(Mexico / Belgium)
Manilla’s vast production, is both utterly beautiful and profoundly upsetting. Attraction, repulsion, uneasiness: his work confronts him with his religious upbringing and the viewer with a powerful and intimate perception of the syncretic religion of the modern Mexico. Allusions to religious images and iconography that show the often tortuous and painful relations that Mexicans have with their faith. Wood, bones, textile, branded leather and silver are amalgamated and transformed into almost recognizable shapes: a probable anatomical part, a series of tiny bundles that could be small babies, an unknown religious utensil. Manilla is not shy to experiment with all kinds of materials and processes, never leaving aside his extraordinary metalsmithing skills. Each one of his pieces is carefully crafted in a variety of processes that are able to convey his rotund ideas.
Jorge Manilla is originally from Mexico, lives and works in Belgium.
The son of a family of Mexican goldsmiths and engravers, studied visual arts at the Academy of San Carlos, in Mexico. He received a highly technical jewellery training at the Academy of Craft and Design from the Mexican Institute of Fine Arts.
In 2003 He earned a Bachelor degree in sculpture at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent
And one year later he enrolled at St Lucas University College of Art and Design where he got in 2006 a Master degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing
By creating jewellery Jorge Manilla investigates his environment - religion, emotions, relationships and the meaning of life.
Over the last years the artist has rediscovered his love for the black colour. To the artist black relates to something hidden, the secretive and the unknown, and as a result it creates an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world. His dark forms and shapes create a barrier between the meanings of the objects and the outside world. Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will. It gives an impression of authority and power. For Manilla black is the end, but the end always implies a new beginning. When light appears, black becomes white, the color of new beginnings.
Alongside his professional activities as artist, he is right now also working as researcher and doing his PhD under the title Other Bodies Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp , he also teaches and give workshops at different Art and Design universities around the world .
His work has been shown in several exhibitions and is collected in the five continents.
For me jewellery means more that just create something with aesthetic value.
Making jewellery I can find a lot of posibilities to research and try to understand life.
I like to read about what happens in the world.
First I like to be informed about the situation in my country because this is always my first reference, after I try to think in a philosophical way…
I try to understand the meaning of life, my life and others life
Which are the values now?
What is important now and what not?
What is beautiful, what is horrible?
Are meanings and definitions the same for you as for me?
I try to discover and understand important aspects of the human beings
Religion, feelings, emotions, and relationships are elements that always are inspiring my work.
I want to create a personal visual and artistical lenguage my own way to share my thoughts
When viewing my work I invite the audience to go beyond the forms and experience the emotional content .
To feel my work rather than percieve.
Jorge Manilla 2016