I am blessed to have a great friend in Puerto Montt Chile who is a true artist. If suffering is a requirement in order to attain the vision and the dissatisfaction with mediocrity that gives a true artist the compulsive need to create, then Carlos has fulfilled the requirement. I have seen him struggle to feed his family for years as his paintings were sold to buy milk and diapers and a chicken for the cazuela. But he hasn't ever given up, he hasn't tossed his brushes and his easel into the trash and taken some mind-numbing job selling cell phones or feeding salmon. He has stuck with it for years and his art has never stultified. It evolves rapidly, organically, shooting off into new directions that Carlos pretends to control, but which surprise him as much as they do anyone else.
I draw and paint because I like to, but I don't pretend to be an artist. Many people learn to paint a certain style that patrons will pay for and they mat consider themselves artists, but their works are only decoration. There are very few artists that actually mix fire and emotions and story and rage into the paints on their palette. But Paredes does, and he even abides by a rule now scoffed at as antiquated and quaint: his paintings are not only powerful and emotive, they are beautiful.
He considers himself a surrealist and can wax eloquent on the theory behind his creations, but I wonder if like many artists, the explanations do not come until after the creation.... Many of his paintings depict dreamings of metaphysical confusion, or the rage of innocent victims at an uncaring and ludicrous divinity. Many of his creations use the visions he has seen in epileptic seizures suffered by him for years. Many paintings are without a direct connection with the reality of the palpable world, but if you stop trying to identify and analyze, you can see the swirling movements and pulsations of the emotions. You can see order strive against chaos and the beauty of both.
Movimiento de la Luz, Primera Parte
Other paintings by Paredes are tremendously realistic, but the other world of mystic chaos always lurks within or around the figures. There is no escape from the dangerous clowns that run the universe that Carlos paints. In all there is lust and riotous life. There is the rapid decay of tropical death with its shiny hues of greens and blues, the recycling of the dead by an explosion of other living matter, be it fungus or bacteria or vines and algae. In Paredes' work nothing is static, nothing is expected to stay as it is, but everything is alive and ready to give birth or to die and transform.
I will make a monthly entry of paintings and poetry by Carlos and will post each segment in English and Spanish.
Without much sense of order I am going to present paintings from various periods of Carlos' works. Click here to watch him create the painting "Sirena"