This essay by the Venezuelan curator and critic Ariel Jiménez is one of the very few documents ever written specifically about the projects created by Víctor Valera (1927?2013) involving a “synthesis of the arts.” The author mentions many of the theories advanced by the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva, a genuine promoter of the integration of the arts in Venezuela, quoting extensively from the latter’s essay “Las experiencias de un ensayo de integración: la Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo,” published in 1957. Jiménez sees Valera’s work as an eloquent expression of the “artistic integration” of sculpture and architecture, complimenting Valera for knowing how to apply Villanueva’s theories and create the vaunted “synthesis of the arts” and, in particular, for having so perfectly fitted his sculptural works into architectural environments. According to Jiménez, Valera’s work goes far beyond mere decoration, and achieves a distinct functionality of its own.
This is an extremely valuable essay that, in addition to documenting this oft-forgotten facet of this artist’s work, sheds light on the concept of “artistic integration” by discussing matters of vital importance and by stressing the social commitment of the arts, which can only come to pass once a true “coexistence of the arts” has been achieved. In the author’s opinion, the arts will never accomplish their true goal until they are totally integrated into a social, collective, human whole. Jiménez adds that this integration can help artists to distance themselves from the individualistic, self-centered image so often associated with their craft.