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Carmelo Sobrino

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Competition Guidelines
Pueblo:Town of Humacao
About the Area

Traditional town centers are the urban counterpart of the rural imaginary, prevalent, as a rule, in representations of Puerto Rican identity. The transformation of a rural economy into an industrial one after the 1950s, favored other settlement forms, particularly suburban developments spurred by the potential of the automobile. At present, urban centers compete with shopping mega-structures. Having experienced substantial population losses in the last decades, they are now reduced to mere service centers.

The Project for the Revitalization of Traditional Urban Centers of the Department of Urbanism, promotes the qualitative regeneration of public space as the first step of a resettlement strategy. This initiative has offered artists a vast stock of public spaces and buildings, as a means of adding art to the heart of island towns. Such works should celebrate the characteristics of each town without falling prey to nostalgia or a false reconciliation with populist expressions. The selected works evidence a vast array of formats and themes, that range from the praise of natural landscape to bolder visions, committed to the future of these strongholds of everyday life in Puerto Rico.
For years, Carmelo Sobrino has addressed the subject of traffic and traffic congestions. Ranging from figurative representations to a language closer to abstraction, his work has always been imbued with a distinctive passion or "pulse", as he prefers to call it.

This piece, a "colorissimo celo aperto", covers the newly remodeled Victoria Theater in Humacao. It creates a play of lights and forms, so that persons attending the theater may renew their gaze in that space, while trying to decipher forms and codes. The piece takes its inspiration from the displacement of objects in time and space. Roads and highways, congested and open, are the artist's favorite subject, since for Carmelo Sobrino roads, in addition to being transportation arteries, are ways of communication. In them, he says, it is possible to assess the social nerve of the present.  

In his pictorial strategy, Sobrino achieves a sort of abstract figuration, trying to rescue the everyday dynamics of our island and latitude to create an aesthetic response to human coexistence. His painting honors the playful spirit of formal expression, creating a network of symbols open to the interpretation of each spectator, according to his or her perception and subjectivity.