Luca Misiano writes about Mauricio Stella
Only the great art masters of all time have been able to look beyond the appearance and the evidence of the surrounding reality and thus to penetrate its truest meanings, those concealed by the various and infinite "forms" through which art manifests itself on a daily basis. Since the early years of his academic training, Mauricio Stella, a painter of Chilean origin, captured the profound sense of a visual research based on the principle of construction of the painted image. He made it a point of both arrival and synthesis at the same time, representing the motions of the human soul in the artistic and cultural fabric of our "epochal" historical moment, progressively distant from every past memory and confoundingly projected into the future.
Before moving to Italy, where he establishes and works at his study in the Liguria region, he had already understood the loss of orientation of art and its founding principles and more generally, the collective inability to recognize itself in it.
The social theme and awareness, molded during a lifespan of a whole generation of Chilean intellectuals, is deeply rooted in Stella and determines the chromatic mixture of his early works of surrealistic inspiration which were highly influenced by the charismatic model of Robert Sebastian Matta. The path of surrealism represents for the young painter a model of visual research and contemporary avant-garde in which to immerse and emerge from with an innovative aesthetic idea compared to the traditional language. This was also due to certain influences upon his arrival to Italy; the German and Italian avant-garde, enriched by the conceptual experiences of the mid-twentieth century. The favourite themes in his works are inspired by "moods" or suggested by meditation on topics such as "distances" and others yet that are in harmony with specific existential and psycho-sensory dimensions.
The pictorial creations of his early years of study and artistic education in Chile are fully lived out with creative and productive passion and thus receive recognition by significant merit certificates, in the spirit of a new and original reading in the use of colour, which is enriched by a palette of bright and material tones. It marks an innate and powerful expressive force and is able to regenerate the scenario of the surrealist stylistic research, which has long been repetitive and flattened out onto stereotyped fashion models. Every time I meet art master Mauricio Stella and stop to observe the best results of his work, it is as if I could perceive and almost come into contact with the frequencies and vibrations that precede the creative act and from which the work of art originated and took shape. The measure and distances that occur in human relationships, the fascination of discovery, the vertigo generated by the precarious balances of our times,
are all chromatically represented on canvas in an allegorical and symbolic key; skilfully combining aesthetic solutions of primary pictorial value, the embryonic genesis of the 'creative act' and its initial processes of compositional formation, even to the extent of overcoming the mere representative and empty idea of meaning in art.
The experience gained in Chile during his initial years of study shall be fundamental for the future evolution of his works. Models of Chilean classicism between the nineteenth and twentieth century with examples of art masters such as Juan Francisco Gonzales, Pedro Luna all the way up to the legendary Robert Sebastian Matta; together with the literary poetics of Pablo Neruda, lay the foundations of a full and solid artistic and cultural formation, later enriched by contamination with the German and French avant-garde message of the beginning of the century, but destined to deeply mark the decades ahead. Mauricio Stella has an irrepressible creative tension within and is constantly oriented towards the complex and articulated dynamics that generate reality rather than its mere representation. This inner force ideally approaches the great season of German expressionism and in particular the European rationalist visual research of the early twentieth century.Contamination with the pictorial avant-gardes of the recent past century, will be of fundamental importance to Stella in order to give life to an entirely personal and innovative style harmonising historical experiences and philosophies that are so far apart and distant, yet able to meet and dialogue on universally lived and heard themes; finding a place of dwelling and "last refuge" among the spatial and compositional surfaces of his best paintings. The color becomes detector of frequencies and distances between compositional volumes. Observing the paintings made in Chile during the years of Stella's first pictorial formation, the chromatic materiality combined with a stylistic execution of muralist heritage evolves into harmonic and balanced solutions through an innovative spatial research and personal interpretation of surrealist aesthetics. The artist's profound reflection on the value of the surrealist message in our time is clearly expressed in his recent creations. Freeing itself from the strict realism, the surrealist poetics allows the art to scupper between worlds and dimensions hitherto unexplored.
The validity of the tool is still effective but must adapt to the mutated historical conditions currently in kinetic mutation. The media speed in which we are immersed and constantly solicited by, withholds precise contents able to overcome and manipulate any traditional conception and realistic perception of a progressively indistinct and globalized social fabric. To this genetic-visual deformation dictated by the dominant thought, Mauricio Stella's clear and enlightening response is to fix in his pictorial works, the exact moment in which a creative process becomes form in painting, in the fullness and richness of Symbolic and metaphorical images uncontaminated by the existential desertification taking place these days. These are healthy organic and inorganic forms entertaining dialogue with each other on canvas, joining without becoming anthropomorphic: warm and cold shades chasing each other, almost "physically" seeking one
another on canvas, anchored among themselves in lit contrasts, as an imaginary metaphor of the incessant and frantic running around of an entire humanity.
Today's priority is to bring back the artistic pathway in the riverbed of an authentic aesthetic research, the ability to generate the antibodies needed to revitalize itself.
Mauricio Stella's assiduous, intense pictorial activity is entirely centered on these themes, aimed at understanding and expressing with extraordinary chromatic strength, the need to create and experience a renewed stylistic code which can be universally understood and shared through compositions in which surreal forms emerge in all their essentiality and purity of tones.
To be able to see things in their essence, free from any ephemeral appearance and to express them in paintings with a symbolic, organic and minimalist style is the most reliable and safest path to follow today.
Works such as "Beyond the Bridge-2013 " and "Dialogue-2011 " are emblematic of the complexity and the infinite introspective potential of Mauricio Stella's art, he is able to interpret through a lucid analysis the minimum state of mind or social thought, by means of clear and sensitive frequencies and chromatic vibrations in skilful and harmonious balance of composition.
The work carried out by Stella is of great innovation and oriented to become a precise operational methodology in the contemporary artistic scenario.
In recent years, the numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad, among which: the Principality of Monaco, Ukraine and the exhibitation dates in China (Beijing and Chengdu-2014), have broadened Stella's artistic horizons far beyond the national borders.
Luca Misiano - Art Critic