Review of my artworks, by the New York writer Al Sundel 2015.
There has never been a visionary artist quite like Mauricio Avayu. He is a top-tier talent who has taken a singular extraordinary turn in modern art. For his work seems to belong to the Quatrocentro, where West European religious art bloomed in quiet green gardens of nativity and crucifixion themes. Leonardo broke with this tradition by concentrating on mother and child, and an elusive feminine smile that hinted at a secret the viewer can only guess at (pregnancy?). Michelangelo also broke with it to show God’s pointing finger almost in eternal touch with humanity’s across a synaptic gap. Michelangelo dared more with his Hebraic ground-breaking statue of King David in slingshot youth.
Quatrocentro art was themed to an unschooled mass audience, more Christian in focus than the Nicene Creed. It generally avoided anything Hebraic, paid for by the Church or superrich landowners. At the same time, the teachings of the Jewish fathers to the faithful were for too long to avoid graven images (as flourished in the ancient world). Those Jewish artists who crossed this line by Quatrocentro times did so generally in a blurry style, like an out-of-focus camera that does not recognize clean borders.
It is fitting that, in an age of time-space union, Avayu has created his own modern vision of ancient Judaic traditions. His major themes are faith and continuity. From Genesis to the Talmud. In a vast array of masterworks that span chronological time. Thus, a pre-rabbinic scholar, with the Book in hand, can embrace a congregant with an expression that broadcasts one of the crucial essences of Judaism: compassion. It is all low key, like the Mona Lisa’s smile. It appears to encompass both the prophetic and rabbinic ages of Judaism, in a style clearer than crystal. Prophet, sage or Talmudic scholar are all compressed for the seeing eye as compassion. The time cannot be dated; like Mona Lisa’s smile, it is eternal.
In the Chilean corner of Latin America, Avayu has created a great body of masterwork, including a gigantic mural. Most details of any piece or parcel, such as fretwork or his clockwork-innards racing horses, can stand as art alone. Recognized in his own country, he is now reaching out to the greater art world itself. He is a revivalist, reviving a lost Judaic civilization in religious and unifying terms in a secular age. We have never seen this before so clearly.