Just last May 19, I was invited to give a few words at the inauguration of studio blue and the posthumous exhibition of Elmar Rene Rojas. First I have to point out that the interdisciplinary concept that Casa Mandarina offers caught my attention tremendously.
The place is accessible, pleasant and, in addition, has a particular warmth. The breadth of the property and the entrepreneurial nature that surrounds it are an invitation to get away from the chaotic traffic of peak hours and spend a good recreational moment there.
His influence on local art is noticeable from the late 1960s to the present.
Blue Studio is a formal painting school (and plastic skills) run by its founders, Iveth Vallar and Gabriel Tom. It has specific teaching programs with the mission of training new artists, children and adults, not amateurs.
From what has been noted, it is understood that their academic programs have a logical escalation to reach the desired goal: to be a professional visual creator. Vallar is a graphic designer (Landívar), graduated in decoration (UNIS), in addition to having studied at the Superior School of Art (Usac) and in the Municipal School in the Palacio de Correos.
Tom is an industrial designer and was a disciple of Iveth with whom he learned to paint. The retrospective of Elmar René Rojas (1937-2018) brought me together, after a long time, with his beloved daughters and Mrs. Olga, mother of businesswomen and cultural managers. A very pleasant moment due to the number of memories and anecdotes that link the memory of the exhibiting artist with situations related to the Guatemalan creative universe and the El Attico Gallery.
Suffice it to note that with Elmar Rojas something was always learned because his spirit was generous. Rojas, along with a few other names, is one of the most visible international artists in the country. As a colorist he proposed a palette that was adopted by various authors active in the last two decades of the 20th century.
Emerging painters especially appropriated his figuration to explore Elmarian “magical realism” from their own experiences. At the time he was a student, in the late fifties and as a professional in the sixties, he proposed based on informalist expressions.
His imaginary, like that of his classmates, was strong and forceful. His political work did not leave anyone indifferent. Together with Marco Augusto Quiroa and Roberto Cabrera they founded the group Vértebra, which Luis Ortiz, Enrique Anleu Díaz and Ramón Ávila would later join.
The work of Elmar Rojas, which also includes sculpture, has particular values both in its composition and in the variety of themes it tackles. Like Carlos Mérida and Rodolfo Abularach, mainly, his works are found in several important museums.