Martha Jimenez: woman with her own light

The work of Marta Jimenez, in a rapid and well deserved ascencion, dares to the difficult play of doing poetry and narration without words, with the pure and undulating matter of feminine forms. Her peculiar way of penetrating the Cuban is a further confirmation of a way of saying that, without a doubt, she has found her special place in the fine arts of the Island.

One of the perceptible themes in Marta's work is femininity, which is shown with strength, and the airy, carnal and deeply human volume, that make of the style of Marta Jimenez such a special case, in our artistic space, for her capacity to capture a singular beauty and, at the same time, popular in its most acute sense, densely carnal, rooted in the truth of experience: the artist, for this reason, seems to have found the same secret route that, at that time, made Botero a man for all time. Marta Jimenez, in fact, is moving towards the universal truths, in particular those of gender, starting from an indelible root to the essential land of Cuban culture.

But do not be fooled by the appearance of manners and easy smile. There is an essential irony, a sharp word, in the extraordinary clay sculptures of Marta, alluding to the time hidden by a contemporary life that, from its refined and artificial parameters of beauty (so strange in the deep to the turgid creole women that the artist rescues forever), she seems determined to deprive us and to defy art to the difficult feat of creating without renouncing the insistent twist of the brief days.

Time, the real intensity of existence, are overlapping themes in the airy clay images of this singular artist. Time, the tenacious and invincible idiosyncrasy of the Cuban, art as a subject of itself, women in their exact and intensely tactile profile, when not sensual, the triple integration of tradition, contemporary existence and creative imagination, form perhaps a good part of the magic, also poetic, plastic and reflective, of the works of Marta Jimenez.

But the idea that Marta has emerged, as an impulse of a magical legendary wand, is not acceptable: her art stands on an experience accumulated in years of reflection and effort, concentration of will and, also, pedagogical management as teacher of the system of Artistic Education. Now, to all these components, we must add one that is the main one: Marta has managed to look, as creative, the specific environment of her culture.

Therefore, once installed several of their sculptures in the restored Plaza del Carmen, the visitor's perception is very curious: because it turns out that the rejuvenated square seems traced, built to be able to contain those chatterers and daily statues of the artist. As in a prodigious reversal of roles, the accessory seems to be the centennial square and not the sculptures of the present.

This is, in effect, the magic of art; there is, without a doubt, the feat of Marta Jimenez, who has been able to give its own light to the tiny daily moment in which things are named in a single impulse, as the poetry of Eliseo Diego wanted to emphasize. Every day is illuminated in the difficult transparency of the mud, through which we discover the unique beauty of any day, the permanent poetry of everyday human beings.

By: Luis Alvarez Alvarez.
February 2009.