Carlos Blanco was born in Spain in 1951 and lived in Venezuela from 1957 to 2005, the year in which he returned to his native country; that is to say, that his formal education and artistic studies were carried out in the country that adopted him.
When we ask the artist about his beginnings, he tells us that he grew up among brushes, oil paintings, gouaches, film cameras, actresses and writers, a scenario that undoubtedly sensitized him and led him to choose drawing and painting as his favorite game, an activity which then leads him to take private art classes, a discipline that he continues at the Escuela de Artes Visuales Cristóbal Rojas, which he complements with dramatic art, an area in which in 1971 he graduated as an actor at the Ateneo de Caracas, and thanks to a scholarship granted by this cultural entity continues studies at the Instituto de Teatro de la Universidad de Chile.
From a very young age, art has been the engine that has driven him to travel through different geographical areas in Latin America, such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Chile, as well as, once back in Venezuela, he toured and lived in different places of the country, experiences that have contributed to nurture, develop, and consolidate his work, that he has continued to carry out in Spain for 17 years.
The theme in the visual production of Carlos Blanco that we are interested in addressing on this occasion, corresponds to flamenco, musical artistic expression (singing and dancing), which is born from the mixture of Arab, Jewish and gypsy cultures developed in Andalusia, Spain, whose elements include passion and joy. Flamenco has been the central theme in Blanco's painting, who states that he has been pictorially interested in this artistic expression for 10 years, of which he already had reference when he was young, since the flamenco tablao had become very popular in Caracas nightclubs, but he had never thought of broaching this topic in his painting, until he notices in this Andalusian art an inexhaustible source of visual resources.
Particularly, the two elements of visual expression that Blanco seeks to highlight in this works are movement and color -to which, in addition, he imprints the musical rhythm of flamenco-, through which he intends to move the viewer, inducing him, even to discover new forms in them, to recreate or recompose them, since he, once he has chosen the figure, begins a process of geometrizing the image.
Although Blanco says he has studied many artists and currents, he says he cannot pinpoint who has influenced his work. Even so, we see in it some elements that refer us to futurism, an Italian avant-garde movement, formally heir to cubism, which emerged in 1909, whose aesthetic principle focused on movement and speed; in energy and the expression of force in two-dimensional space, using geometric images in succession as in a kaleidoscope, to achieve the effect of movement. Curiously, Blanco's first individual exhibition, carried out in 1986, was titled “Kaleidoscopio”, which indicates that the artist's interest in imprinting movement in his works has been a subject of interest ever since. However, Blanco does not proceed to the letter like the futurists, even, he doesn’t completely geometrize the human figure, but rather integrates or merges it with geometric planes made up of cubes that dialogue with stains and traces of color that make up its dynamic and colorful flamenco dancers.
Blanco explains that he seeks to express movement with colors and shapes in order to complement the figure. He is based on Gestalt, a current of psychology that studies human perception, whose optical experiments have shown that the viewer proceeds as a co-author in the creation of the work. For example, in relation to one of his works, Flamenco faldón, Blanco comments that where there is a painted torso without shadows or lights, flat, the viewer sees volumes, where what is painted are cubes of tonal colors, the viewer sees a skirt. In his creative process he has discovered that this geometric figure, the cube, has been an excellent visual resource for him, since through it he manages to express three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional plane. The image really looks like 3D.
It seems like Blanco's painting is heading towards abstraction, but when asked if he thinks his work will end up being purely abstract, he tells us that he doesn't know. “Perhaps I will end up merging them without being different”, is what he thinks at the moment. In short, this artist, who is characterized by achieving in his works the maximum splendor of movement, chromatic explosion, and the effect of three-dimensionality, has the mastery of working simultaneously and harmoniously with two artistic styles as dissimilar as figuration - based on gestural strokes and stains- and geometric abstraction.