Armando Alvarez Bravo,
Crítico de Arte de El Nuevo Herald Miami

“Enrique Campuzano is back with exemplary drownigs, his impeccable compositions and the brightness of his colours . In his paintings men and women look as if they had been suddenly stilled, as if they had momentararily escaped from every day’s vertigo”.

“But that wonderful calm- that can remind us of the suspension of movement in a very agitaded dance-is but a truce. The visitor in the Art Gallery can not prevent himself from wondering what might those young figures do if liberated from the paintings, because they seem to be in a prefect oblivion of themselves or, prehaps, lost in a supreme concentration”.

“Campuzano’s characters are the protagonists of to day, that is to say that they are protagonists of all times. His clacisism is overflowing with modernity, because the paintor shares his experiences, and his characters know they are hanging form a thread, but that they also have a full capacity to desire”…

Armando Alvarez Bravo,
Crítico de Arte de El Nuevo Herald Miami

By means of an impeccable execution, Campuzano gives back to the human body -as well as to objects- a protagonic rank. The precise line, the fair use of colour and the composition balance contribute themselves to deepen the other reality of reality.

This work, whose roots are consciusly fed by Velázquez, Zurbarán, Ingres, Lucien Freud and other contemporary paintors, emerges from the depth of the canvas as an exercise in the search of lost time, a time that awaits for us willing to impose on us in order to overcome the blindness of all the hurries of contemporary life.

If plastic references come naturally in a painting, in Campuzanos’s case they trascend to literature and become so eternity givers as Marcel Proust.

Leslie Judd Ahlander,
Art Nexus, May 1991

His still lifes are extraordinay in their feel for material. In “Irridescent Paper”, three glass vases hold crumpled paper or pliofilm, folder like bouquets of flowers, each with its distinct tactile quality. The irridescent film in one vase is a real “tour de force”, playing the many colors of the film against the rock hard crystal in which it is set. In “Tapestries” a pile of textiles on a table is so finely painted that one can fell the texture of the weaving, its pile or thickness, and the individual stitches that have gone into the woven cloth.

Against these, Campuzano gives us a series of figure studies of dancers resting, or of a young nude male crowning a girl with flowers, with the textures of canvas, metal, china and draped satin cloth of remarkable fidelity. In “Hidden Figures” a male nude sits covered by a white sheet beside a painting of a nude girl, also covered, and with still another sheet draped over the pictures frame. In a “Pieces of Body” a cut-up study of a male nude is scotch-taped to an old darkened seascape, the superimposition of the cuttings so realistic that it is imposible not to want to pick at the tape to pull the pieces off.

Such surreal and trompe l’oeil effects as the artist allows himself are always understated; there is no angst or tension displayed as the artist controls his cool approach to his subjects of the paintings, with the flow of light the unifling factor. In this Campuzano is closer to Vermeer and Magritte in spirit than he is to the more emotional surrealist or the magic-realist painters.

Armando Alvarez Bravo
(Miami) 2002

The classical, always and its best.

More than a decade ago, I stated that perhaps one of the characteristics that identifies genuine actual art is its capacity to accept the classic orders. The courage to defy fashions and modes, enriching the permanent with the dreams springing from imagination. Based on this certitude, which the passage of time has only reconfirmed, I defined the spirit behind the paintings of the Chilean artist Enrique Campuzano.

That spirit has not ceased to enrich the carefully worked style of this creator, to endow his discourse with new dimensions. His exquisite oeuvre rest on several pillars. Most important among them is the literary, the poetry that originates in and draws on the fixedness and the evidence and the “otherness” of things, and has the capacity to establish, from that sumptuously formulated rendition, new thresholds and possibilities on both sides of the reality conveyed by the painter. Thus, Campusano has succeeded in transcending, through the deep authenticity of his images, the qualities of immediateness and permanence of a classicism in which the artwork is both the final exaltation of the real and a proposal based on control over the intensity of everyday objects and situations, which is transformed into testimony, invention and magic.

This painting in which composition is so rigorous, in which the detailed and impeccable drawing reaches heights of precision and expressiveness, and in which color, glazes and textures comply with the strictest canons, is offered to the viewer regularly in remarkable canvases of exquisite beauty. But that beauty does not constitute an act of aesthetic complacency whose scope may be easily justified in and by itself. It is actually a supreme statement of the determined wish for calm that animates the creator. It is a statement of his capacity to take the whole and subject it to an alchemy in which both the painter and the viewer who beholds his work know that in the image and otherness represented in such work there breathes a possibility of harmony, of balance, of discernment of what is, and of what can and must be.

The realism in Campuzano’s painting is the incarnation of a double valency: that in which the factual and imagination converge. His works imply questions, answers, and an ideal reconciliation between the spirit of man and his circumstance and contradictions. Thus, from his treatment of the nude as an exceptional manifestation of the forces and nuances of the human condition, through the rich reinvention of reality starting from the oniric rearrangement of its components, to his approach to the more permanent themes in the history of painting, such as still lifes and interiors, Campuzano portrays a world that is as personal as it is partakable.

The treatment of the human figure is exemplary, in its most classical and academic sense, in such works as “Interior with Figure”, in which his model sits on a chair, self-absorbed, completely entranced, as if he were hanging on the painter’ s gaze that perpetuates his images. This oil painting is an exponent of the artist’s awareness that even in its most absolute solitude, the human creature is always exposed to the look of “the other”. This painting contrasts with the oil painting entitled “Velázquez’s Bags”, which exemplifies Campuzano’s capacity to capture the permanent and the changing elements in the reality of things and of the passge of time. He does so in this work by featuring three paper bags with images of paintings by the Spanish master painter, which rest naturally on a plain wooden table. “Calla Lilies” ilustrates Campuzano’s elaborate sensibility to prov ide things with a different sense -without altering or distorting their nature- through the contrast with the huge flowers that stand in irregular containers, beside some books, an iron and other simple objects on a table.

These extraordinary canvases could not be more realistic. But strangely enough, the power of their realism goes beyond itself. That is the measure of their excellence. An excellence that enables us to recognize that which we already know, that which we so often overlook or ignore, while at the same time we realize that there is a lot more beyond its appearance. Thus, from his consummate mastery to perpetuate the intimacy of the human being and of things, the language of their surfaces, the kaleidoscopic possibilities of their changing impulse, so full of sudden nuances and illuminations, Campuzano, a creator who knows that painting finds its achievement in its own beauty and perfection, is a consummate artificer of something that is gratly lacking in the art of our time: the spirit of classicism in its enduring permanence, and at its best.