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Marisol (Escobar)

The sculptures of Marisol can look like larger scale toys. In this guise her figures conceal the hermetic sternness of the sphinx. The grave and bare existential reality of her pieces and the playful topicality which adorns them with a fashionable touch are equally genuine. Their poignancy derives from that singular combination of surface effervescence with a severe and determined sculptural presence. Marisol succeeds in fusing these two strains into an irrefutable expressive necessity, expressive of the bravery and the frailty of the human condition alike.

The seemingly raw and crudely handled masses of wooden beams and [[strikethrough]]1 [[/strikethrough]] columnar trunks are actually treated with keen finesse in the details which give formal definition, implicitly suggestive of the human figure. While these Stele-like structures are unmistakably made of wood they project the quality of rock or granite. They rest within themselves with a tense solidity. This effect accentuates and spells out the contrast of the basic shapes with the added attributes like hands and breasts, sensitively moulded or cast in plaster and coated with fleshtone paint. The blend of materials and the use of color are subtle and ravishing in a daring way. All of Marisol's works verge on the brink of being merely gags, commenting on the vagaries of contemporary human customs and the caprices of vanity fair. However, before the artist's wit - grim and compassionate at once - can be absorbed by the amusement over a certain kind of handbag or bowler hat, the artist's power takes over. The sophisticated taste, discerning superficial pleasantries, suddenly and invariably becomes telling as it is subordinated to a profound and penetrating creative intelligence. The thrill of observing the ephemeral merges with what seems to become inescapable each time: the detached, fearless though frightful, observation of the human predicament which yields works of real insight and pertinent synthesis.

Georgine Oeri

For QUADRUM Magazine, #16