Carlos Presto

Montevideo, Uruguay

Concrete art, Kinetic art and the Geometric tradition in general have always caught my attention. I suppose some of that is directly related to the interests of my family. I was born in a house that was minimalist in design, decorated with a few works of contemporary art. I was always motivated by my family to study architecture, and I think that I have in part given them pleasure: I design and build my work as on a drawing board, from the foundation, supported by mathematical analysis and structural scaffolding, always calculating the best use of tools and materials.

On the other hand is the “how,” which I learn from what I see—the Nature of divine proportions studied by Euclid and Pacioli, possessor of all colors, shades and hues, where everything exists and hardly anyone pays attention. That is what I look for in my work: attention, motivating and encouraging in the viewer a different state of consciousness, one that allows them to focus in a deep way on the relationship between the optical, the geometric and even the algebraic elements in my work, with the original creation, the universe around us.

The turning point in my work occurred in the midst of preparing for a solo gallery show when I was living in Buenos Aires. Originally intended as a show of figurative portraits, almost photographic, painted in oils in black and white, but ending after several intermediate steps, in geometric work, almost graphic, with red backgrounds and twice the size. I started replacing some of the portraits by planes and geometric structures, then transformed them into virtual volumes generated through overlapping, displaced grids, which also served as a technique to abstract ends. Over time these structures successively became essential tools in my work, both my geometric works like the Virtual Scaffolding and Infometrics series, and figuratively as in my Pictures and Georealism series.

Interspersed among these works are pure constructive drawings almost exclusively dependent on technical line drawing tools, the Crystalline Expansion and Generative series, and an Objects series, basically mixed media and collage on wood.

Now is the time of Optics: visual artifice, tricks and optical effects are my new allies, radiation of light and color in motion registered by the eye, but not always appreciated, much less deduced at first sight. Gone are the technical drawing tools; instruments are less tangible now, but the basic idea remains the same: to produce that different state of consciousness that allows the viewer to connect with the work.

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