Enriquillo Amiama XXI

Marianne de Tolentino / ADCA – AICA / Director of the National Gallery of Fine Arts /  2022 / National


The diversity is immense, especially in painting and, often, among the stylistic modalities, several can coexist in the same professional itinerary that becomes a true artistic anthology. The author’s motivations are located in the development of art in space and time, multiplying and, at the same time, true to themselves, their integrity, and their own value. The reason is simple: it reflects the evolution of personality and temperament. A way of living, thinking, and creating, which expresses the edge of the years.

We do not usually start the comment on an artist and the presentation of his works in an almost retrospective solo exhibition, with an apparently general approach … However, we believe it fair and necessary, when that artist is Enriquillo Rodríguez Amiama, who has treated the genres considered as traditional – still life, landscape, portrait-, and has taken them to a contemporary context.

His professional biography, paradoxically shared between passion and peace, explain the path traveled. We will follow it, from the beginning to today, in a brief synthesis.

 An upward race

Enriquillo Rodríguez Amiama’s vocation for art awakened from his childhood when he was a student of the painter Nidia Serra. Your professional training was held at the National School of Fine Arts and at the University Autonomous of Santo Domingo.

If he has stood out since his first personal show and then in several collective and individual art galleries, Enriquillo soon agreed to museums: Museum of Modern Art (Santo Domingo}, Cándido Bidó Museum (Bonao). His international projection led him to exhibit in Canada, United States, Guatemala, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, in different countries in Europe, and even South Korea.

Especially, he was proud of his “youth show” at the BankDevelopment Conference in Washington, and he cared so much about his career abroad that went twelve years without presenting a solo exhibition in the Dominican Republic. The exhibition at CODIA and the month of January 2021 mark an expected reintegration!

 Fascinated by research and the promotion of art, Enriquillo Rodríguez Amiama served as deputy director of the Museum of Art Modern, for several years.
 A complex and enthusiastic work

The still lifes of Enriquillo Rodríguez Amiama, with his famous mangoes, occupy a very special place, not only in his work but in Dominican painting, where that genre, secularly traditional in its theme and faithfully academic workmanship, was, with exceptions, among the teachers, more youth work, and, in the Generation of 80, we can also consider Enriquillo Rodríguez Amiama an exception.

A mixed style, refined technique, and focused mainly on the classical, would place it in the current of “cultured painting”, for his careful craft.

 Important themes, older for a time and then reiterated, are the landscape and still life. As for the portraits, they were also … mangoes, both realistic and unusual, metaphors of feelings and “Sacralized “creatures”! Enriquillo -he himself recognized it- remembered variations of the Mexican Marta Chapa on the apple.
Now right is mango the apple of the Caribbean? Laughing, Oswaldo Guayasamín said that the mango should have been, in the Bible, the forbidden fruit …

Enriquillo Rodríguez Amiama has integrated figuration -in landscaping, above all, abstract, lyric, and gestural elements.

Conceptually and aesthetically remarkable, this trait has led to tributes to Dominican and foreign teachers –Marta Chapa was the first. We know that pictorial creation is not born only from representation direct from nature or the artist’s imagination.

May arise from the association with the painting of others provided he re-creates it, re-invents it, and become your own work, identifiable with temperament, invoice, and stamp of the second author.

 If Enriquillo proceeded to the reinvention of national teachers –among them, painters Elsa Núñez, Guillo Pérez, even a photographer Domingo Batista-, and of the French Henri Matisse, is mainly the North American Jasper Johns that inspired him, through overlays, reliefs, geometry, everything converted into a Dominican landscape, painting within a painting.
This tribute and dialogue between Jasper and Enriquillo declare seems to us more logically that Johns is one of the painters who has changed the subject the most and styles: recent neo-figurative works allow little recognition of the ancient abstract …
 Also, Jasper Johns used to say, “If you do one thing more than once, you can get better results. ” This is how the Dominican artist paints “more than one time ”: testimonies are the mangoes, although today faced with an environment distinct and contrasting.
Enriquillo is excited -and not only now- with new proposals, which are juxtaposed to photorealism and look very promising, both the female portrait, vibrant close-up of color, and the landscape street map of the metropolis, exterior, and interior, playing with various elements: people, vehicles, signs …
When mentioning the game, an openly playful Enriquillo Rodríguez Amiama, know and amuse us, with its sculptural group of three cats, evidently ready-made. Very nice, and one more surprise!
Marianne de Tolentino AICA – AICA Director of the National Gallery of Fine Arts.

Enriquillo Amiama belongs to a new generation of Dominican artists who have appropriated formal and conceptual elements characteristic of the historical avant-gardes. As a pioneer in this plastic current, called Postmodernism today, since 1982, in a coherent way, he fuses distinctive elements of symbolism, abstraction, hyper-realism, as well as emblematic iconographies of recognized artists.

From the reuse of anachronistic aesthetics, appropriation, and paraphrasing, Enriquillo Amiama has created his style that could be defined as new pop art, whose theme and concept is expressed in paintings, installations, videos, digital art, and more today, using the medium “Facebook” as a plastic substance.”

Belgica Rodriguez

Belgica Rodríguez is a former president of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), a UNESCO NGO. She is currently AICA’s Honorary Ad Vitam President. Former director of the Art Museum of the Americas, OEA, Washington, D.C.