Ponce, PR, 1948
Ponce, PR, 1948
Painter, draftsman, poet, theorist and professor. Escobar earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Art from the University of Puerto Rico and continued his studies at the University of New York City, the Brooklyn Museum, and the New York Art Students League. He worked as a cartoonist and as a teacher at several public schools and the Art School at El Museo del Barrio in New York; and was linked with the Association of Hispanic Arts of New York. As a member of a movement pro-independence of Puerto Rico, he was sentenced in 1980 by the USA government to 68 years in prison on charges of seditious conspiracy. While in prison, he continued to paint, and dedicated himself to reading and cultivated poetry and (“The Artificer’s Essays”). He was released from prison in 1999 and returned to the Island. In his more recent painting and mixed media works, he raises matters of the human communication, the phenomenon of the painter as an observer (or not) of the reality and the marginality and the isolation in the contemporary world. Currently, he is incorporating digital media and electronic transfer into pieces of his work, in an unconventional way.
“The specificity of art (its identity and its difference) arises from its breach (transfixion) from the arbitrariness and equivalence aspects of the linguistic and ideological code. It only happens through an esthetic based in the symbolic exchange of the artistic work. Esthetics have to do not only with the criteria of beautiful, quality, the sublime, etc. but with its capacity to symbolically intoxicate us and reveal to us the actual structures of thinking and conscience. The practice of art is connected to the contradiction movement itself and, simultaneously, to the necessity of establishing in relative permanence, sense and meaning of the world, existence, life. In this sense, art is the limit of freedom and the continuation of life by other means.
Art does not possess an epistemology per se but the presentation of life itself through the artistic-symbolic means that reveal, discover, invent and capture what we perceive and conceive of the world in another plane of conscience. We can call this capacity of art its heuristic power, which finality is not to prove some truth or falseness but to reveal it to us without the necessity of external evidence. Art is its own evidence.”
18 octubre 2006
López Quintero, Juan Carlos. “Elizam Escobar: Introspectiva Simbólica”, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2013.
“Elizam Escobar: Transfixiones”, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1994.