Jose Margulis combines a unique blend of techniques to create structural and complex yet powerful and striking wall sculptures. Using photography and sculpture techniques, he creates an intrinsic connection between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional planes. His sculptures consist of different types of plastic sheets cut into slices, which are then placed on a rigid canvas. Using a different range of colors, graphic patterns, textures and photographic images of acrylic sheets, Jose prints directly on the sheets’ surface. These wall sculptures are truly eye-catching and constantly being exhibited in galleries throughout South America and the United States, due to his skilled and unique technique.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
J.Margulis (b. 1970, Caracas, Venezuela) began his career as an artist through photography while studying Management in his native Venezuela. He worked in a family-run business exploring digital printing and later in life decided to apply his professional skills to art making, as he progressively became interested in sculpture. Today, his artwork is the result of an intrinsic connection between two and three – dimensional planes, working with sculpture in parallel with photography.
Margulis began producing acrylic 3D sculptures and compositions made from different types of colorful plastic sheets, affixing them onto surfaces, other times as free standing structures or traditional fixtures on a wall. As a direct consequence of these productions, he began photographing his pieces as a way of documenting them, thereby generating a significant volume of autonomous photographic work which created an intimate connection between the photograph and its related piece, developing a visual yet independent dialogue through language, photography and sculpture.
As most Venezuelan artists from his generation, Margulis came of age with the rise of Geometric abstractionism and Kinetic art, influenced early on by his encounters with the works of Venezuelan kinetic artist Jesús Soto and Naum Gabo, the Russian constructivist sculptor, specifically through his exposure to Gabo’s Linear Constructions in Space series, which challenge the construction of volume and space, creating figures with fine threads on a structure. For Margulis, abstraction is the language in which he expects magic to happen, an argot that he masters with ease, where space and its possible construction with the minimum use of materials become one of the playful strategies of his artistic expression. His colorfully sculpted elements emerge as models for his photographic creations, and conversely, each medium coexisting individually, yet dialoguing with the other, creating a variety of discourses based on different perceptions, in an infinite loop in which one agent of expression nurtures and enriches the other. Margulis’ effort has evolved to become a combination of sculpture and photography, creating visual compositions within two different languages and discourses that complement one another.
“I believe that courage, empathy and kindness are all ingredients in a powerful and elusive formula, which arms us with a clean and ever sharpening lens that catches fleeting glimpses of our true nature; small fractions of divine understanding that reverberate in our essence with the power to shape our deepest beliefs and completely change our perspectives, and so, the way we act in the unfolding of our own existence. My work is about the physical representation of this belief.I digitally design 3-D objects and compositions, and cut them in slices from different types of plastic sheet materials. These slices are then fixed to a rigid canvas, a pedestal or held together in space. Most of my work is done using acrylic sheets with different levels of translucency in a range of colors, graphic patterns, textures and photographic images directly printed on the sheets’ surfaces. The bright and fully saturated color palettes to which I instinctively gravitate to, is heavily influenced by the traditional Mexican arts and crafts which made a great impact on me during the time that I lived there. I treat my three-dimensional pieces as light traps or secret blueprints, in which by controlling the placement of its components, I’m able to create intriguing 3-D containers. Their designs are then fully revealed by applying or ͞pouring͟ light into them. In a sense, light becomes the ink that reveals the design by following a 3-D template. The light source may vary from natural to one or more fixtures, placed on precise locations in relationship to the subject, with specific power, color temperature, angle and proximity. These exposed patterns and designs are not absolutes or unique, because as the viewer changes his point of view, the work expresses a different narrative that is completely new within its own essence. It intrigues and fascinates me how the object mutates in front of me, with no other resource but a simple change of perspective. Going back and forth naturally, I try to synthesize and integrate different perceptions that coexist as different facets of an object. Every time, I find myself trying to lock that seemingly unreal angle in which we are able to contemplate the amazing connections among complex layers of facts, prejudices and beliefs; that ͞sometimes surreal͟ frame in which we discover how easily we could be absolutely wrong and misjudge everything that surrounds us, while tragicomically posing ourselves as proud holders of truth and owners of higher grounds.”
Advanced Photography, Instituto Neumann Caracas, Nevezuela, 1987
B.A. Management, Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela, 2003
MAJOR GROUP & SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 – Geometric Abstraction (group exhibition), LA, California
2016 – The Blue Hour (group exhibition), Private Venue, Miami, Florida
2016 – Confluences in Brazilian Art (group exhibition), Art & Design Gallery, Miami, Florida
2016 – Metamorphic Abstraction (group exhibition curated by Naera Kim), Art Space One, New York, New York