Article published by Sarasota Scene | by Gus Mollasis | December 2022
His smile is infectious, and is reflected in the many works of art that he has created now for many decades. Over the years this international artist Jorge Blanco, born in Caracas, Venezuela has created an array of works that can be seen all over the world in places like South America, Japan and throughout many of the United States.
Florida is no stranger to his art. His works of art appear to greet those who view them warmly with a smile wherever they are discovered, whether on the street in its public forum, discovered in a quaint neighborhood gallery, or, if you’re lucky enough, displayed privately in your home. Residents, tourists and art lovers alike will surely recognize his bright bold yellow sculpture, Runners, striding down North Tamiami Trail. Or his dynamic abstract scultpure labelled Bravo on the roundabout on Ringling Blvd and Orange Avenue.
But now Blanco has put down roots. Andrew Ford, who has been a fixture in Sarasota’s artistic community for many years, is the owner of Sarasota Estate Auction and Trading Company in the historic Burns Court District. Now home to Blanco’s work, they comprise a must see destination stop for all those who desire to gain a pulse on what defines the heart and soul of this cultural mecca once cultivated by iconic pioneers named Ringling and Burns.
The importance of bringing such an artist to Sarasota is not lost on Andrew Ford. He’s humbled yet proud, at the opportunity to bring this unique artist and man named Jorge Blanco home to Sarasota and share him with art lovers everywhere.
“Blanco sculptures combine color and design in his expressive large format public art. The lines and style of his outdoor and indoor sculptures are suitable for urban settings as well interior collections. His unmistakable sculpture is widely accepted as Sarasota’s foremost public art,” Ford said. “Negotiating on behalf of the artist is a rare opportunity to work exclusively as a sole agent to museums institutions, collectors, and municipal art alliances worldwide. Blanco’s expressive and dynamic sculptures capture the vitality of life from his native homeland of Venezuela.”
Blanco has traveled many roads to get him to where he is today, and his breadth of work is wide. “I remember when I was 12-years old and I visited my best friend’s home for the first time. His father was an art collector who collected Victor Vasarely, Henry Moore—everything. When I went to his room I saw an abstract painting for the first time. It was by the French artist Auguste Herbin. Very geometric. Triangles. Circles. Primary colors. When I saw this—I thought this is fantastic. Wow! My brain changed, I started thinking in art,” Blanco said.
Back then Blanco remembers working alongside this same friend. illustrating on storyboards while his friend wrote. Collaborating. Creating. Gaining recognition. His creative fuse was lit, and he was falling in love with art.
Blanco would pursue the arts during his formal education and for a time considered becoming an architect. Eventually he landed in industrial design.
“In the beginning when I started as a professional artist in 1971 at my first exhibition for drawing and in 1974 for drawing and sculpture, my style was completely different. It was about repression. The cruelty of human beings. Dark. Sad. Political. My art came out of me as a form of protest against totalitarianism, war and torture,” Blanco said. Then he smiles, “I was working in elastic fabric. Black of course. Bronze. Wood. Mixed media. Abstract at first then figurative with clay.”
Still Blanco points out that even while creating dark works he was not a particularly sad man. “I was a happy person but I expressed my art on the terrible part of the human beings.” The transformation to the man who works on happy subjects in bold primary colors came both over time and suddenly because of changes experienced in his life.
Working in graphic design, illustrations for children’s books as well comic strips, Blanco kept a good part of his soul open and focused on creating sculptures. After spending many years in Italy he returned to his native Venezuela and was looking to create something different for his upcoming exhibitions. And he found it.
“I surprised myself. This is completely different. It came like a lightning bolt.” he said. “When you see my work side by side, before 1990 and after 1990, they are two completely different artists. I transformed after meeting my wife and after I had children. I also changed when I was working around young people at the Children’s Museum and center for science and technology. Working around the children gave me joy and hope. They’re colorful. Children love color. And when we are young are vision is different. ”
Yes, both Andrew Ford and Jorge Blanco have spent the best part of their lives thinking in art. Today they’re sculpting a relationship, built on both creating and selling art, but most importantly, sharing art with the public.
It’s hard to look at a work by Jorge Blanco and not smile, or not feel good, happy or the joy of living. It’s what he does. How he does it. And who he is. His enthusiasm for life and art is contagious.
The gallery will exhibit over 30 sculptures and dozens of paintings drawings and serigraphs by Jorge Blanco over his 30 year span as an artist. His early works from the 1990s will be displayed alongside his most recent designs. Designs that represent everyone. Ford adds, “The interest in Hispanic or Latino Art is greater than ever, this collaboration in Historic downtown Sarasota will increase awareness regarding diversity in art.”
For all Inquiries & Information about works by Artist Jorge Blanco, please contact Andrew direct @ (941) 650-8854 or AndrewFordFineArtSrq.com