This text written by Miguel Huertas (b. 1959) shows how the work of Santiago Cárdenas (b. 1937) brings together several of the art problems of the 1970s. Using a “technique that is traditional and very austere,” Cárdenas represents banal objects. However, his portrayal is based on the idea of “making visible whatever is normally relegated to the background to the point of being completely ignored.” Here, the examples the author uses are the canvas or the frame, which, in themselves, make the discussion of the paintings more explicit.
Cárdenas seeks to stir up the viewer’s thinking process regarding the experience of perceiving the painting in real time and space. Huertas bases this idea on pointing out the difference between Cardenas’s painting and “hyperrealistic painting,” since hyperrealism refers to photographic realism, a trend not adopted by Cárdenas. The artist subscribed to realism before photography entered the Colombian art scene; in other words, he saw himself as hewing to a Renaissance vision. Finally, Huertas shows how the work of this Colombian artist is integrated into the viewer’s environment; in fact, his paintings are often a mere extension of the architecture of the place where they are shown. Hence, if only for a moment, the viewer turns his attention from the painting to the surrounding architecture.
The artist Miguel Antonio Huertas Sánchez studied the visual arts (1983) and earned his master’s degree in the History and Theory of Art and Architecture (2001) at the Universidad Nacional of Colombia, followed by specialized studies in engraving in Paris, France.