No Title

2006

Object

Artist

Enrique Martínez Celaya, Cuban, 1964
Born: Havana, Cuba
Work Locations: Los Angeles, CA

Country

Object Info

Object: installation
Not currently on view
Object ID: 2011.366A-B

Medium/Technique

blood, charcoal, varnish on canvas with mirror

Credit

Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
See more objects from the Logan Collection.

More Info

Dimensions

overall height: 100 in, 254.0000 cm; overall width: 156 in, 396.2400 cm; height: 100 in, 254.0000 cm; width: 78 in, 198.1200 cm

Department

Modern and Contemporary Art

Caption

(c) Enrique Martínez Celaya

Extended Info

Enrique Martínez Celaya is a scientist and a poet as well as an artist; he considers each of his vocations as a means of ordering and understanding life. His paintings, photographs, sculptures, and mixed-media works may be seen both as manifestations of his search for truth and as representing the on-going, cyclical processes of living and understanding. Especially for someone like Martínez Celaya, whose early years were imprinted with the violence of exile, life can be messy; his media, which combine traditional art materials with things like blood and tar, reflect this fact on a visceral as well as visual level. 

It is tempting to read works like The Immigrant as self-portraits, but Martínez Celaya’s work also transforms his own journey into a metaphor for the human condition. This is especially evident in the giant diptych called No Title, which includes the viewer in the work as a reflection in the blood-smeared mirror comprising half the diptych. Ever aware of his position - and ours - within the history of art and viewing, Martínez Celaya alludes to the lofty, spiritual concerns of earlier artists in his choice of format (the religious diptych) and painted subject matter - a storm and lightning bolt reminiscent of earlier artists’ fascination with the sublime power of nature. But his inclusion of a bloody mirror injects “real” life into the piece and jolts his viewer into considering the relationship of flesh-and-blood humans to illusory constructs like art and knowledge.