JOSE MARGULIS: ALTERNATIVE REALITIES
For Jose Margulis, “art is a way of seeing and experiencing life. It is an enthusiasm, a passion for the connections of seemingly insignificant and unrelated premises that hint to the possibility of a universal truth.” His ultimate goal as a visual artist is to provoke emotions that induce a state of reflection through contemplation. His work is all about the physical representation of this personal belief.
Photography was “his first great love” and the source of some of the most important lessons he learned regarding the creative process. It allowed him to develop an innate eye for harmony, composition and balance, which are fundamental in the creation of his geometric optical pieces. Interestingly, it was not his first choice of medium. He first experimented with digital design as the basis to create 3-D objects. Using three-dimensional modeling software, he developed a system in which cut “slices” are meticulously held together in space in order to form the final piece.
Most of his sculptures are made by using color acrylic glass sheets with different levels of translucency which are fixed to painted or printed surfaces. He treats these three-dimensional pieces as light traps or secret blueprints. Their designs can only be fully revealed by applying or “pouring” light into them. Therefore, light becomes a sort of “ink” that reveals the design and produces multiple effects. The patterns also change based on the viewer’s perspective which allows the work to look different depending on the location from which it is seen. Each object mutates in front of the individual by simply moving and changing the angle in which it is seen. This interactive aspect, which according to Margulis must have an emotional component, is fundamental to the essence of his artwork.
When he began to document and catalog his sculptural pieces, he discovered almost by chance, that they are extremely photogenic. He became interested in photographing his 3D pieces and transforming them into new 2D works characterize by the photorealistic depth perception that can only come from registering a true object. This idea opened the door to a new world of possibilities. With the use of photography, he began to create “non-existent” images of an unexpected realism that provide the viewer with limitless metaphorical possibilities. The combination of both types of works, photography and sculpture, encourages an interesting dialogue between the two when placed side by side, adding a layer of complexity to his work enhancing the viewer’s experience while suggesting the possibility of coexistent alternative realities.
Always looking to evolve and to develop new possibilities of expressing himself, Margulis is venturing into the world of word art on the occasion of his exhibition at Art Ovation Hotel. No matter the medium, he believes that “courage, empathy and kindness are all ingredients in a powerful and elusive formula, which arms us with a clean and ever sharpening lens that catches fleeting glimpses of our true nature.”
Francine Birbragher PhD