Samuel Sarmiento

In the Caribbean cosmogony, many fables and beliefs use metaphors to find a sense of purpose in order to solve a historical identity crisis, in a region with cultural gaps and diverse influences, which come as a consequence of colonialism.

My name is Samuel Sarmiento and I am a Venezuelan visual artist living in Aruba. I’m focused on understanding the tropical scenery and aboriginal symbols, inquiring about social and geographical problems in the region, with a special interest in exploring local folktales as a means for sharing knowledge, habits, and culture.

‘La flor futura’. Mixed media on paper. 2019.

I’m very interested in the concept of ‘anima’ created by Carl Jung, which refers to the feminine side of human nature and at the same time is connected to archetypical images as water and maternity, nature and restoration, and night and intuition.

´Untitled (The light of the world)’. Mixed media on canvas. 2020.

On this work, “Untitled (The light of the world)”, we can see a group of people next to a campfire in the middle of the night. The characters are listening into a silent space, at times, surreal, perhaps a liminal space that is close to their progression of daily and mundane activities. Flying and floating humans/spirit beings twist and mix in the human skin; the characters interrogate us frontally, landing on top of ourselves.

‘Untitled´. Ceramic. 2021.

This piece is part of a series named ‘the new exiles’.

In the middle of the plate we can see a border and a couple trying to crossed, under a crowd starry night. My intention was to show how people still crossing borders, to get better opportunities, and in my opinion, people from the islands probably will need to flee to higher places in a near future.

Obviously this is a political art piece, and it is also connected to deep symbols, because concepts as birth, death, exile, justice and war works as palindromes in human’s life.

To conclude, I think that is important to remember that, what might seem as simple scenes can actually hold profound meaning.

I want to thank you for the invitation, I’m very happy to be part of Caribbean Linked VI.

‘The big schism´. Mixed media on canvas. 2020.