Yuri Tuma's Departure at Butter Gallery: A Minimalist, Kinetic Mixture
"While the works in Departure are, like most of Tuma's oeuvre, re-shaped and re-contextualized photographs, they represent a literal departure from the intricate, ornate mosaics of his earlier collections."
And in one swift move, Butter Gallery's latest press release on Yuri Tuma's new solo exhibition manages to ambiguously suggest that Tuma has "departed" from his work into his work. It's a cheeky stratagem but one that manages to accurately capture exactly what Tuma has done in his latest collection of images.
Born in 1983 in Sao Paulo and currently based out of Miami, Tuma's young age and propensity for new technologies appropriated for artistic endeavors betrays his link to older artistic movements that also fused everyday art with mathematics of varying degrees. His works share the DNA of Victor Vasarely and Yaacov Agam and the Minimalist Op Art movement as well as with the Venezuelan masters of Kinetic Art, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto.
These large-scale, chromatic works originate from Tuma's cell phone camera and are manipulated through the use of mobile software and his "psychologically meditative process." The end result is not unlike a magnified snowflake, deceptively simple but incredibly rich in depth and intention. Tuma's approach is certainly oversimplified, by taking his visual cues from everyday objects, these items -- their spaces and colors -- are gallantly transformed into their lowest common denominators of shape, line, and ephemera.
Imagine the reality falling apart around the characters in the Matrix films and the obnoxious pulse of binary code emerging onto the screen, but in a way that is far more pleasant and appealing to the eye. And comforting, too, because there is a comfort within the familiarity of geometry; so where minimalist op artists sought to simplify and the kinetics create chaos within the minimalism, Tuma strives to strike a balance between form and the movement of its digital origins.
This transformative creation, "used for mental centering and inner quiet," is the journey from source to the paring-down; a stripping-down that ultimately rebuilds itself so that in a sense, like it was implied in the press release, the true departure is not unlike an undulation within a confined space, a controlled ebb and flow, a circulating fountain that achieves its final form when Tuma turns off the power supply.
His other interests in architecture and urbanism, as well as video, sculpture, fashion and installation are evident in his primary art of photography and his images do command a second look; not because there will be a "reveal" but because they are easily-understood blueprints of the world, at once chaotic and still.
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