August 16, 2019 -
September 8, 2019
La Balsa Arte Medellín
Panorámica sala principal. Oasis, La Balsa Arte Medellín

The imaginary world of Miguel Cárdenas oscillates between dream landscapes and a strange encounter between human beings, mythological figures in a recreated nature. He calls this place without coordinates OASIS.

Miguel Cárdenas seeks the perfectibility of his pictorial craft. The technical fact that emerges from mastery in the work of a painter is interwoven with his ideas to offer a set of works achieved both formally and conceptually.

The wandering philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), structured his thought between the march in the field and his travels, giving the free to wander a proper value of freedom. The other Rousseau, Henri, known as the customs officer (1844-1910), fed his thirst for freedom by recurring to his imagination and the tales of expeditioners to Mexico. He was a regular visitor to the greenhouses of Paris. He exclaimed: when I see plants from distant lands there, it seems to me that I am dreaming.

The philosopher Rousseau understood free will as a gift of conscience that allows man to take responsibility for himself, and to such extent, of his creative capacity. The 'good savage' served to introduce a gap in the historical story of Genesis. The painter Rousseau allowed himself the freedom to imagine a man at peace with nature, recreated in an Eden.

Some of the two Rousseau visit the work of Cárdenas: the freedom to create a mythical world of his own, the ability to break free from the current codes of contemporary painting, the recreation of a dream world where reflection is also present about the relationships that must be rethought with urgency about the natural / human / animal world.

Some philosophers point out the ethical difficulty of contemporary man to situate himself in relation to other living beings.

Animals and 'non-human' people (denomination that covers animals that demonstrate self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, symbolic communication, among other traits), share the environment and human habitation spaces. Those beings that to some extent resemble man come into conflict with the techno-scientific rationality that permeates Western culture and today, every day, we see that the catastrophe has arrived. There is no virgin nature, there is no better world to discover.

The legacy of Descartes, with his mind-body dualism, made us forget the philosophical status of the animal among the great civilizations, which oscillated between two conceptions: the animal-man and the animal-object. The urgency of rethinking an ethic of coexistence leads to the rethinking of the animal as being-sensitive and of nature, not as a resource, but as a habitat for all. It is demonstrated that even a moderate destruction of the habitat determines the slow but definite extinction of species. The more fragmented the habitat, the greater the number of extinctions that will be caused by new damage to the environment. To an artificial nature of technological origin, characteristic of the anthropocene, we seek to respond with the questioning of ethnocentrism that prevents us from understanding the multiple relationships between the human, animals, plants and minerals.

Making use of the imagination, OASIS proposes another possible order of things ... Cárdenas' theoretical concerns are embodied in his work, whose aesthetic and ethical call sharpens the senses. The careful examination of his painting reveals the methodical mark of the craft: there are no repainted surfaces, but the work of performing in a continuous time. There is urgency in the act of painting. There is urgency in the need to rethink a world of relationships.

Its colorful and own strokes reaffirm us that OASIS, where the wild makes a triumphant return, is a matter of life. Or death.

Selected images

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Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island and Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University, New York. He has participated in exhibitions nationally and internationally, among the most prominent are: Museo de Arte de Pereira (2011), Museo de Arte Moderno de Cartagena (2013), EACHEVE, Guayaqui, Ecuador (2021) and different galleries in New York, Colombia and Mexico.

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