Stillness As a Metaphor
By Estela Ferrer
Dionnys Matos graduated in 2010 from the Academy of Plastic Arts of Holguin. His work reveals a contemplative attitude towards objects, a traditional, almost Buddhist patience that leads him to observe each of their parts. Plastic bags, furniture and small containers become the central motif of his pieces. The object turns into a memory of its time, of design styles and of a culture.
Among the materials he prefers, watercolor stands out. His series on swimming pools announces a thematic line that continues to this day: his interest in ecology, expressed in current works of great quality, which acquire the category of artistic event, as the artist rightly declares. Swimming Pool is the main series in this aspect where the space is, at the same time, landscape and testimony of deterioration and abandonment. The pieces show the reduction of the primary function of the facilities when they are not inhabited or used by humans. The views are multiple: seats, the jumping areas. The characters are almost null: barely a soul sitting on the dirty floor of one of the pools in a meditative pose. The palette also consolidates the sense of uneasiness by focusing on cold colors such as greens and blues. The air of desolation that envelops them invites us to think about contemporaneity and the very shortcomings we face daily as subjects.
His painting is a task to which he devotes himself using methods derived from surrealism, automatic or semi-automatic in order to connect with his subconscious. Likewise, he uses the formal codes of abstraction and expressionism, maximizing intuition and spontaneity in each of his works.
Stillness and immobility take on a sublime character in his painting, they inhabit as indispensable essences without which creation cannot be completed. Dionnys’ will to admire nature is perhaps explained through the rich flora of his native province of Holguin. A sum of mysticisms that peek into his personality and between the veils of his paintings.
Dionnys seems to be an artist from another century, meditative, with a discipline in favor of saving and against unbridled consumption that does not fit in with the ways and tastes of the big cities. From Colombia, where he now lives and works, he continues his stance in favor of his work being a standard of care for life and its most immediate and primordial source: nature.
Take A Minute: A Show of Resilience is one of the most important exhibitions of his career. Created with Thomas Nickles Project, the exhibition brought together fifteen pieces, among which stand out the objects that make up the series El orden de las cosas (The Order of Things). The composition is simple, the object and its shadow acquire total protagonism over a horizon. Nothing creates noise or distracts from the contemplative act. Containers, balls and small books steal the presence on the canvas and act as still lifes. However, there is something in their formal treatment and packaging that does not allow us to look away. Dionnys has created for them a universe of possibilities, of meanings, that transform their recognizable forms into entities subdued by time.
In his most recent works he uses bubble wrap as a support, with the aim of bringing attention to the damage we cause to the environment and to provoke an action in favor of its protection and to promote recycling.
Matos appeals to our citizen participation and hopes that his works communicate his feelings about it. The creations are an invitation to reuse everything possible, not only for their function but also for their possibilities of transformation, such as the use of these waste materials in his paintings. By being used for art they acquire a second life, a change of use that otherwise they would not have. A very serious statement, yes, but one that attests to the path already chosen by its creator. Art as his means of expression but to go beyond, to get from nature, to be part of it and, at the same time, to assume a protective attitude. To give us back our daily life without shaving or artifice, so that we are not dazzled by ornaments and to show us that everything can be usable again if we simply stop to look.