Bronze Sculptures of Contemporary Artist Jorge Marin in Mexico City
Bronze Sculptures by Mexican Artist Jorge MarinClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mexico City´s Art Scene
Jorge Marín (1963 Uruapan, Mexico) is one of many contemporary Mexican artists whose work is now part of the capital´s urban art scene and an important element of the open air cultural offer displayed at one of Mexico City´s most important cultural and recreational districts, which is located in and around “Paseo de la Reforma” (Reforma Avenue), a wide and beautiful promenade with big trees and broad sidewalks through which people can leisurely walk, while admiring the open air art pieces of permanent and temporary photography/sculpture exhibitions.
Jorge Marin´s twenty-year long professional career has been characterized by a constant experimentation with different themes and techniques. His continual search for new ways of expressing his creativity has turned him into a multidisciplinary artist that has worked with diverse materials; however, it was his encounter with bronze that definitely marked his plastic development with distinctive features, and transformed his work, today spread throughout the world, into a distinct symbol of Mexican contemporary art.
Today, 12 of Jorge Marin´s many Bronze Sculptures stand as a Monumental reminder of Mexican Artists´ talent and as a beautiful contribution to Mexico City´s art scene. The contemporary exhibition can be enjoyed in an open air and very pleasant environment, with a green natural background that frames the impressive sculptures in a perfect way.
Portrait of Jorge Marin
Jorge Marin: Academic Background
From 1980 to 1985, Jorge Marin studied in the National School of Plastic Arts of the National Autónomus University of Mexico (UNAM).
He finished his academic practice, with a Bachelor´s Degree in "Conservation, Restoration and Museography", in the Manuel del Castillo Negrete School of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Ministry of Public Education (SEP).
His plastic work has obtained several national and international acknowledgements.
Jorge Marin explains his experience in working with bronze:
“I have found in bronze an intrinsic power that allows me to build dynamic bodies, bodies full of movement, which challenge gravity by rotating in space and balancing themselves with minimal support.
There is, however, a contradiction in my use of bronze:
Bronze elicits sensations of coldness and hardness, things that are not present in my work; nevertheless, I try my best to avoid the prevailing of its cold essence in my sculptures.
By tightening or loosening the forms, the volumes and the human anatomy, I intend for my art pieces to triumph in that incongruity, to speak for themselves, conveying a specific message to every observer.
By coordinating the bodies, segment by segment, I attempt to give my sculptures a voice of their own, which communicates something different to each spectator. I consider that a plastic work of art resembles a mirror in which every observer finds a different image, because he projects onto it his specific desires, anxieties and frustrations…..”
Jorge Marin´s Sculptures Enhancing Mexico City´s Urban LandscapeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mexican Artists at Work: Step-by-Step Creation of the Bronze Sculptures
What follows is a brief explanation of the work that needs to be done to create each and every one of Jorge Marin´s contemporary art bronze sculptures, which today stand in Mexico City and other parts of the world, making it richer and more beautiful.
NOTE: all the images I have integrated in this article to illustrate the step-by-step process that Jorge Marin uses to create his bronze sculptures were taken from photographs included in his open air exhibition located in “Paseo de la Reforma”, Mexico City.
Structure: a metal “skeleton” is build to support the weight of the modeling clay.
Modeling Clay (plasticine): artist Jorge Marin covers the metallic structure with modeling clay, giving the desired shape and details to the first phase of the sculpting work, and creating a "Modeling Clay Sculpture".
First Phase of the Sculpturing Work: Modeling Clay Sculpture by Jorge Marin
Mexican Artists at Work
The clay sculpture is divided into segments using modeling clay or metal foil handles, in order to facilitate the wax casting latter on.
Latex, in its liquid form, is applied to the surface of the clay sculpture so that it registers 100% of the detailed volumes and textures of the clay work.
"Reinforcement of the Latex Mold"
Reinforcement of the latex mold is done with an “over-mold”, made with fiberglass and resin (very resistant material), which is necessary because latex is an elastic material that, by itself, doesn´t have rigidity or stiffness.
Once the mold can be removed from the clay piece, a mixture of equal parts of amber wax, paraffin and resin (previously melted with heat) is poured into the mold. Once the wax mixture has solidified, the mold can be removed and a true copy of the original clay sculpture is obtained.
Mexican Artists at Work: Wax Transfer
The wax copy of the piece is “encapsulated” with a mixture of plaster and ground ceramic, leaving a “channel” through which the liquid bronze will be poured.
Once the wax sculpture has been “encapsulated”, it is placed in the oven, where the wax must be burned out.
When all the wax has been eliminated, liquid bronze is poured into the capsule, through the access duct or “channel”; the metal fills up the space that the wax used to occupy.
Mexican Artists at Work: Bronze Casting
"Cleaning the Bronze Piece"
Once the Bronze is cold and has solidified, the encapsulating material can be stripped off. What remains is a bronze structure exactly like the original modeling clay piece.
In its original state, bronze is golden, but its color can be altered by applying acids and heat to its surface.
Jorge Marin talks about the meaning of masks and explains why he uses masks in his plastic work
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