About the artist Elmar Rojas

Elmar Rojas is a well recognized artist around the world, he is presently living in his country where he shares his creative work with other cultural activities at both national and international levels, while working as an architect at the same time.

To be sure, the fact of having a Guatemalan soul is reflected in Roja's plastic works and is one of the fountainheads to explain them. In his works we always find ourselves facing an open and immense space from which flows a past that does not seem to cease. That impregnates everything present with a quiet and sweet excitement, where light plays the role of enhancing round and deep landscape untainted by violence.

Light of half-closed eyes. An extension devoid of everything but mystery and evocation filled with the most delicate lyricism. Thin air only capable of holding atmospheres of corpuscular luminosity that evades any spectral coldness under the dictate of an ungraspable tenderness, an extended innocence, a decanted poetry.

A capturing of signs transmitted by the renewed tradition of “great orators” that braid into one single mestizo thread the two cultural currents – of European and Indian lineages – in our blood.

He was born in 1942 in San Raymundo de Peñafort, Guatemala.

And everything is according to its mystery and to its own supernatural nature, which is nothing else but magical realism:THE WORLD OF ELMAR ROJAS

Elmar Rojas

Space of folk tales and traditions of the Indian country riding on the mestizaje of Ladinos, aged by colonial boredom. Grasping of the by mystery of folk tales and traditions undeleted by time and still pulsing in bell curves, in old stone or clay filters ( to cool water, which comes out clean – smelling more of soil than before - ). I mean that Rojas' work searches and rescues this inexhastible reservoir of Guatemalan mestizo tradition, that is to say, it directly relates to our culture's sources. That is why it possesses and displays that awe created by the space of loving and quiet evocation.

However, this task of re-encountering does not follow the direct path of imitating or transcribing folklore or any other artful mechanism, as could illegitimately happen, but it happens through the painstaking artistic reconstruction of that order, which Rojas makes decipherable. We confirm that – as usual in these experiences – the true artist is capable of expressing our culture's essence by transcribing it to other expressive realities, in this case, to specific levels of plastic expression. An up – to – date, valid expression, indeed, that of this Guatemalan creator, who has those plastic resources that point knowledgeable of the painting and design crafts: the secrets of glazes and clean colors, which be uses as tools – and as a reference of technical possibilities – offered by the most advanced schools of American and European contemporary painting.

We do not find that Elmar Rojas' work , as it formerly happened with the work of the great Guatemalan writer Miguel Angel Asturias, springs from the space of Guatemala's own historical reality.

Although it is approached. Similar to Asturias' prose, with a fully universal language, namely, a language that is valid in all cultural realms.

In Rojas, as in Asturias, his subject matter which will he briefly covered below: has bad different moments and meanings. He went through the abstract or merely formal stage – if we can thus call it – (as in Asturias' case, with the linguistic overflows of the Jitanjáforas, found in such works as “Emulo Lipolidón”, “Anclasan”, and “Claravigilia Primaveral”; Rojas has his Impasto Painting Stage between 1964 and 1968). There was the stage of social denunciation and criticism, against the atrocities and usurpations of brutal and illegitimate goverments (the novelist bad “El Señor Presidente and the banana plantation Trilogy covered by “Viento Fuerte”, “El Papa Verde” and “Los Ojos de los Enterrados”; the painter offered the Social Chronicle Stage of the years 1968 to 1972); in “parallel” fashion, there was the register of the most elaborate and transcriptive realism ( in Asturias, his “Sonetos a la manera de Horacio”, in Rojas, a littleknown series of portraits of Guatemalan society women) and them came the already mature stage of recasting, which crystallized new and more far-reaching creative realities (where, in both cases, their personal languages, without hiding echoes of external social reverberations, plunge into worlds of individual signs, of very elaborate baroque style, and overflowing expressive richness. “Mulata de Tal”, “El Alhajadito”, “El Espejo de Lida Sal”, in Asturias; and the series of Fragmented Nudes, from 1975 to 1980; of Commemorative Characters, from 1980 to 1984; and the Scarecrow series (1984-), in Elmar Rojas.

But in neither – poet nor painter - is the umbilical link with the deep Guatemala lost under any circumstance.

It is worth remembering that, in a significant manner, both Miguel Angel Asturias and Elmar Rojas acquired their artistic training in Europe. That is to say there, they acquired a substantial portion of their more recent technique.

Awards & Achivements

  • MAAA World Prize

    World’s l5 Best Artist, USA.

  • Camilo Mori International Award

    lX Art Biennial, Valparaiso, Chile

  • “Cristobal Colón”

    Great Iberoamerican Prize, “Cristobal Colón”, Madrid, España

  • Grand Prize, Mezoamerican Biennial

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  • First Prize

    Arte Paíz First Biennial. Guatemala

  • First Prize

    Contemporary Art Museum, Panamá

  • Grand Painting Prize

    Art and Culture Festival, Antigua Guatemala

  • First Painting Prize

    Art and Culture Festival, Antigua Guatemala

  • Latin American Prize

    Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, uito, Ecuador

  • Grand Painting Prize

    Central American Contest, Guatemala

  • Second Prize

    Shell National Painting Contest, Guatemala International Honorary Prize, Art Festival, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France

  • Second & Third Prizes

    Juannio Contest, Guatemala

  • Grand Painting Prize

    Central American Contest, Guatemala

  • First Prize

    Painting, Central American University, Guatemala

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