FROM LITERATURE TO VISUAL ARTS: 

JORGE A. YANCES, A GENUINE REPRESENTATIVE OF “MAGIC REALISM”

Ana Isabel Rueda-Garcia, Ph. D.                      

The internal transformation that one experiences when laying eyes for the first time on the work of artist Jorge A. Yances is the same that literature enthusiasts feel when they read those writers  belonging to the literary movement known as “Magic Realism” such as Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Isabel Allende among others.  Even though, “Magic Realism” is known today more in reference to literature than in visual arts, the term was initially used by a sur-realistic school of German artist around the early 1920’s.  It was not until the end of the mid 1940’s that the expression was introduced as a literary movement in Latin-America. 

The definition of “Magic Realism” is apparent in the works created by Jorge A. Yances.  In the majority of his art one can find each one of the elements that literary critics indicate are essential to the definition of the term; the combination of reality and fantasy, the transformation of a real vision into an unreal one, and the deformation of the time and space. 

            Reality and fantasy represent the game that Yances plays on canvas in his collections entitled ‘Illusions’ and ‘Cartagena Memories’.   The juxtaposition of scenes extremely real from the streets of such a majestic Colombian city and the fantastic images emerging on the walls of houses that witnessed historical events and that are still standing and telling a story, is a clear example of the use of the first element necessary to understand the essence of “Magic Realism”.    This experience exists each time one encounters a Yances painting.  It feels like in a blink of an eye one walks along the natural spaces while absorbing the situations hidden in between colors and textures to present a collective story captured in time and space.

            The transformation of real visions into unreal ones is like inwardly exploring a dream of reality; even though what we really want is to make the dream the reality.   The final result is a transmigration of the soul in which the objective reality is the opposite of what we believe and desire.  This is the experience one has when viewing Yances’ work.

            There is also a preoccupation with issues relevant to time and space, persistent in the ‘Illusions’ and ‘Cartagena Memories’ collections.  It seems there is a desire to change time and space to promote the destruction of reality, in a trip without time and space without boundaries to allow movement in the infinite.  Yances does not project boundaries, on either space or time, thus, reflecting another element of “Magic Realism”; the transformation of time and space.

            To observe any and all of Jorge Yances’ works of art is to transport the viewers in time and space into a world created within an imaginary reality and to try to unravel it, but most of all, it is to discover the mysterious nature of things and the story painted by all and everyone during this vacation trip through life.