Anteojo Lady Day (2) © Honfluer Gallery

Publicado en mayo 2014 | Lady Day (2) © Honfluer Gallery

47

John K. Lawson: De las ruinas, un renacer

Después de que el huracán Katrina devastase su hogar y su obra, el pintor británico le da nueva vida a los vestigios.

por Betty Aguirre-Maier
Entremares Magazine

To read this story in English click here

En agosto de 2005, el huracán Katrina arrasó con la ciudad de Nueva Orleans, dejando bajo dos metros de agua y durante seis semanas la casa y el estudio del artista británico John K. Lawson. Este acontecimiento trágico cambió su vida, marcando un antes y un después cargado de optimismo por la vida y el arte.

Lawson creció en la Inglaterra rural en donde vio ir y venir a gitanos y vagabundos que se detenían en la casa familiar para intercambiar trabajo por comida y algo de calor. En ellos descubrió y se fascinó por las texturas de su piel desgastada a la intemperie y la rústica, pero a la vez fascinante, confección de sus trajes. De ellos aprendió su sentido de espacio y lugar y su pensamiento nomádico de poseer muy poco. Todo aquello tendría un enorme efecto en su vida, como cuando tomó la decisión de mudarse a Estados Unidos a una de las ciudades más diversas del país, la sureña Nueva Orleans, heredera de tradiciones francesas y afroamericanas, en donde confluyen saberes, signos y subjetividades. O cuando más tarde y con muy poco o casi nada, debió rehacer su vida y continuar su arte en lugares completamente diferentes.
Antes del huracán Katrina, Lawson era conocido, entre otras cosas, por su laborioso trabajo de cuentas de colores recicladas de collares usados durante la celebración de Mardi Gras. Después de cada celebración carnavalesca, mientras Nueva Orleans dormía, Lawson salía a St. Charles Avenue a recogerlas, reciclarlas y luego usarlas, para crear con ellas extraordinarios objetos de arte; entre ellos impresionantes pianos completamente cubiertos con ellas. En medio de su belleza estética, estos objetos están poblados de símbolos y de temas de connotación política, social y económica.
Después del huracán, Lawson se mudó al norte del país, en donde alterna entre la vida metropolitana de Nueva York y la vida rural de su casa de campo en Massachusetts, iniciando así una nueva etapa, un recolectar de memorias, de personajes y de situaciones, que se plasman en los collages que aquí se publican.
Durante los últimos cinco años, Lawson ha invertido tiempo y material en estas obras. Cada una de ellas está envuelta en un aura casi mística, de santos y patronos, empapada de vibrante energía, de detalles bellamente intrincados. Papel pintado, recortes de periódicos, revistas, catálogos, etc., son el material fundamental para dar vida a personajes casi tridimensionales que se transforman, aparecen y desaparecen en este juego fragmentario de formas y colores en constante movimiento.
Personajes del mundo del jazz como Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane y Charlie Parker parecen surgir del fondo de una interminable fiesta, de un perpetuo carnaval que celebra la vida. Otros personajes, como los que aparecen en la colección “Life”, nos presentan a seres extraordinarios que parecieran estar en cualquier esquina o rincón de Nueva Orleans, Nueva York o Londres, ahi, en donde la mirada se posa y los demás sentidos se regocijan.

[easymedia-gallery med=”4295,4307″ filter=”1″]

JL PhotoJohn K. Lawson (Birmingham, England, 1962). Creció en la campiña inglesa hasta que su familia se mudó a Londres. Estudió en Louisiana State University. Absorto en la cultura del sur de los Estados Unidos, pronto pasó a formar parte de la escena undergorund de Nueva Orleans, trabajando en varios campos como el tatuaje y el grafiti. Llegó a ser muy conocido por su trabajo artístico con cuentas recicladas que recogía después de las frenéticas noches de Mardi Gras en el French Quarter. Después del huracán Katrina, en el que perdió su casa y su estudio, se mudó al norte del país en donde continúa trabajando. Ha ganado entre otros el premio Pollack Krasner Foundation.


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