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Jeannette L. Clariond

In art there is no color. The tones come from those who look, impulses from the iris apprehending the various stages of Being. Leafing through for the first time the book by Fermín Gutiérrez entitled Plumaje de fuego gives a sensation of dialogue: from those who look and those who are looked at, but also from the recurrent image of two, or more than two, together observing from within what is happening outside the frame. The couple in his work is not a couple but the double: his inner self as the sustaining subject of the one who opens his nakedness in that blue-gold forest, life in Fermín's dream. Far away, like an immense gap in the sky, a brief light appears in the darkness of the landscape. And nearby, sheltering the duality, enormous leaves seem to never stop lingering over the bodies: barefoot bodies, naked bodies, flying bodies, or that single body of language that is sincerity.

The moon is unattainable although desire appears winged in the work of this poet from Chihuahua's space. The sky of Chihuahua has always been my approach. More than its hills, more than its birds, more than the poplars, almost more than the Santa Isabel River, its fragile blue transparency. The sky with its stars and other luminaries adjoin the green walls in a limpid outdoors although bathed in color. If color does not exist in art then the tones glimpsed by Fermín are only the pretext to outline the width of the space.

Space, space, and even more space restores this creator. Not time, but space to expand his being in the immense geometry. With a fine brushstroke and great thickness, Fermín Gutiérrez unfolds the limits of the universe to translate what is silent into a flaming cry, a memory seeking the sunny solitude of it.

Undulations, lines, spirals of prefect geometry, dawn foreshadowing the cry of the rooster, naked bodies crossing the threshold, angelic hands holding the last thread of the kite. What does Fermín's memory keep? What is silent about his lying bodies, what is the game of Cretan bullfighting where the gaze of the bull – symbolizing the father – opens to death? Fermín encloses that figure in boxes like ossuaries, bones trapped in the walls, babels erecting that first Eden.

It is said that violet is the color of introspection: gloom, cloaks, meditation, the conjunction of dawn with night. There are no limits in Fermín's universe. He explodes his memory in flames, his characters fly without fear, they are detectives, spectators of the world, faceless ghosts, musicians accompanied by pain. Bach?, cryptic rituals of a metamorphosis that is glimpsed in the abyss.

Like love, art is made of silences and pity, fire to cross the heavens, Rilkean angels where beauty is the beginning of the terrible. What if Fermín Gutiérrez screamed? No, he would not shout because he always sensed that his work was the beginning of the beginning; not desert desolation but the silence that only the eye that looks at the space from a geometric border captures, metamorphosis of the night bird that stirs the parks and streets of Chihuahua with its sound of poplars and sycamores, suns of the malls turning on themselves like Ammonites would do, like clouds do, like virgins do, that delight of looking from an eye that saw everything from its birth and that knows that it will take a lifetime to decipher itself by appealing to the necessary angel.

Look closely at each shadow and each light, each dune and its cacti, the women lying in their sarcophagi, the men floating in celestial music, the fish that fly to the basket of origin.

Jean-Luc Godard wrote that “In taking control of the universe/ There may be ten thousand people/ Who have not forgotten Cezánne's apple/ But there must be a billion spectators/ Who remember the lighter/ Of the Stranger on a train/ And the The reason why Hitchcock became/ The only cursed poet to succeed/ Is that he was the greatest creator of forms/ Of the twentieth century/ And it is the form that finally tells us/ What lies at the bottom of things/ Of In fact, what is art/ But that which converts form into style/ And what is style/ But man himself.”

The man, Fermín Gutiérrez, is his style, his form, the body of his expression. His poetic images peek into Godard's world, so he remains silent. Cardoza y Aragón points out that the work of art is the Venus de Milo carrying the Victory of Samothrace in her hands. This irony is attributable to our artist. His hands do not have to do, as is thought, with the influence that the muralists could exert on him, nor do his men fly with the art of Chagall. Fermín does not imitate, he delimits the space with special rarity, oscillations in flight towards a light that rescues from the darkest, leading us to see in him a mystic in the aspects of a current Gnostic. Fermín questions space. His spirit seems to flow sinuosities of a barely perceptible light, greenish gold flashes that I glimpsed in the hills of Sainápuchi.

Heraclitus thought: “Character is destiny”, Freud's idea is attributed to Santiago Ramírez: “Childhood is destiny”, Fermín Gutiérrez plants another light in us: “Landscape is destiny”. And I think that for those born in Chihuahua, the land is the mirror that deciphers the voice of our destiny. What does it matter if remembering is vision or fiction, what counts is that memory burns like a solitary dune in the desert. In the sands of Samalayuca the brush slides, in the icy winds of Cuauhtémoc, in the irrigation ditches of Meoqui.

Two thousand sands bathe Fermín's work: memory and mythification. He himself has said that what is identifiable in his paintings has to do with his deepest mythologies: his childhood, his imagination. The image in full expansion is Fermín's fictional universe, fictional if it can be said that his eye is real. For our good, and that of all the saints of Chihuahua, let this poet be the sedition of a desire. May their forms rise high, reach that sky that I kiss at night, while the silver of the mesquite returns me to my faithful mountain range. Well, as Gonzalo Rojas says: “Whoever has not gone to Chihuahua has not gone to the stars.”

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