Opening Reception: November 14, 2014 6 pm – 10:00 pm
326 W Josephine San Antonio, TX 78212 (210) 827-7652
HENRY E. CARDENAS
I make art in at least two dimensions – premeditated and completely abstract. I am a painter and a sculptor of stone, steel, and wood. When I say premeditated, I essentially dream about my paintings first and think about my techniques and materials, canvas size, and textures. While traveling in the vast arid southwestern part of the United States many years ago, I began to realize how small I really was and how far into the horizon I could look. The sky, the clouds, the mountains, and deserts – the stillness – the vastness – the solitude – the sunsets and sunrises – that is what I wanted to capture in my landscape paintings. I dream about where I have been and what I have seen and I want to share my mental notes on canvas with the viewers of my art.
My abstract mentality is so free, and fun, and unpredictable – I feel energized when I set in motion a palette of colors and am completely excited to see the results of my efforts. I get lost in time and thankfully, I am confined to the space of the canvas and the materials I am using to create sculptures. I demand spontaneity with palette knives and brushes, scrapers and sponges, straight edges and circles forms. I want to go into my paintings – see the light and the shadows – see the depth, the distance, and the hidden shapes and messages that surface and that have carried me through the painting.
I make art because of an innate desire to be creative and the need to be expressive – I need to create it and give it reality. My father was a house painter who worked many years to support my mother, myself and two brothers. I marveled at his grasp of colors using only white paint and tubes of colored pigment – he could make any color and match any existing color. I watched and learned – (1) I did not want to be a house painter, and (2) I hoped to go to college, and (3) I wanted to learn the magic of my father’s paint and pigment techniques. I achieved all three.
My art provides me a legacy of achievement, affirmation, and honor that I leave to my children, grandchildren, and family and art patrons, art collectors, fellow artists, and friends.
I’ve been making paintings now for 10 years and while the work continues to evolve it is not likely that any great changes will occur. The vision has developed slowly and methodically over many long days in the studio. To a great extent I’m more concerned with the crystallization of my work than continual diversity. My work reflects a variety of creative styles. I’m building a surface and not so much an image. I see my work as a metaphor for nature – about wondering how it (nature) got that way, realizing that we may never find out. So the viewing experience I’m setting up is not simply a bunch of pleasing shapes/colors/textures etc. but that during the viewing experience one is actually transported through imaginary space and time to places unknown. Setting up contrasts in all variety of material including contrasts in color/texture/intensity etc. is what leads my movement.