The unusual assemblies of Jesús Alberto Erminy constitute an impressive cultural experience, by the force of their visual impact and by the spontaneous and brutal roughness of their language. Perhaps brutal is poorly stated in an ambiguous way that is badly translated as “Brute Art,” which is not “Gross Art,” but rather, “Earthy,” like a greatly appreciated kind of champagne.
Each one of these pieces begins with a great old and irregular heavy block of wood, or from a natural rock, that Jesús Alberto observes a thousand times over, in all the angles and in all attitudes, scrutinizing its suggestive possibilities that cannot be found in them, except when another element is found that then ignites a spark of inspiration in him as he senses what will go well with such a piece of wood. And in the union of those elements, two elements are always very much in contrast with each other, because one is strong and voluminous while the other is fine, light and small, leaving the figure an imaginary beast, or creating a bird or a prehistoric reptile. But perhaps the individual animal appears a moment later, after he sees the unusual combination of the different elements that show reciprocal potential.
Those assemblies that “by juxtaposition” lead to the reference of an animal are more than just a zoomorphic representation, they are at times caricatures or sometimes grotesque. They imply a symbolic extra of another nature. One is a peculiar species of visual metaphor whose referentiality does not constitute the significant key of its content. It could be said that it isnít all that important that what he imagines metaphorically (in non-descriptive nor realistic form) is not recognized, because the expressiveness and the discordant content of the work do not depend on that representation, or do not solely depend on it, and it could almost be done without it. It doesn’t matter that one doesnít notice that itís about an ostrich, a giraffe or a beetle, because the work continues to express itself without that identification. It is better to think that this type of identification or recognition of the presented motive could detract from the depth of the work.
It is not as if you had to see these sculptures as if they were abstractions or purely formulaic. But you canít forget that they are also of a strange figuration, resulting from fortuitous encounters and of imaginative associations and allegories, as if they originated in his inspiration, emerging from the same classic principle, from the sublime to the satanic Conde de Lautreamont, who postulates … “the fortuitous encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a cutting table.” This person has been markedly inventive and prolific, and is an innovator of the arts, the letters and the ideas of the twentieth century.
But at the core of that “Mise en Abyme” or trip down the rabbit hole to a labyrinth with doors that open to this endless imaginary fellowship, and we await a transformation of the primal symbols that follow Paul Ricoeur… “one only gets to an understanding through the dialect of opposite perspectives.”
The sculptures of Jesús Alberto Erminy are based on a growing succession of opposing materials, formularies and meanings that correspond to a scale of symbols. The symbol is the only way of expressing the unknown, what can be known and what can not be known.
Review done by renowned internationally art critic Peran Erminy in the exibit Rebirth of Matter, in the Graphyart gallery