Visions of the mind in matter


The works of Isabel Alonso, Rafael Barrios and Pablo Armesto manage to materialize the concepts of the mind through sculpture. The materials and composition of their works help expose that there is more matter than that which meets the eye.

Through transparencies, light, and volume, these artists deceive our vision and create an illusion, a phenomenon, something other than what is physically in front of us. The pieces of these artists go beyond an optical illusion, since they use the materials in such a particular way that they achieve effects different from those expected by the observer.

Isabel Alonso Vega plays with the materiality of the intangible, her pieces are a quasi taxidermy of thoughts, which are represented through clouds of smoke that could only exist in our minds. The pieces are made up of two-dimensional acrylic sheets that when joined, result in an illusion of depth and three-dimensionality, enlivening a dark abstract figure. The intense matter of black color, and sometimes red in color, floats inside what looks like a clear acrylic fish tank.

Rafael Barrios’s sculptures celebrate the intricate territory of illusion; the lines in his piecesdisplay a difference between what the eye sees and what the mind visualizes of the object, responding to the principles of Op-art. His pieces are relatively flat with concave and convex sides, however, we see three-dimensional objects with clear volume, where the geometrical shapes that are formed appear to float on top of each other. Due to his training in the arts and philosophy, Barrios has a supported theoretical focus around phenomenology and existentialism.
Pablo Armesto’s language is light. He approaches it from compositions with neoprene, glass, DMF, wire, among others. The light is achieved through LED bulbs and fiber optic systems that generate complex compositions and textures. Part of the artist’s process comes from the concept of deconstruction that refers to figures such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Carl Jung. His ‘threads’ of light form fractal figures that make reference to the cosmos, to the rhizomatic and to memory.
These three artists, despite having different discourses, materials and concepts, manage to immerse us in the discipline of sculpture, where the complexity of the mind is one of the main axes of their work.