A selection of new work by Enrique Martínez Celaya is currently on show at Parafin. In The Seaman’s Crop, the Cuban-American artist’s first exhibition in London since 2010, Martínez Celaya presents a collection of painting, sculpture and installation made during a recent residency at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Over the last decade, the artist has created an extensive body of work characterised by an allusive complexity, featuring quasi-archetypal images of boats, animals, birds, children, landscapes and symbols of domesticity such as chairs and tables.
Through a unique blend of fantasy, reality and memory, the artist creates a poetic world that is both semi-autobiographical and resonantly universal. The striking and recurring motifs interspersed throughout the artist’s mixed-media work, act as signifiers for activities relating to both personal and public realms. In The Seaman’s Crop, a distinctive suitcase hints towards the concept of a personal journey, whilst the classical symbol of a boat suggests the idea of travelling and collective migration.
In one of the exhibition’s most striking paintings, we see a young boy at the edge of the sea contemplating a skate fish lying on the sand. One might be tempted to impose a narrative upon such images, but here, the artist’s intention is to create a reverberating area of possibility. Martínez Celaya’s concluding endeavour is to craft a visual poem of strong emotional, philosophical and psychological resonance, to which viewers are invited to bring their own readings.
Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Seaman’s Crop, until 22 November, Parafin, 18 Woodstock Street, London, W1C 2AL
Further information can be found at www.parafin.co.uk.
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1.Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Seaman’s Crop (2014). Courtesy of Parafin.