The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Jorge Enrique is a Cuban-born, Miami-based artist who likely has been seen more often outside of Miami than here. Yes, that happens, but he is getting a showing right now at the Waltman Ortega gallery, a series of sculpture paintings, crafted from resin and paint, that have a street-art aesthetic but are meticulously detailed. His “Urban D-Construction” works resemble both barcodes and street grates (the title of this show is "Barcode"), meaning that they look both clean like lines on a barcode, and gritty and messy like a grate below your feet.
But in fact the color and layering of the resin and paint are the real attractions. The bright blue standing sculptures – a duo – are a stand out, check out the craftsmanship on this piece. Some look 3-D, because of the intense layering.
In the adjoining room is a complete departure, several large, semi-abstract paintings from Jérôme Lagarrigue. Part African-American, part French, the artist now makes his home in Brooklyn (his studio was seriously damaged during Hurricane Sandy). These works that make up “Closer” take on many forms. Up close the oil paintings – not acrylic – look light and gentle, something that oil does not lend itself to. Also up close they are simply a mesh of deep colors. But from a distance you can discern visages and eyes, as the abstraction starts to fade. And it is the eyes that are the most mesmerizing – Lagarrigue has incorporated reflections in the eyes, almost like they are rear-view mirrors. You can read these paintings any way you want.
While both these exhibits are widely different in their form and visuals, this is a smooth show in its layout and composition; pieces have not been thrown up on the wall, like too often happens in a group show, trying to get along with each other. They co-habit comfortably.
The works of Jorge Enrique and Jérôme Lagarrigue will run through Dec. 22 at the Waltman Ortega Fine Art Gallery, 2233 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami; www.waltmanortega.com.