For me photography is art.
Tue Jan 29 2019

Dot Line Plane #17

By Jose Luis Pena

I am a Venezuelan artist, trained professionally in graphic design, photography, cinematography and advertising.

I worked in commercial photography maybe for twenty years and I feel was enough and the market has enough of the same kind photographers as well.

Six years ago I took the decision to re-start my professional career in the experimental photography because it is an exploration directed towards the frontiers of photography as a documentary medium and crosses the borders that approach the territory of painting. Following the work of Man Ray and Edward Steichen as a pioneer of photography as fine art and Kandinsky in the abstract painting.

Dot Line Plane #21

I think that with abstract photography we can explore creative and sensory forms. I like the idea of ​​using the light as a raw material.

I like the two-dimensional limitation ‘high and wide’ no more, proposing graphic challenges through photography.

I’m focused on abstract photography. My interest is explore with the long exposure photography techniques and the whole graphic design elements through the abstract photography and create my own poetry language.

I consider my photography a sincere, audacious and authentic expression of photographic art. I exclude everything that, in my opinion, is not relevant.

For me photography is art.

Mariano R. Pineda (Curator)
Thu Nov 15 2018

As a bona fide holistic creator, Jose Luis Pena defines his artistic expression in a simple, blunt way, something I sincerely respect –and quite possible secretly envy- due to the fact that curators and critics, I must confess, rarely possess that ability, let me be the first to take the blame.

Yet, although I thoroughly respect his views and concepts, there is one point in which we tend to differ: Jose Luis understands the terms Essential Perception as the most direct and natural view of our surroundings, in which persons and other elements are captured –by the camera or the naked eye- in a completely uninhibited, I may go as far as to call it rather neutral way.

In relation to his artistic project, I must confess that I tend to drift towards the literary, even the philosophical and alchemic meaning of the adjective / noun, in which the term essential becomes indivisibly linked to the energetic content of beings and objects, perhaps the most mysterious, though absolutely common, element in the universe.

My perception is that the photographic work of Jose Luis Pena does not, per se, try to avoid the figurative concept in order to embark itself in the search for complacent, obvious and even banal originality: his art is sufficiently wide, ambitious, exhaustive, coherent and structured to yield an answer –simple to his mind, complex to mine- that would not be characterised by its firm strata. Interestingly enough the same train of thought may be applied to his creation in music, graphic arts and photography.

I am particularly attracted to the fact that José Luis dares to row against the current within the two artistic specialties he cultivates with so much zeal. His electro-acoustic music is capable of turning a chronological manifestation into a contemplative state, at times even an unmovable one: he can create the perfect mantra, maybe even universal mantra.

On the other hand, his photography aims for the kinetic essence of energy, light, even shadow. Both manifestations show that the tools of the artist only become extensions of his body when they rebel against the paternalistic rhetoric found in manuals, specialised literature, “professional” training, the establishment and tradition, thus being impelled to only obey the sagacious suggestions that emanate from that elusive, unquestionable and alchemic energetic essence that lives within the true creator.

Mon Nov 12 2018

Born in Caracas in 1972. Son of Jose Luis Pena Marquez known Venezuelan photographer and B&W laboratory specialist between 70s and 80s and Spanish mother. Jose Luis studied graphic design, film production and advertising, at the same time he was producer for TV commercials, documentaries and short films in the 90s, where he worked with the major producers, directors of photography, set designers, music producers and film directors of the moment in Venezuela. From there arose an enchantment with advertising. He started a design studio, later integrating; advertising photography, production of TV commercials and multi media productions progressively, becoming a small but successful advertising group: Estudio JLP, Fotovisión Producciones and FVA Advertising respectively. Since 2014 he dedicated all his time to art, he studied music production at the Universidad Metropolitana, that same year he produced his first experimental music album: Internos, which was nominated in Pepsi Venezuela Awards as best electronic album of the year and best song Foreign; Sounds of a resistance at the Sonom Mexico festival. Presented at the prestigious Venezuelan gallery Sala Mendoza; Internos in blind acousmonium format. Start the production of the series of abstract photography and experimental Foto Plano Fundamental (Photo Basic Plane) music composition for installations and performance.

To introduce his work to the world in 2018 he moved his studio to Eindhoven Netherland, settling in Strijp-S the old zone of the Philips industry, now renewed, starting to produce his new collection of abstract photography and next Acousmatic music record production.

Foto Plano Fundamental
Tue Mar 14 2017

(Photo Basic Plane)

por Jose Luis Pena

The components of a visual plane, of whatever origin, have to my way of contemplating them, different ways of appreciating themselves: The essential, where we see our environment and perceive objects, people and other elements in a habitual way, in colours, in movement or static The abstract, what the mind perceives without associating with our visual memory, which only registers lights and how they influence the form that later reveals without alteration. The sensory, coupling our mind to all the information perceived and complete ways to respond with corporal behaviours and stimuli. We see the essential, the abstract and the sensory.

What I call the fundamental plane is the terrain where I explore my ways of contemplating, an absolutely two-dimensional terrain. In it, I play with the observed and I turn it into a graphic element, and in this state, completely abstract: a human body, elements of nature and common objects cease to be, becoming points and lines, shapes and traces, developing and coexisting in a limited plane, where they balance, tension, add or subtract rhythm and balance, as well as symmetry or asymmetry, volume and space. Consequently, it has ceased to be the observed, the essential, becoming abstract in ways to cause sensory behaviour.

Photography is my ideal means to investigate this purpose, the configuration of time, light and moment are the perfect instruments to materialize my planes, my lines, traces and points.

Photo basic plane is for conclude, my pragmatic study with clear interests in the relation and sensory results that occur between the photographic language and the abstract graphic; the intrinsic sensorial relationship between spectator and the art.

Thu Mar 09 2017

Thu Mar 09 2017

Por Mariano R. Pineda

Como el creador integral que es, José Luis Peña Martínez define su forma de expresión artística de manera harto sencilla y parca, cosa que admiro –y posiblemente envidio– ya que esa destreza es algo que los críticos, se los confieso, rara vez poseemos, mea culpa.

Texto curatorial de Mariano R. Pineda

Sin embargo, aun respetando a pies juntillas sus argumentos, hay un punto en el cual tiendo a diferir de él: José Luis suele definir como apreciación esencial la percepción más directa y natural de nuestro entorno, en la cual personas y demás elementos son captados –por el ojo, o por la cámara– de la forma habitual, desinhibidamente instintiva, podría llegar a decirse que hasta de manera un tanto neutra.

En relación a su propuesta artística, confieso que me identifico más con el significado literario, inclusive el filosófico y el alquímico, tanto del sustantivo como del adjetivo, en el cual el término esencia/esencial tiende a vincularse con el contenido energético de los seres y de los objetos, quizá el elemento más misterioso, empero común, del universo.

Mi sensación es que la obra fotográfica de José Luis Peña Martínez no pretende, per se, esquivar lo figurativo para ir en búsqueda de una originalidad complaciente, obvia, banal: su arte es lo suficientemente amplio, ambicioso, exhaustivo, coherente y estructurado como para que la respuesta –simple para él, compleja para mi– no tenga un sustrato firme, el cual pueda aplicarse por igual a su creación sonora, gráfica y fotográfica.

Llama poderosamente la atención que José Luis se atreve a remar contra corriente en las dos especialidades artísticas que practica con tan enorme devoción. En la música electroacústica es capaz de convertir una manifestación de desarrollo cronológico en un estado contemplativo, a momentos, inclusive, inamovible: en el mantra perfecto, en el mantra universal.

Por el contrario, su fotografía busca la esencia cinética de la energía, de la luz, inclusive de la sombra. En ambas manifestaciones demuestra que las herramientas del artista sólo pasan a ser extensiones de su cuerpo cuando dejan de obedecer los dictámenes paternalistas de un manual, de un libro especializado, de un curso de formación “profesional”, del establishment o de la tradición y se ven impelidas a obedecer las sabias sugerencias que emanan de la tan elusiva, determinante y alquímica esencia energética que habita en el verdadero creador.

Internos, My first album
Mon Mar 30 2015

Internos my first album explores confinement sensations, voluntarily confinement, even worse, indicating the initiation of resignation of a hellish emotional cycle that starts ironically with hope; The initiating point where everything starts, you see opportunities, the great ideas show up and with them the one thousand and one ways to make then up. Everything illuminates, and in a creative climax point the limits arrive, the barriers, the borders trying to limit every dream. With courage they face themselves and after and intense resistance battle, the resignation arrives, advising, nearly whispering small suggestions based on past and frustrated experiences.

And everything starts again: hope, frustration, resignation. Hope, frustration, resignation.

And this immense, beautiful and macabre battlefield, as incredible it may be, has not gone out from your thoughts, there in your mind.