Joseph Kaplan is an interesting and original artist – born in the United States and lives in Colombia – who has completed a residency at Proyecto ‘ace in the year 2012. During is second time in the residency program, we have been able to exhibit Retazos (Patchwork), a polyptych made in mixed media on paper. The work was exhibited during Memories, the ´aceNITE that took place on May the 20th. His work was displayed until August the 8th.
ABOUT THE ARTIST’S WORK
“There are many artists who have explored the symbolic burden of clothing, but few of them have had a relationship as close as it is the case of Joseph Kaplan, whom for a huge part of his life has combined the work carried out by artists with the profession that his family has carried for generations with the industrial processes of clothing. It is through this duality filtered by the artist’s sensitivity that Kaplan exercises to deprive it of its use to turn it into a series of compositions of lines and colors.
Clothing in itself, made of fabrics with abstract motifs, is a universe of shapes that adapt to our personality and to the way we identify ourselves with them through intuitive aspects such as our affinity with color, with size, its silhouette, the temperature and the sensation to the skin. They are an extension of the way our brain wants to project us or the way it is assumed to be. More malleable than our own body, clothing manifests itself as other skin that portrays the colors of the soul in its most natural and undeniable superficiality. Therefore, by dispensing with its function, Kaplan turns the garments into abstract compositions that in turn are very human portraits (…).
Kaplan, as a draftsman and engraver, has explored numerous experimental processes to fix his images, some of which resemble the processes of industrial washing of clothes (pressure, temperature, drying) and the very elaboration of the garment and its matrices. That would explain the duality of Kaplan that seems to represent himself autobiographically in his work: the artist who uses a family tradition in order to construct an image and fluctuates between the intimate and the impersonal.
Historian and art critic
National Award for Colombian Art History Essay 2007.