(b. 1952 - )


Venezuelan artist José Armando García Esteves (Nanin), is known for his symbolism expressed by a progressive geometry that intertwines across planes to create innovative spaces. Nanin’s language is a code that moves as it stands still. The artist’s shapes are a system based on the concept of the alphabet. Each shape designed by Nanin corresponds to a letter in of Latin alphabet. He embraces our visual field, where reading takes and piques the viewer’s understanding through familiar and dyamic shapes, while neverthless inhibiting such understanding as they are not fully recognizable nor is their order in space. The artist’s figures are proposals, elusive architecture and mute sound.

Currently Nanin is a fine artist, museographer, musician, art restorer, and professor of constructivist art in Caracas, Venezuela. He studed fine arts at the School of Champertier in Paris, France (1978-1981) and was also an architecture student specializing in urban planning at Universidad Central de Venezuela (1981-1986). Although Nanin never completed his architectural studies, he gained much knowledge from the concepts and processes of the discipline. These references are fundamental pillars across his oeuvre. The basis of his visual language and the execution of his sculptural works is a constant exchange of forms to “write” varied messages.

For over a decade Nanin was a pupil and then assistant to renown kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez (1978 -1991). Since Nanin met with Cruz-Diez he has continued to work on this code, which was supported by his mentor as a promising artistic direction. Though his work has been constatly focused, the evolution of his artistic proposal through diverse medium and formalities, all within his cryptic alphabet, has been wonderfully diverse and refresing throughout the decades. Nanin’s medium and colors have purpose but mutate.

Widely recognized in Latin America, Nanin’s expression speaks of a progressive kind of geometry. A recurrent theme in his studies of form and architecture is “the reunion of the families in geometry.” The point-source, moving-point, the straight but curved, constitute the family of the circle. The straight line is only the expansion of itself and supports thus more creation. There is also the triangle, invinsible in strength, it harnesses power and also the notion projection as it extends into three-dimensionality. Nanin’s mixture of forms is deduced from interactions in nature and its sensible forms, but reasoned by man, the artist himself, a sensitive and creative mind in expansive of opportunity.

Individual Exhibitions:

1983 – Process and Concept, Galeria de Arte Angel Boscan,  Universidad Central de Venezuela;

1985 -Thirty Three, Graphic Writings, Faculty of Architecture or Urban Planning, Universidad Central de Venezuela;

1991 – Lectura, Galeria Graphic/CB2. Caracas

2006 – Codigo, Centro de Arte de Maracaibo Lia Bermudez, Caracas

2007 – Sala de Exposición Durant & Diego

2008 – Espacio Meyer Zafira, Paris

2010 – Nanin Recent Works, O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Caracas

2014 – New Forms, O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Florida

Collective Exhibitions:

1981 – Salon Arturo Michelena, Valencia

1987 – The first biennale at Guayana, tribute for Alejandro Orera

1996 – 2005 Latin American Fair of art, Caracas

2003 – Museum of fine arts, Caracas

2004 – The grand exposition of the Venezuelan art. Galeria del Arte Nacional, Caracas

2006 – 2011 – Artibo, Bogota, Columbia

2008 – Arte y objeto, Galeria Graphic Art, Caracas, Venezuela

2009 – Pixeles, Galeria Gabriela Benaim, Caracas, Venezuela

2012 – 2013 – ArtLima, Peru

2013 – Signos Contemporaneos del Arte Venezolano, La Cometa, Bogota, Colombia