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“Asómate” a la pintura de Nelson Estrada Solórzano Por Julio Valle-Castillo

“Asómate” at the painting by Nelson Estrada Solórzano By Julio Valle-Castillo

Posted on May 22, 2018.

The work of Nelson Estrada Solórzano

At almost 70 years old, Nelson Estrada Solórzano, a pianist with secure fingering and composer, decided and assumed himself as a professional plastic artist, although since his adolescence he made drawings and smeared colors and appears in the dynamic panorama of our visual arts. It is about fidelity to one's vocation and a journey through modern and international painting; There is nothing of customs, folklore or regionalism in it. Everything is either imaginative or modern.

Estrada Solórzano grew up in a musical environment where porcelain objects and mythological paintings from the 19th century decorated the rooms of his elders' house. This is his first personal exhibition, 26 fabrics and canvas; Not in vain is it titled “Asómate”, an invitation to get to know him as a painter and to get to know his original work, which incorporates him into the varied and free tradition of Nicaraguan painting, which is one of the best in Central America, as we already pointed out. Late painter or early painter, they will say, it doesn't matter. The value lies in the paint, the workmanship and finish. In most of these canvases a family iconography seems to predominate, something that Picasso, with his daughter “Paloma” and her mother, did in Europe, and in America Carlos Mérida and his wife Dalila and dancer daughter, Ana Mérida, in a circular flight of gestures and skirts; Diego Rivera and his wife Lupe Marín and their daughters; the Nicaraguan master Rodrigo Peñalba, who portrayed all his sons and daughters and his grandchildren and wife, that is, personal, endearing, domestic, experiential models, demystifying divine or sacred figures.


In Nelson Estrada, the self-portrait, the portraits of his parents and his children at various ages, emerge, but although this theme has its importance, it would perhaps be anecdotal. What is important, what is transcendent, is its pictorial execution, the palette, the mixture of paint and drawings, the ink backgrounds that look like graphite, which gives a sensation of unfinished paintings, and that together with its geometric figuration, the color that denotes an exalted state of consciousness, its modernity. He has two portraits of his mother, one in profile, contemplative, “Olga”, which we could say is intimate and which very accurately suggests the period of the 1930s, and another titled “Nostalgia on a Steamship in 1919”, which represents a girl on the deck of a steamship. a ship full of evocation and nostalgia, a truly poetic painting, not only because of the pastels of the sea sky and the pink of the suit of someone who leaves, who sails, who separates. A sentimental, sensitive, sensitive canvas that lives retroactively through time, which reveals the creative power of the painter. Other portraits worth admiring are “Lady Under the Arch”, on a brickwork and under a red arch, with I don't know what oriental flavor and “Happiness”, of a couple that is bi-plastic, acrylic and graphite or Chinese ink in the background. , fully achieved.

He is a modern painter, among the multiple and therefore complex trends, currents and schools of current painting. Current events that perhaps start from the impressionists. Heterogeneity that in Nelson Estrada we can distinguish several trends or motifs, the portraitist, the landscape of “Las Guacamayas en un Chaguital” that will participate in the 2019 Florence Biennial, the post-surrealist, some abstract expressionist, or the classic Renaissance. The strength of the beasts and the intuition of the “Five Horses That Were” disaster. See the team of horses and the gladiator's chariot overturned on the edge of the abyss, in addition to the mixed techniques.

The paradigmatic painting of this exhibition is “Asómate”, the eye behind the sheet of paper. A realism in the manner of the Belgian René Magritte, whose character's face is a leaf with an eye peeking out that invites us to look into his work. Details such as the suit and tie and the gray hair make us assume a man of legal age. It is a game between the viewer, the painter and the painting. The character lacks any physiognomic feature except for the eye. The eye is the means by which the canvas and the viewer establish their interrelation. The allusion to Magritte is only an exploitation and the realistic figuration links it with surrealism, rather with a post-surrealism, with an invented or recreated reality. See “Allegory of the Flutist by Monet” from whose instrument the notes and keys come out, evidencing the music that is sound and here is only visible.

Part of this invention is color and anti-color, for example, the landscape in white, gray and light blue in “In a Cold Landscape” and the characters of a family appear, one in white and the black background “Man with Black Background ” and the other whites acquire a deep or slightly raised pink that makes them unreal or subreal, “Three Ages”, and not only the skin but the backgrounds and the costumes. See the portrait of his father “Don Mariano Estrada Díaz”, red tie and red-brown background and the self-portrait obviously of Nelson Estrada with his head somewhat reclined, reflecting his interior and a gold frame in the background and a perhaps dark red backing, rather , empty. The portrait or portrait painting is not only the resemblance, the physiognomic similarity of the model, but the penetration, the psychological interpretation, the opinion about the sitter and the sitter.

Returning to his use of post-surrealism, we must pay attention to three pieces: “Brothers in a French Bistro”, “Contemplation” and “Floating Boxes - The Story that Papa Never Told Me”. The first presents a contrast between the two brothers and the shadow of the fragmented hand, arm and head that they project ghostly on the wall. The second, “Contemplation” of a possible anthropologist, doctor or scientist who observes a humanity and an environment transmuted into a face denied by a black circle, a world of two green circles, a red triangle and two white stripes that articulate the scene. . Could they be two contrasting, contradictory worlds, the various modernity and the classical face, which listens to this variety, this intersection between the man or his face and the different figures? and the third, “Floating Boxes - The Story that Papa Didn't Tell Me”, another man, a gentleman dressed in a suit who, surprised, sees a world full of floating boxes on a red geometric background or in the air, perhaps Pandora's box, perhaps a mysterious trunk, perhaps a cloistered world alien to order.

This use of post-surrealism comes from the realism that the painter simultaneously cultivates. See, “Bather Under Red Moon”, the bather with a twilight sun, a geometric background in a variety of colors, the banana heads “Square and Patriots”, or the traditional still life, the still life with a flat red background, the “Young Man” with a Soccer Ball”, with a brick background, the boy “Rehuso Nadar” who refuses to bathe in the sea or the pool, three possible brothers in “Three Ages”, the young man “After Soccer” and the “Boy in Versailles Park.

From realism he ventures into hyperrealism with his “Apple Slice”, which integrates him into the family or the intersection of art with advertising, like Andy Warhol. It is a large-format apple, whose shadows from the pistil give it great volume and in turn cut it in the central part. It is a very simple painting, at the same time complex.

Another element of Estrada's work is its geometry, triangles, rhombuses, squares that serve to build floors or allegories, such as the national flag that is centered on a type of stained glass in his work “Stained Glass”. At least five canvases and fabrics have these geometric backgrounds.

His work, apparently initial, but matured over a long time, has received recognition from none other than the Florence Biennial for this year, one of the capitals of the millennia-old Renaissance puts its eye on an artist and on the art of Nicaragua.

Julio Valle-Castillo

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