If only one word in the English language described the work of artist brothers Javier and Jorge Marin, it would be audacious. Their larger-than-life sculptures are bold, daring, brave, fearless, original, and without restriction or attachment. When you take in their art with your eyes, you see it with your body, feel it in your soul and you keep turning it over and over in your mind.
Even a jaded “lover” of art will stop in their tracks when first seeing a piece by either one of these artists, because the viewer is compelled to look and stare, as if seeing great art for the first time. To be clear, while they are colleagues, the brothers work independently, do not collaborate and do not show their work together. Even though there is a kinship of style in some of their work, each is a distinctive artist by himself.
The brothers have eight siblings and were born in Uruapan in the Mexican state of Michoacán. But Javier and Jorge are not the only artistic members of the family, with other siblings who are artists, sculptors, painters, photographers and an architect. Interestingly, the siblings do not discuss “business” when they are together. Javier was born in 1962 and Jorge a year later (and is the youngest of the siblings). Both brothers attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Javier in San Carlos and Jorge in Mexico City and both presently call Mexico City home.
The brothers have worked in ceramic as well as bronze. More recently, Javier has evolved beyond traditional material such as bronze and is creating pieces using resin, mixed with other materials, to give each piece of work the look and texture of ceramic. Jorge is best known for creating sculptures in bronze.
Respectively, they have shown their work over most of the world (though never together). Javier’s website indicates he has more than 90 solo shows and 200 collective shows with other artists. Jorge’s website attributes more than 200 individual and collective shows to him. Together the brothers have nearly 50 years’ experience as working artists. Each has deservedly received international awards acclaiming their exceptional talent.
Javier’s retrospective show in 2015 in Mexico City showcased of the power of his work. The show, titled “Terra. Material as Idea,” at the Palacio de Iturbide, was both a metaphorical and literal suspension of belief. The exhibit has many larger-than-life pieces depicting human bodies, horses, busts and reclining figures. There is a haunting, penetrating essence to his work. A number of the pieces are scored or cut into and seem to reflect the pain of creation. Many of the works, suspended within frames and the wiring used to hold them, imparts a feeling of crucifixion or life frozen in the moment.
Jorge’s creativity has also been seen around the world and his work is equally distinctive and individual. Many of Jorge’s pieces appear ready to take flight and a number of his better-known pieces are humans with wings. Jorge also uses other themes to accent his work, such as scales, spheres, boats and arrows and this helps give his work an additional sense of balance and reflection. One element that recurs many times in Jorge’s work is a person wearing a mask, often elongated. Many of his creations are displayed in public spaces in Mexico City, including La Paseo de la Reforma where there are 13 examples of his work.
To appreciate the work of any great artist is always a delight. But to learn there is not just one, but two brothers of immense talent, who also come from a family of artists is truly amazing. With such an incredible wealth of talent, a question hangs in the air, begging for an answer, “Tell me about your parents. What were they like?”
For more information about these brilliant artists and their work, click to these websites: