Color & Canvas

A painting shows a part of the world that has never been seen, in a manner never seen

Saying that a work of art shows a part of the world that is to say, of reality never seen, only has the purpose of bigbligbting the fact that no one is capable of perceiving reality in its entirety. This is an idea by de Simone de Beauvoir elaborated during an unforgettable dialogue with Sartre.

In effect, each one of us is only capable of grasping one part of it. In the words of Beauvoir, “reality is a detotalized reality” and, because of that, we are interest in artist' visions and inquiries; precisely, because they provide us with the opportunity of apprehending that part of the world they see. As if from different windows and belvederes only they individually have access to. Carlos Mérida, the great master of LATIN AMERICAN PAINTING, used to say: painting is a window to look at the world.Concerning the statement that it must be revealed in a manner never seen, this refers to the way of doing it, which some identify with style. Let us try an approximation a very generic one of the meaning of these two aspects in the case of Elmar Roja's painting: we realize that his painstaking artistic production shows us a universe never seen. METAPHORIC, MYTHICAL, MAGICAL, in which no matter how we decide to connote it its essence is solely due to the motivation and reflection of a particular reality to which they transcend.

Such a reality is none other than the one belonging to that matutinal land called Guatemala, and to that melting pot of composite orders, myths, traditions and social waves which gravitate over its minute territory.

Artes de Elmar Rojas

But ELMAR ROJAS' artistic production shows us that universe because of the relationship he is able to establish with reality; that is to say, because of the warm, human and poetic manner with his astonishment still intact which he manages to bring us, noting that its essence as trapped by the artist is shown and hidden at the same time behind the torrent of facts structuring the purely empirical, hence implying a more intense retrieval in brief, and given the very original nature of this Guatemala, his art gives us access to the world of THE WONDERFUL REAL.

We can then say that the artist gives us the abyssal world which is coded there, in “ the lines of the hand” of our Guatemala, and which we are incapable of seeing. Of reading. Of decoding.


Arts Gallery & Special Events

Collection ONE

A collection of art pieces exhibited by the artist.

Collection TWO

Gallery of art pieces exhibited one by one


Book of Events

Visit the book of events and references by Elmar Rojas, sharing information about Art Shows, Special Events and Awards.

Elmar Rojas Book


Magic realism

Elmar Rojas Taller

Novelist Alejo Carpentier has written:

...”wonder begins unmistakably to be so when it comes out of an unexpected alteration of reality (the miracle), out of a privileged revelation of reality, out of an unusual or particularly favorable illumination of reality's inadverted riches, out of an expansion of reality's scales and categories, perceived with particular intensity by virtue of an exaltation of the spirit which leads it to a sort of “boundary state”. To begin with, the feeling of wonder presupposes faith.”

And it is convenient to affirm that, through an act of faith, he gives us the uncommon, the unexpected of this primeval reality. But it so happens that this possibility of entering the envelopment where this reality of “ inadverted riches” takes place comes true in a manner never seen. That is to say, according to the formal in this case, particular, codes that Rojas' art has managed to establish. By means of his original work from a decantation and universalization of design, of formal delights, of imprints from artisan visual tradition, which has its roots in the pre-Hispanic, in colonial matters, and still lives crossbred and ennobled, due to its renewed utilization in the work of potters, ceramists and producers of handicrafts and fabrics in the convulsed Guatemala of today. Also, and this is a another branch we already referred, the one coming from rural iconography, from the agrarian and traditional Guatemala: of scarecrows, of toyshop facades of peasant little churches (the naïve graphism of which has the same sweetness as the brown-sugar candy churches sold by rustic women vendors of confections on the shores of Lake Amatitlán). Additionally, from the inexhaustible beads of a landscape of nuts, corn fields and groves exquisitely carved, strung on the thread of roads that bang from the bills' “goitered” necks.

He submits the profiles of these popular designs to the process of making them uncommon, as well, in their figuration, counter to their trivial “day to day” conventionality and all this, as a good painter, in the midst of the most unexpected anilines and tints, capable of giving fragrance to his pictorial spaces. That is to say, with his own style, although locatable in our land. For this reason we say it is his own.

Apropos of how something folkloric can become trivial, I often remember the sentence of the brazilian composer Hector Villalobos, who when asked if he used sertao folk songs as source of inspiration for his famous baquianas, he replied: “I am folklore”. Which also the brings to mind Picasso's excusable assertion: “ I do not search, I find We then have the possibility of inquiring into this new reading level that points to the meaning of the work by this Latin American painter from Guatemala and who is today one of the most representative painters, if not the most, of this country, using as motivation two components of his creative work. On the one hand, the uncommon nature of what one looks at that luminous portion of the world presents to us. The indissoluble unity through which he gives us his evidence of the universe of the wonderful real.

What is and why the universe of the Wonderful Real?

The wonderful real is a “boundary state” in which the “ inadverted riches of reality” can become evident. Or, in simple ideas, the day-to-day miracles. The astonishment that literally surrounds us without our being able to see it. Facts that would seem rather a part of dreams than of reality, although, in spite of logic, they belong to reality. Revelations. Codes of all that is fantastic.

The wonderful real has to do necessarily with the extraordinary definition that André Bretón left us on Surrealism:

“ It is a state of the spirit, he said, in which the true and the false, the tall and the short, the dictory and contradictory; stop being perceived as opposing each other, it is in vain to search in surrealist activity for a motive other that the hope of being able to determine this point”

“Guatemala is only equal to itself. Mysterious presences and absences. That which is kept by the enigma. There is no need to read hieroglyphs. Stars are read”...

- goes Miguel Angel Asturias' prose in his splendid foreword of a book on the classic Maya city of Tikal.

Elmar Rojas' splendid creative work also comes from this reality of prodigies and sufferings, from that intact vessel of the wonderful real which is Guatemala. The strangeness of its contents is due to the admirable fact that it is incarnated in this prodigious realm. One of these places is Guatemala, the tormented and hallucinating land Elmar Rojas comes from. Therefore, we consider that Elmar Rojas represents, in Latin American painting of this century, what Miguel Angel Asturias, Alejo Carpentier or García Márquez are in American Novels, builders of magical realism in literature. Elmar Roja's work inquires in the inexhaustible reservoir of the Guatemalan mestizo, drinking from the primeval sources of our culture. For this reason, it shows and provokes the awe felt when getting amorously and devotedly closer to reality, viewed generically, closer to culture. Unitary per se -and round- as if it were a fruit.

However, his work does not follow the immediate path of folklore, or any other non-depurated mechanism, but that of a painstaking artistic reconstruction of reality's much composite order, which Elmar Rojas turns decipherable. Trapped in its immanence so it will captivate and hallucinate from the bottom of his productions.

Thus, the painter sends darkness out of the pictorial space and pushes the tenuous reflection of the firmament's last corners to the back of the horizon. And he declares that only an ungraspable thread of light should separate the void in the sky from the crusty layer of earth and, with pigments meteorized by magical illumination, he makes recognizable characters that only there can be found; and the richer the character is, the bigger he makes him with flowers and magical birds, characteristic of his plastic rank. And that is why we see rich scarecrow families and poor scarecrow families, but they are all equally covered with clusters of unbelievable birds and florations of invulnerable fruits, whence light spills and flows over the pictorial field to flood the space.

And also the iridescent plumage of flowers perfuming the air with color in this focused exaltation of lands in perpetual springs impossible to extinguish, where colors roam through the air in the shape of Chinautla angels and agrarian scarecrows sprouting prodigious birds from the vacuum in their shoulders, and celestial stars in the empty sockets of their faces of wing, and suns made out of fruits lying on the ground, like stones.

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.


Sculpture & shape

Elmar Rojas Sculpture

As his work sculptural art comes from his extensive experience as an architect; where starting from the lowliest point transforms the beautiful contours of his works.

A contemporary art expressed with feelings.

Elmar Rojas Sculpture
Elmar Rojas Sculpture

His artistic work in this area will be very special levels where we contemplate an exaltation of molded forms from the center of inspiration transcending worlds conspired transmuted emotionality in states of passive beauty.

Iridescent move fluidly forms giving well-defined artistic concepts that results speak for themselves.

The lines of his sculptures make up the intricate human mentality close to the soul with a symbolism evoking nature itself. Their shapes surrounding roads coming from the mundane to the higher dimensions of being. Color Magic Realism takes us to the strong and firm forms, worlds sinigual go down parallel paths winding harmonious tunes that define lifelines and elegant movements.

Elmar Rojas Sculpture
Elmar Rojas Sculpture
Elmar Rojas Sculpture

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