Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

Material and Spirit by Dr. Dalia Hakker-Orion comments regarding Marlen Ferrer

The act of creating plastic art is seeded within the ability of a few talented people who transform tangible material into unique artistic creations. The multifaceted artist Marlen Ferrer is part of this exclusive group and her works manifest the magical process of transforming natural materials, colors and tar into compositions containing spiritual entities which convey feelings and emotions and are interpreted by the viewers according to their personalities. Her attraction to the beauty and perfection of nature, the ultimate artist, inspires her to combine natural vegetative elements in her sculptural works, creating female figures [2 m height] from palm fronds.  The removal of the barriers between her personal life, feelings and emotions are reflected in the works represented in this catalogue which manifest the versatility of her expressive-intuitive amplitude. Statements about femininity, couples, struggles and ambitions are displayed in vigorous hand strokes with brushes and scalpels in various techniques on recycled paper or canvas. With force and assurance she paints, drips, floats and leaves her unique textural and chromatic stamp.

Her dynamic compositions are vigorous, sensuous and create a dialogue with the surrounding space.  The white industrial oil paint and tar are applied expressively "alla prima" revealing the different hues of the tar, without inhibitions or boundaries, and become clear images when perceived by the viewer. The technique and quality of the works derives from her long experience as a teacher and therapist, observational abilities and the inspiration of the biggest teacher- ÔMother NatureÕ. Her sensitivity and empathy to the human condition [pschycologically] combine with her rich experience and her experimentalism to create a versatile topography. The importance of the textural aspect is enhanced by the intentional elimination of the colors, so oneÕs attention is diverted to the material itself. An analogy to the intentional elimination of colors can be found in the works of the Cubist paintings from the analytical period (1907-1910), which were chosen by Pavlo Picasso and George Braque in order to divert the attention to analytical-geometrical forms. The dominant colors are brown [earth], white [water] with additional applications of gold leaf [spirit.] Dramatic effects are created by the contrasts between white and black lending versatility to the element of light and shadow. Some works are more lyrical and others more stormy, reflecting her mood when she created them. In some paintings there is a juxtoposition of restraint\ meditative energy with the stormy\aggressive energy. Thematically she deals with women, femininity, couples and also, angels, animals (horses), landscapes, and abstract themes as struggles revived from Greek mythology.  Occasionally there are figures depicted accurately with details testifying her drawing skills. In other cases the figures can be observed only generally by symbolic stains. The context of these more abstract paintings is open to the interpretation of the viewer inviting him to respond to some inner religious faith as at the altar of an unknown god. The inclusion of texts enriches the tactile quality as well as creating a dialogue between the word and the image. The words contain messages which encourage the observer to identify with the artist's feelings of anxiety, fear, separation and her existential questions.  Marlen Ferrer manifests her perception of the world as a matrix made from interwoven elements of feelings, fiber, fantasy and philosophy.

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