Paul Sierra: A Cultural Corridor (Exhibiton Catalog)
May 9 to October 9, 1998, The Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture, Los Angeles, CA
By: Jorge H. Santis
Curator of Collections, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Paul Sierra is a quintessential Latin American painter. His canvases illustrate thematically, as well as stylistically, his turbulent Cuban heritage. Aloofness, composure, serenity, and blandness are qualities foreign to his art. Sierra's work excites our senses and intellect. His apocalyptic landscapes are as much about rebirth as they are about destruction. Even though forces of nature collide with incredible fury, the outcome is seldom devoid of hope.
Sierra's volcanic visions fall within the perimeters of what has been called "Magical Realism". Like a gifted sorcerer, he intertwines facts with fiction achieving fusion. His counterpoint is further enhanced by a pervading sense of metamorphosis. A supernatural aura reigns; questions are left unanswered; riddles are born.
The artist's palette could be described as explosive. Vivid reds, yellows, and oranges predominate. The high voltage hues create an intense harmony that mystify us, and their saturation acts more as an aphrodisiac than a repellant. The expressionistic brushwork entices us even further. Their boldness, angularity and density add a note of decadence.
Anyone familiar with Paul Sierra's oeuvre would never guess his gentile and unassuming nature. He is a living example of the idiom "la procesion va por dentro" (still waters run deep). Within him, there is a delicate balance where passion and equanimity co-habitate. His striking paintings are nothing more and nothing less than the raptures of a gifted, rational man in tune with his extraordinary psyche.
Jorge H. Santis