fourteen and my life now in the United States of America.

These paintings depict the following themes: Prayer and Meditation, the Worship of the Sacred, the Notion that the Land is Sacred and that we are One with the Land and One with All. These images illustrate the idea that the Divine Spirit within us is the Power that unifies us and makes us one.

To me the Universe is electric and this electricity permeates throughout everything around us. This Electricity and Energy is shown in my paintings by virtue of bright color: intense oranges and yellows, electric cobalt and ultramarine blues and fire-like reds and thick and thin expressive brushstrokes.

The Critics call my style “Magic Surrealism” because it is a mixture of surrealism, impressionism and abstraction, which has its roots in the Mayan Traditions and my Mayan Heritage, with my Ancestors and the Shamans. I come from El Salvador, in Central America, where the Mayan People settled in the beginning. There is so much Mayan Culture there in El Salvador and in the American Continent, even if the Spanish Conquistadores tried to strip these people off their Mayan Culture and Traditions, the Mayan culture still remains in our souls and in our blood.

I started to paint spiritual themes and especially votive candles and the flames of these candles because of my Catholic School upbringing in El Salvador, where I was born, and where I grew up until the age of 14. During these years I visited the many churches and cathedrals in San Salvador and Sonsonate filled with colorful votive candles. (Sonsonate is one of the 14 departments or states of El Salvador, and it is a rural area full of rivers and rich in natural beauty). The candle light series of paintings “speak” of or “depict” this Electric Energy and Light. As a child I was fascinated by the flame shining through the color glass of these votive candles in these Catholic churches. I was also mesmerized by the beauty of the stained-glass windows and the light of the sun shining through the colored glass. I observed this shimmering beauty in my moments of contemplation and in my first trip to Europe at age 19 while learning French and studying art. I visited Notre Dame and Chartres in France and the churches of Italy, Holland and Germany. This trip to Europe opened my eyes and influenced my art dramatically. After this trip I knew my life would never be the same again. I was determined to paint stained-glass motifs into my paintings and to resemble the mosaics filled with vibrant color. My art speaks of this light, energy and electricity, which is symbolized by the light of the candles, particularly the painting called “On Mountain Top” and “Colorful Votive Candles.”

I have developed my own iconography with symbols of Mother Nature such as corn, the sun, red roses, wild flowers, humming birds, rivers, oceans, fruit and the luscious landscapes of El Salvador. The images of El Salvador, my native country come especially from my memories of my beloved Sonsonate,” (which is one of the 14 states of departments of El Salvador), and are combined with images of the Rock Creek Park, in Washington D.C. These are some of the elements that fill my canvases, such as the painting called “Jaguar Man” and “Indigenous Lament, I, II & III.”

The theme of love and of passion is a universal theme and is, of course, one of the main themes of my art, such as in “Jaguar Man.” Lovers in natural environments, in exotic landscapes, forests, jungles, rivers and cascades are depicted in a state of love, harmony and even bliss.

Karlisima