I am not looking to derive a rational discourse from the universe that I create in my work, this is generated from sensibility and intuition. The sequence of actions in the work’s execution is a string that holds itself together. Spots and strokes are shaped and coupled, creating a gestural and visceral narrative of my daily life and my immediate pleasure. Color adds sound and creates graphical situations in which I immerse myself expecting a more narrative than aesthetic result.
WORKS on paper
Juan Henriquez was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and lives and works in Miami, Florida. Henriquez is a painter creating a gestural and visceral narrative of his daily life and his immediate pleasure by coupling and shaping spots and strokes in a variety of materials. Color adds sound and creates graphical situations in which he immerses himself expecting a more narrative than aesthetic result. Selected Solo exhibitions include ‘Version del Codo’ (2021), Coral Gables Museum, Coral Gables, Florida and ‘Mapa Histérico’ (2021), Laundromat Art Space, Miami, Florida, and ‘Gozo Solo’ (2016), Contemporary Art Museum of Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela. Selected group exhibitions include ‘Aleatorios, New Perspectives of Venezuelan Contemporary Art’ (2021), at vortic.art, ‘Leaks and Matches’ (2020), Bag Online Art Gallery, Houston, Texas and ‘For Now: Contemporary Venezuelan Art of the Miami Diaspora’ (2019), Coral Gables Museum, Coral Gables, Florida. Henriquez’s work has been shown at multiple international art fairs, including Pinta Miami (2021), Art Lima (2017), Lima, Perú; and Barcú (2016), Bogotá, Colombia.
RUPTURE OF THE ENJOYMENT IN THE LOOK.
With the main title and with each of his works, the artist Juan Henríquez guides us to look at two determinations of creation: solitude and enjoyment. Within the artistic game that brings together creator and spectator, enjoyment introduces the ancient Greek term of aesthesis as a pleasant connector dynamism that gathers the process of emission and reception of the work.
I can translate Greek aesthesis to what contemporary French semiologist Roland Barthes calls “punctum” associating it with a touch that comes to the reader through the signifiers since it is a fragment of the work that leaves its space towards the viewer to touch or hurt their sensitivity.
This time I am not the one who is going to look for him (…), it is him who comes out of the scene like an arrow and comes to punish me. The punctum (…) is that chance in which it touches me (but that also hurts me, punctures me).
(BARTHES, Roland, 1990, The Lucid Camera, p 64-65).
When I speak of the game I mean the elaboration of the significant form that implies all poetic and artistic action in working with the materiality of languages: lines, colors, the energy of the stroke. In this imaginary zone of the pictorial materiality that touches the creator and the spectator, we can highlight a point of union or enjoyment, not obvious, in the works of Juan Henríquez that interweaves between the body, images and signs that we will call “Punctum” of pictorial anagrams – as a game of significant fusion of diverse languages – which can mislead at the beginning, before the reader understands the rules of the game by the author who consciously or unconsciously, establishes connections between the body of enjoyment and visual forms and Literals involving bridges between the linguistic imaginary of letters and pictorial images.
Every joyous act contains its shadow and as you can see by the use of black color (contrasting with celestial, blue, gray, white, red), in the agitations of pictorial gesture to tell us something of that juncture of purity and impurity, sublimation and perversion, which can accommodate the aesthetic space of enjoyment. In those everyday subjects where the artist does not abandon the aesthetic symbolization or forget the more obscure or hidden acts of corporeity, the reader has to release his imagination until he can feel the joy of this diversity of materials, pictorial techniques and that body path of erotic figuration.
A simple illustration of what unites the pictorial signifier of figuration to the desired object and to a desiring body can be seen in The Table whose abstraction leads it to seek meaning in a hybrid figure: drawing a green angle with thick strokes (Table of enjoyment?) and an oval and white shape with a thick point similar to a nipple (oral libido projected to an object?) Green linear corner maybe the signifier A simple illustration of what unites the pictorial signifier of figuration to verde warns us of something cornered of the not evident sense that must to see in the linguistic signifier that names color, since it occurs in the forbidden view of enjoyment that that white oval that ends at a point is the term of a breast desired
International Association of Art Critic Member
“Juan Henríquez's pictorial work originates from that psycho-sensitive duplicity that allows us to look without rules and perceive carefully at the same time. This alternation of the spontaneous and the deliberate is consistent with his way of working, letting things happen, letting images arise, and then tying ends or establishing connections, either in the visual space or in the realm of ideas. It is all a matter of accepting the undertaking of seeing in its double condition of being a playful event but also a cognitive vehicle.”
“Henríquez proposes its own phenomenology that goes from the pictorial matter to the configuring gesture, spattered with synesthetic accents, capable of collecting sounds and words that are amplified or attenuated according to the dimension of the support. Confluence of the visual, the acoustic and the narrative, all chained: the whistling of the spray, the deaf stroke of the crayons and the pencil, the slight noise of the brush raking the fabric and the murmur of the street mixed with a song. In reality, what happens in these works is framed by the experience of the artist who allows us, yes, to be witnesses of the spectacle of his intense work.”
““Hysterical Map", title of his solo exhibition at Laundromat Art Space, suggests a mapping of the painting process, as a speculative vehicle and psychic introspection device. In his own way, Henríquez sets up a psychographic landscape of mixed traits. In that territory there are no fixed coordinates, no preconceived ideas; just signs of an itinerary full of expectations, where the familiar and the strange cohabit.”