Series The Journey in Jimenian Sculptures or "the blessed circumstance of water everywhere"
In appreciating the vast creative production of Martha Jimenez, we may encounter the well-known theme of insularity that, beyond geographic inevitability, has represented a beneficial creative resource for Cuban artists. From Lezama to today much and good art has been created around the subject. Our artists have been able to subvert the concept through an expressive speech that sweat cubanhood and reaffirms idiosyncrasy.
Martha also uses the circumstance of water everywhere and does not hesitate to use the grandiloquent effects in several of her series, within them perhaps the most substantial is The Journey, where the symbol of the boat has become a mark identifying all her creation. Thus, the sea, wings, fish, unicycle, stroller, wheels and paper boat appear indistinctly in practically most of her series, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. It can therefore be said that the theme of insularity is already a recurrent aspect of all her work and is not reduced to a single series.
From the perspective of the artist, the boat allows the physical mobility that allows the desired action of travel of the Cubans, of going beyond the physical limits but above all of the spiritual ones. The boundaries of the soul are the most inaccessible and paralyzing, castrating for a considerable majority. However, the imaginary of this Cuban woman navigates offshore or flies, depending on the occasion, freely and swiftly, challenging the worst barriers that have ever been built by men themselves, the mental ones. While it is true that she has achieved the accompaniment of her body in many of the voyages, it is also true that the best ones have done so when she has set sail towards the center of herself, towards her intense inner world.
In the pottery Martha finds the perfect pretext for her translation in space, the piece Inwards is in my opinion the best achieved of the series, it shows an impeccable mixed technique and an enamel that completes the speech subtly. The choice of metal as a companion to the pottery accentuates the idea of duality, of the polarities, so visited by the artist. Two opposing materials, one more moldable than the other, by separate would not fully fulfill their purpose but together they merge to offer a truly unique and attractive visuality. The resulting composition is the greatest of the acts, transmitting rhythm, movement and at the same time static, challenge, risk and sanity.
The sensual feminine figure of Inwards navigates carrying with it the elements that define her as Cuban in any corner of the planet or of her life: religion, home, coffee, the rustic candle that saved her from so many dark nights and sewing machine to refit her personal life in any destination. A curious element is that the oars are placed in reverse, the boat is ready to move forward but nevertheless remains stopped, supported by the own oars that function like pilots of a shipyard. Shrunken hands, fused to the body but the head is being galloped by a fabulous character who whips free hair to hasten or perhaps guide the step into her being.
Adrift, for its part, enjoyable, joyful, playful and naif remember that walking for life should not be too serious and somber. The voluptuous woman tastes and offers a sensual papaya while she launches without a route prefixed in a skateboard by the island. This time she chooses the wheels as a symbol of movement and racking, regardless of the fact that she has to return to her origins, to childhood, to play. Here again the virtuosity and creativity of the artist is manifested when composing three-dimensional.
Martha, in the sculptures of the series The Journey, is confirmed as a valuable teacher of volume, movement and rhythm that has managed to achieve in the treatment of lights and shadows in an extraordinary way. And if that was not enough, she has been able to provoke internal mobilizations in the emotional world of those who seek to appreciate her work and finally connects with the Cuban feeling in a vernacular and at the same time universal language.
By: Lic. Maydelin Leiva Delgado
MSC. in Latinoamerican Culture
Curator, galerist and art critic