Leah Poller


 Humberto Aquino – Truth Seeker

 “Oh you, who looks for the truth, do not value an analogy.”

Unicity. So highly of and to itself, that any reference or inference to “like, as, or in the manner of” to describe the oeuvre of Humberto Aquino would be unadulterated perversity. Such a facile approach to defining or describing his work risks discrediting the author more so than rendering the artist’s work more decipherable or accessible to the viewer. Not to unfairly dispatch the value of traditional art criticism beyond its often unnecessary display of erudition and art speak palaver, it suffices to simply acknowledge that no better example exists for a picture being worth a 1000 words than Aquino’s masterly images. Just look. They speak volumes. Without analogy. Let the truth be heard/seen!.


Aquino speaks in an imagery of intricate composition and visual clarity of form and light (New York Harbor, 1999). His painterly gesture is evidenced in preciously executed, totally willful pinpoints of densely saturated, dazzling color. Colors so diffused with light that they transmute to jewel-like reflections of emerald, ruby, amethyst, and lapis lazuli, projected through a laser prism of his intense regard (Still Life with Doll/Bodegon con Muneca, 1995).


In pictorial parlance, each painting is compressed in format and monumental in scope, precise in a narrative stated in luminous lucidity, exquisite in execution to a point of excruciating sensitivity. Each painting is paradoxical in its suppositions – acutely capturing a standstill moment while embodying all that is, was or might have been (Vita Brevis Ars Longa – 1981-82).


In spite of the rarity of work, owing not to lack of labor but to the sheer intensity of means to create each piece, one would require tomes, volumes to analyze and describe, the layered density dwelling in each piece. And lest the whole be mistaken for the adroit manipulation of a clever mind guided by unnatural talent (in its extreme, already evidenced by age 14), there exists the most fundamental duality rendered as one: As is the art, so be the artist.


Aquino, willingly provides to all who care to inquire, a direct conduit to understanding his oeuvre. A bas with speculation – the absolute ardor, rigor, and discipline of Aquino the man, the perspicacity and perfectionism innate to his being, provide the Rosetta stone to his work. In finite balance, the interior and the exterior of Aquino have achieved exquisite communication; there is no difference between the work of the artist and the artist of this work. All the more astounding, since painting is the ultimate act of the art of illusion rendering on two planes that which exists in life or the imagination, raison d‘être of its magic and fascination.


Humberto Aquino is a passport to an all inclusive, wondrous voyage of pure, unadulterated, innocently perspicacious essence of being, a life and death defying quest for all-ness. In extreme generosity, Aquino invites the viewer into his world, relishes the viewer’s company on his limitless pursuit of mindful integrity rendered visible (The Door of the Sky/La Puerta del Cielo, 1996). Travel through boundless content (his knowledge is vast), covet sensual forms (he has caressed them all at least once), be dazzled from the luminosity …and above all, relish the twists and turns of a cerebral landscape of realities and illusions, of knowns and unknowns, of casts of thousands both present and absent (Einstein & Company/Einstein y Compania, 1992), of stories lived and told, the voice of the honest raconteur setting the stage for all that life has, can or could offer. It’s yours for the viewing.


The oeuvre of Humberto Aquino is an open book (albeit a complex, a chef d’oeuvre), as he is an open man. In extreme grace and cordiality, descendent of noble bloodlines of ancient cultures, Aquino welcomes the viewer …and above all, delicately suggests you bring your own Rosetta Stone, the only one left unturned in his quest for truth.


 New York September 2003


 Leah Poller

 Figurative Sculptor, Working in Bronze

 Artist, Arts Activist, Writer, Essayist & Critic

 Founder, The Arts Alliance, New York City