Emerging in a New Light, Magaly Barnola “Titans” Solo Exhibition


Published by Jesus Rojas Torres in What’s Up Miami

Magaly Barnola de Otaola, Titans Series, Curator’s Voice Art Projects, Wynwood, Images Courtesy of the Artist

From October 8th to November 12th, 2011 Caracas-based artist, Magaly Barnola de Otaola will have her first solo exhibition in Miami entitled “Titans” at Curator’s Voice Art Projects in Wynwood.

Curated by Dr. Milagros Bello, “Titans” was partially shown last month at the American Pavilion, Shanghai Art Fair 2011.

The exhibition is comprised of drawings with a new added feature, LED light boxes that showcase and enhance Barnola’s particular trace.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela Magaly Barnola de Otaola obtained her BFA in Drawing and Painting from the Cristobal Rojas School of Plastic Arts. She received formal training from prestigious Venezuelan master painters such as Pedro Centeno Vallenilla, Luis Alfredo Lopez Mendez, Edgar Sanchez and Alirio Rodriguez.

sheet-0015Barnola de Otaola’s main inspiration comes from her own husband, Dr. Juan Francisco Otaola Pavan considered to be one of the most important Latin American civil engineers of the 20th century.

Barnola de Otaola’s relationship with her husband was based on the constant sharing of his engineering ideas, as marvelous as witnessing the whole process of design and construction of Venezuela’s most iconic bridge, the “Puente Rafael Urdaneta,” located on the oil-rich Maracaibo Lake in a country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

“I was tremendously fascinated by the continuous outstanding duet between man-machine found in my husband’s inventions and the radical innovation that brought forward the man’s brainpower,” said Magaly Otaola de Barnola to WUM.

Barnola de Otaola was awarded the First Prize Award 1991 at the Caracas Metro Exhibition with her series “Man Time.”

“In a radical postmodern practice and with no fear of criticism, Barnola de Otaola scans her previous drawings, taking them to another level of conception,” said Milagros Bello, Ph.D., Director of Curator’s Voice Art Projects.

According to Bello, Barnola’s photo images have its own proper visual force, allure, and perspective.

Emerging from a process of deconstruction and through a process of mechanical reproduction, the artist changes the aesthetics of the work engendering a new magic based on the model and not on the real and tactile drawing as an original.

“By using hyper technology and breaking-through tradition Barnola de Otaola re-intervenes her own images appropriating and displacing them towards an utopian illusion,” added Bello.

WUM’s publisher Jesus Rojas Torres interviews Magaly Barnola de Otaola at Joey’s Restaurant across the street from Curator’s Voice Art Projects in Wynwood to talk about her ongoing new solo exhibition.

WUM: Can you tell us more about this new approach to your works?

I arrived to that final idea in a gradual fashion. It was done in phases. The drawings were made back in Venezuela in the late seventies and early eighties when I was taking part in the vanguard of the Caracas art scene.

And for all this time, they were sitting in a well-kept drawer just until recently when I made the decision to do something with them; I took them to a printing shop in Caracas which was innovating using metallic paper.

I wanted to see how those images would transfer into a digitally-scanned image to be printed in this new medium.

I was perplexed to discover a new way of seeing those drawings which were brought from the past to the present using the latest 21st century technology.

Then, I decided to bring them to Miami to get a reaction from experts in selected Miami galleries.

WUM: What is metallic paper and how does it work?

The metallic paper looks like photo paper but it is more dense. It maintains the brightness and glow so you don’t lose the context or background of the work. It’s a great advantage to be able to see the same old drawings but with newer good qualities. They become sharper, brighter and clearer.

WUM: Who encouraged you to draw?

I was studying at the Cristobal Rojas Fine Arts School in Caracas and my teachers, master painters Alirio Rodriguez, Edgar Sanchez and Pedro Teran made a comment one day about those mentioned drawings.

They said that I had the nerve, the art and the technique to draw and to be called a true artist. I was flattered to hear such comments because of my fascination to show the forces between man and machine, the mechanical movements, the strength of man as the center of the universe who creates machines to be used for his own benefit and progress.

WUM: Can you tell us about the element of LED light that you are adding on some of them?

It’s LED light which is conducted through the acrylic frame creating and revealing a futuristic-looking drawing. These type of lights have not been fully used in art as a complement of the work itself. It has somehow been used in exclusive advertising but not in the arts. I think it’s a new way to present the drawings in a form that correspond to the “high-tech” times we are currently living.

WUM: You exhibited in Shanghai Art Fair 2011 at the American Pavilion, how was such experience showcasing in Asia?

It was more than a great experience. I believe that the Chinese people are interested in learning the new art representations that we are bringing from the West.

WUM: How do you see the future of the arts in Venezuela?

There has to be certainty in the future. At this moment, there is uncertainty. The majority of the artists have left the country; and those that have stayed, they try to exhibit their works overseas. Creativity is art, and technology is the tool that the artists have to enhance and improve their art but at the same time, they should know when to stop using that tool.

Curator’s Voice Art Projects is located at 2509 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami Fl 33127.

WUM Exclusive Interviews are written, translated and edited by journalist Jesus Rojas Torres, M.S., with content protected under the creative commons license.
Posted 5th October 2011 by Jesus Manuel Rojas Torres

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