Samuel Sarmiento presents three ceramic works in which he uses as tropes certain works carried out by human communities and which are currently either carried out in a considerably different way or have completely disappeared in order to evidence archetypal correlations between the generation of knowledge and the organization and management of human life in different parts of the planet. The production of cacao (2022), The traditional manufacture of roof tiles (2022) and The construction of a bahareque wall (2022) are accompanied by short stories in which Samuel seeks to articulate the results of his research from common elements in the exercise of storytelling.
Samuel Sarmiento is a self-taught artist. In 2010, he undertook a master’s degree in artistic production at the Politécnica Universidad de Valencia. He has participated in various exhibitions, individually as well as collectively in Aruba, Venezuela, Spain, the Netherlands, Argentina, and China. His work is composed of enigmatic characters, giving it an air of uncanniness, nonconformity, and uncertainty together with a nuance of ludic and unreal sensations. His work is the “pictorial equivalent” of his thoughts and beliefs related with Caribbean folktales.
Over the years, he has used oils and acrylics for his projects, but now he has also been experimenting with ceramics and video. One of his central interests is the role of an object as a storyteller. Humanity, in all its forms and contradictions, witnessed from a third-person gaze, appears as one the central themes of his work. His art can be political at times, tackling concepts such as birth, death, exile, decolonization, justice and war. Nonetheless, you will always find a reference to symbolism, whether we are talking about Caribbean, South American and African cultures or even European religion or historical events. Through his interest in symbolism and archetypes he is making a reflection about fiction in western world versus fiction in the Caribbean environment to make the point that a “logical” idea for some societies, can be strange for other ones. As Ngozi Adichie argues, a single story can be dangerous, as not everybody has the experiences or values to translate a situation. Our capacity to judge or understand a singular moment depends on our symbolic mechanism and realities. He likes to think of himself as a memory collector, creating diverse archives for future generations.
Samuel lives and works in Aruba.