Kami Sloan

“Academics don’t necessarily define the outcome of an artist. Education is one thing, and art is another. What an artist can say or doesn’t say has nothing to do with the erudition of information. Art is about subjectivity.”  

— Jesus Rojas

Jesus Rojas defines the most authentic aspect of what an “artist” represents in its most simplistic terms. Since his inception onto the art scene, he has never strayed away from his creative cultural origins. The composition of his canvas is a testament to the vicissitudes of his graphical elements and orchestration of color. Rojas mentions, “My visual language is very particular. I just found a language in which I can muster into my own.”

Jesus has an insouciance for the poetic vernacular and the romanticized notions of art. He goes on to say, “I’m very straightforward. I like to work from the color provided by the tube and mix it. People don’t realize how hard it is to create certain colors I produced. They look very pure. I don’t like to muddy colors. It took many years to develop this process.”

We are simply drawn to the physicality of his work and the conceptual re-occurring themes that his paintings embody – Mandala in Buddhism as a symbol of unity and consciousness, the coexistence between animals and man as a metaphor for oneness on this earth – and the concept of creation in the dualities of femininity and masculinity with an infinite exchange of how we view the world. “The marination of these concepts come; naturally, I look for simplicity as an essential prerequisite of artistic expression,” says Jesus.

The main draw of his oeuvre is the element of surprise, the brilliance of bright colors, and sensual forms that create the entire whimsical effect. “I’m not going to tell other people what they see in my work. My own pieces surprise me. What people say about my paintings varies. It’s a matter of filter and perception.” – A cultural perspective from his childhood in Peru. “I see this erotism as natural as the creator- my love for animals, my love for human beings, my love for the vibrancy of life.”

For nearly 47 years, Jesus has exhibited in his native homeland Peru, Argentina, and across the United States. His passion for his art and lighthearted quality is attributed to the development of his niche. There’s an air of sensuality and intrigue that’s simply part of his undeniable DNA. “When children look at my work, they tend to look at the positivity of the colors. To have the ability to bring a smile to a child is a humbling experience”, says Jesus.

There was a black and white period when he came to Florida and, as Rojas describes it, regained his love for color and the Caribbean. He reminisced about the mountains of The Andes. His appreciation for illustration stemmed from the American illustrator of children’s books, Maurice Bernard Sendak. This set the foundation for several storybook pictorials that Rojas did.

  Doug McGraw and Jesus Rojas

“Jesus Rojas, a Peruvian artist living in Miami, is a master of color that he translates into canvases that share a magic and power to the viewer. Often people think the images might be airbrushed, but upon closer inspection you can see the thousands of brush strokes creating an everchanging rainbow of composition. It’s been an unfolding story to collect his work over the years. I feel he has a great genius for color and a magic of his narrative to these mythological creations and compositions brought to life in his art.” – Doug McCraw, Founder of FATVillage 

Jesus Rojas Art of Color & Light is the first retrospective of Peruvian artist Jesus Rojas. This exhibition encompasses work that spans over 25 years.

With palettes of color, frolicking, cavorting, intertwined into shapes of animated canvases of deft, these are the prolific compositions of Jesus Rojas.

The Next Chapter of FATVillage

“The world will increasingly see more technology and technological innovations happen. The art world has been ‘analog’ for quite a bit, and with digital worlds taking over, we’re shaping a new era in where the physical and the digital can live hand in hand. Artwork can be fully physical without any digital notion, like a painting or sculpture. It can be half a half in where there might be a digital version of the artwork, or a piece can live totally in digital realms, like ideologies around a ‘metaverse’ or ‘digital gallery’ of things. This makes it such an important time for the art world. Where traditional galleries might have a hard time adjusting to this ‘experimental nature in where things like ‘phygital’ might be hard to adjust to, art hubs like FATVillage can be more flexible and push for these new trends to co-exist amongst old ways of presenting and representing art. “Anouk Wipprecht

FashionTech designer Anouk Wipprecht. Photo by Criss Gomez

FATVillage, a downtown historic warehouse district, is in the process of going through a new transformation. Techies, designers, artists, and creative professionals make up the community that has been a part of Fort Lauderdale’s magic. Just miles north of Miami and a couple of blocks away from the Brightline high-speed rail train, FATVillage further develops integration with artists and designers. Many artists from the South Florida  area have found a home in FatVillage’s years of exhibition. This creative art hub has evolved into an ecosystem, providing a HOME for co-op spaces, creative labs, film studios, and even a fine art print cooperative. This aggregation of talent and disciplines has provided a creative cluster that has continued to evolve over the years, making the uniqueness of FATVillage special.

“This has comprised cutting-edge exhibitions, art performances, theater, music presentations, concerts, and many creative, experimental productions. A particular outstanding result of this creativity was a venue in FATVillage that became Arts Up! Concepts where the art became an installation of experience within the height and expanse of the space. The interdisciplinary fusion would see more ideas incubated in FATVillage. One exciting project in FATVillage was to provide a creative environment to present Anouk Wipprecht with a space for the maker documentary, ‘A LEAGUE of EXTRAORDINARY MAKERS,” says Doug McCraw, Founder of FATVillage.

“A League of Extraordinary Makers is a documentary series that celebrates and chronicles the Maker movement worldwide. Set against the backdrop of different regions and economies, it explores extraordinary maker narratives from hobbyists to entrepreneurs, artists to coders, designers to changemakers. The movement that started by default in garages is now resetting the future. Paving the way for designers like Anouk to reshape the present and reimagine the future of fashion technology. Spaces like FATVillage are a playground for makers to experiment with reality, to challenge the boundaries of their realms, to collaborate and intersect.” – Storyteller Films, Mumbai. 

FATVillage incubates artists blending them with professional business design and technology on-site. This produces art, not in the traditional sense or not how we are accustomed to seeing it. FATVillage has launched companies with its resident artists and tenant creatives partnerships. Art Light Space has done several public projects, including a water tower, commercial developments, interactive murals, and public art projects. This experiential, participatory, and immersive way of engaging the viewer has resulted in a new and exciting experience in the art world. This blurring of the lines creates a transition between visual art and a viewing experience.

“A new direction of this artistic and creative process will be a unique experience with the culinary arts. FATVillage will have a new food lab and exciting new food collaborations. The FAT in FATVillage transitions to Food, Art, and Technology. This transition has happened due to a continuing focus on food and design as culinary art. This targets those interested in an organic, cultural dining experience. The emerging transformation of FATVillage will stay true to its roots and authentic history of a warehouse district based on the industrial grit of this place. This new sustainably designed food art and technology mecca infused with art will be unlike anything South Florida has experienced today,” voices Doug.

“Art and Technology have been colliding since the dawn of times but have never been so obviously connected as they are now. Partly because of technological innovations, somewhat because artists, designers, engineers, architects, and whoever wanted to join started to share or borrow skills, cocreate, or emerge themselves in one another’s discipline. Another is because hardware and software haven’t been as affordable and readily available as ever before. An artist wants to craft emotions, an engineer wants to create perfection, an architect wants to make beauty and history, and they all start to meet in the middle. Hence, the reason why these modern-day times are so fascinating; we have access to tools that have never been so readily available for any of us to use whatever discipline you are in.”- Anouk Wipprecht

www.fatvillage.com  |  www.story-tellers.in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *