Venezuelan kinetic artist, Jesus Raphael Soto was one of the greats of the 20th Century, shaping the world far more than he was ever shaped by it. He developed a visual language combining parallel lines and illusionary tricks of depth imperception, combining geometric figures and planes in the foreground/background. Moreover, his work requires the user actually physically participate... A tough call for the self-styled laziest man in the world that I am. But many of the pieces on show at MOLAA, only work in full effect if you observe them walking by at various speeds. Then they will appear to vibrate. It's really quite exciting all of this trickery of the minds eye.
Born in Ciudad Bol??var in 1923, Soto rose to become the director of the Maracaibo school of fine arts, a position he held until his native Venezuela became a dictatorship in 1950, and he left for Paris.
In Paris, Soto quickly became associated with the abstract New Realities Movement. He began experimenting with geometric forms, triangles, circles and squares, work he called his Repetition paintings.
Soto is known as one of the founders of the Kinetic Art movement and over the years, its influence, and his accolades grew. In 1973 he opened his own museum back in Ciudad Bolivar.
A pretty exciting and refreshing show. Even Museum Director, Gregorio Luke exclaims his genuine surprise, when he says, he'd begun to think that nothing could surprise him anymore, "It is an art that moves as you move; it cannot exist without your participation. Soto's work is unlike anything you've ever seen before!" It's invigorating that a man who has spent his entire life studying art can be thrilled so.
Don't miss, The Universality of the Immaterial. It runs until March 19th.
Moving on to another event at MoLAA. Last Sunday saw the Afro-Latino Heritage Festival, a pretty generic name for a thrilling afternoon of entertainment. Music, dancing, food and fun creative activities for kids. I like it when museums and galleries plug themselves into the heart of the community and are accessible to all. The event itself is part of the ongoing celebration of black history month and was sponsored by Target, one of our favorite stores. The samba dancers were a lot of fun - but canned music, alas. Oh well, I have to add that I bumped into Museum Director, Gregorio Luke in the food line. Now, I've flown a fair bit around this country and I've never seen a pilot eating airplane food, so how bad can that be?
Finally a word about the MoLAA gift shop, a favorite. I always begin there and feel my mood lift just going inside. I had previously picked up Andr?©e's Nelson Mandela finger puppet there. This week I limited myself to a very fine MoLAA baseball hat.
Good day after all.
There's always a ton of stuff going on over at MoLAA, you should head over there and check it out. Oh and since they're in the middle of a gigantic fund drive for an essential extension to their space, bring a checkbook. They deserve our support. http://www.molaa.com/
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