Omen of a Suspended Landscape
By Nayr Lopez Garcia
Marlon Infante has recently graduated from the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts, and already has a determined attitude towards painting as his means of expression. This constancy in the craft has led him to incur in different themes and languages: abstractions, portraits and landscapes. But, on this occasion, I will only comment on the latter, his landscape work, precisely because it is the space that allows him the greatest ideo-aesthetic exploration, and the ideal place to pour his inner self, the visuality for his metaphors, his own voice.
In his early works, Marlon, like a keen apprentice, observes the work of Tomas Sanchez, who is, in fact, a reference that guides his initial interest. These –his works– seem to be a tribute to the master, the noble gesture of learning by admiring. It is the first impulse, the first steps to enter a hidden hill that he will particularize and make his own.
Since then he faces the large format, he needs space for his all-encompassing gaze: ground, horizon and sky, a triad to which he resorts. Thus are born panoramas seen from above, as if he wanted to enter and let himself be dragged by that river in apparent calm, until he reaches the last point that draws its silhouette in the distance.
A perfectionist in technique, he aims to be a meticulous artist. He takes care of the detail, each oil brushstroke finds the right place on the canvas. He suggests volumes, textures, a spectacle for contemplation. Above all, he creates atmospheres, he is able to awaken an aura that embraces the whole scene.
And precisely, “another” atmosphere takes place from Espejo lunar (Moon Mirror) and Al final del camino (At the End of the Road), paintings in which he attempts against this supposed calm. The clouds appear and everything becomes dark: the warning of the coming storm. The artist captures the moment just before the rain falls, before the wild disturbance of the landscape that still looks meditated and idyllic; as if he wanted to attack the peace, but still cannot. It is the tension, the new verse, the restlessness to experiment with the composition while tearing from the poetic. These early paintings show a turn towards melancholy, doubt, sublimated desire; a visible sign of a character that is imposing itself, a personal poetry that becomes the protagonist and that he will not delay in expanding. The skies have not cleared in the production belonging to 2019, 2020 and 2021; moreover, the clouds are intermingled with portions of earth suspended in the air.
Levitaciones (Levitations) emerges, a set of pieces with a strong surrealist breath. Rock and earth, the area where the grass has sprouted, ascends in small selected samples. Below leaves the usual, an immensity of vegetation where you can still see the water, as a constant in the form of a river or lake.
The year 2022 arrives and with it, other changes for Infante’s work, nuances that are shaping a different way of understanding the landscape, and particularizes each piece from the condition of different emotions. The contact with the craft allows him to rehearse with the elements and he is able to generate sensations from it; although these elements have not changed completely, they pursue him or he them; only now they show an emphasis, they inhabit other situations.
In Alma del mundo (Soul of the World) the cloud appears among the trees of a virgin environment, where the light penetrates the greens and the faint shadows produced by its passage peek into an unvisited place. Once again the cloud, personalized, ethereal, timeless entity; on this occasion very white, levitates in its solitude. It is Alma del mundo a suspended sigh, the prowler that has descended, perhaps it wants to feel the roots vibrate. Either way, it is the anachronism that does not go unnoticed.
Three other pieces are conceived from the circular format and in smaller dimensions, directing everything towards a central point, an emphatic gesture towards a single element. This series is called Prognosis, three scenes with different atmospheres. In one of them the ground is arid, the cracked earth does not show any sign of life, above it floats a fragment from which a dry tree can be glimpsed. There is heat and smoke and also a certain nostalgia. In another, there is a large space for the blue: sky and sea, the once contained water has expanded and encompasses everything, small pieces of ice are carried away by the tide and in the center, like a castaway, a tree or a small, glowing forest. In the last piece of this set it is dark night and the wet grass is smelled, another group of trees from which the plume of a palm tree peeps out and again the cloud, barely sketched, above them; it is inevitable to perceive a small wink towards the artist’s land. Symbols of loneliness, desolation, a certain sense of isolation, three stories about the same subject. The absence of the human being stands out in his production, each component of the landscape is a body that feels and communicates.
Marlon reflects on the canvas his soliloquy, the diatribes of dealing with himself and with a context that summons him to reflect; and he leaves those emotions suspended to make us participants from the contemplation of beauty. It exudes a contained force, a lyricism inaccessible to the touch, the immobility of the human being before a greater phenomenon: the landscape.