Figures of the Metamorphosis and the Threshold

Author: Marisa Vescovo

Title: Figures of the Metamorphosis and the Threshold

Publication: Javier Marín Sculpture (Red book)

Project / work:  General

Published by: Terreno Baldío Arte

Figures of the Metamorphosis and the Threshold

Marisa Vescovo


Baroque poetics reinstate, reevaluate, and develop the Classical conception of art as mimesis or imitation. Art is indeed representation, but the aim of representation is not merely to present the object transposed onto canvas or to space. It is to impress, to move, to persuade. But to persuade in what manner? Maybe in none at all, since truth and beauty cannot simply be imposed, as can a building, a picture, a film, or a sculpture. In fact, art is the exudation of the imagination. This is a most important matter for us, since without imagination there is no salvation. Imagination carries us beyond our daily reality, to overcome all limits. Otherwise, anything would seem small, pent-up, and colorless to us, while imagination can take us to the opposite direction.

The artist is interested in nature and history only as much as the thought of nature and history allows him to go beyond the limits of what is real and to extend his experience and sense toward what is possible.

If we think of Javier Marín’s search with respect to the “body,” it is helpful to read Dámaso Alonso’s interpretation of the writings of the poet Góngora.


Dámaso Alonso shows the procedure of setting aside the elements of reality to substitute them with others, corresponding to entities in the physical and spiritual world of the great


Baroque writer. This type of reading is a systematic practice of taking a distance a détournement, which allows for the creation of “enigmas.” Marín tries to channel the fermentation of raging forces that dwell within his sculptures toward salvation. He places the enigma of a relation between an unleashed emotiveness and the will to momentarily stop at the center of his own Baroque (not altogether lacking in impressionistic shoots and most densely saturated with typically Mexican Baroque reminiscences).


Marín is well aware of the fact that the Renaissance is dominated by an unquestioning admiration for Classical antiquity, to which an almost unattainable exemplarity is attributed. The Baroque, on the other hand, introduces the concern for newness, which is the turning point on the road leading to modern art. In fact, adjectives such as capricious and extravagant are adopted for the work of art. However, the most important thing is that the feeling for the present, a necessary condition for any militant culture, is stated. In Marín’s creations, the sculptural masses cannot remain enclosed by hard and precise lines. Our gaze is carried far away into enigmatic depths, in a play of light and shadow that escape every law, deliberately searching for dissonances.


Each body manifests an emphatic action, as if an impetuous effort were needed, not to abandon itself to a painful and definitive downfall. Marín rejects classicism, but cherishes the marks of Hellenism; he rejects the exemplary character of humanism, which values each form according to Greek standards. In that way, he denies the notion of decadence, recognizing the germ and flowering of a new art form, among the signs of agony and corruption of matter/flesh.


The weft threads of the 17th century, of modernity and mass culture (it is interesting to note the use of resin, so ductile and similar to the eroticism of wax), are interwoven and take on a deeper significance. Mastery in modeling form and command of technique go hand in hand with a cult for possession, a cult for ecstatic passion, for the emotion of the subject in the face of mystery, delight, and vertigo in the presence of the body.


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