ENRIQUE MORA: PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST

Self-taught Puerto Rican artist Enrique Mora, enriches the art world with colour and movement. Watch his short video diary of his work process below.

MEETING MORA

I love you, because in my thousand and one nights of dreams, 

I Never once dreamed of you.

I looked down paths that traveled from afar,

but it was never you I expected.

Suddenly I’ve felt you flying through my soul

in quick , lofty flight,

and how beautiful you seem way up there, far

from my always idiot heart!

Love me that way, flying over everything.

And, like the bird on its branch, land in my arms

only to rest,

then fly off again.

Be not like the romantic one who,

In love, set me on fire.

When you climb up my mansion,

enter so lightly, that as you enter

the dog on my heart will not bark

Love Without Love – Luis Lloréns Torres

We meet late one January afternoon at gallery, at a time when the burning sun has just begun to set and the stars to come out to play.

Quique, as I have always called him, is as striking handsome and energetic as ever, greeting me with a bright white set against polished mahogany skin and night sky, a tumble of long, dark hair and an unruly grin. In other words, nothing has changed about the man in the twenty-something years ago since we first met and that, perhaps, is what makes him so successful.

As we walk around Studio Mora, eponymously entitled after its owner, the sunset outside suddenly seems to pale when contrasted with the stunning array of colours radiating from each of his canvases.

His works are telling, in the way the pay tribute to his inspirations whilst acting as an ode to his Puerto-Rican heritage, the beauty of life, the sanctity of love and the natural majesty of women.

Welcome to the world of Enrique Mora, devoted husband, brother and son, thriving businessman, owner of art gallery Gala, and artist. A charming Jack Russell, this modern-day fauvist extraordinaire enriches the art world with colour and movement.


THE FAUVE

El bohío de la loma,


bajo sus alas de paja,


siente el frescor mañanero
y abre sus ojos al alba.


Vuela el pájaro del nido.


Brinca el gallo de la rama.


A los becerros, aislados


de las tetas de las vacas,


les corre por el hocico


leche de la madrugada.


Las mariposas pululan


- rubí, zafir, oro, plata -


flores huérfanas que rondan buscando

Claroscuro– Luis Lloréns Torres

That which began in the late 1980’s on an empty blackboard quickly evolved into a full-blown career. One that has taken him from Puerto-Rico, where he was born, to the small-town of Jacksonville, Florida, where it all began, before the glitzy likes of New York, Puerto Rico, Europe and, last but not least Miami, the place he now calls home.

His approach is difficult to define however for he is an artist unlike any other I have had the pleasure to meet. In the past, I teasingly referred to him as a modern-day Matisse, a flourishing Picasso or 21st century Gaugin, sharing the same abstract approach, breathtaking simplicity, intense love of color, and unrestrained brushstrokes.

Nonetheless, in many ways, it seems that my prophecy has been fulfilled, for his figures evoke the work of those hitherto named and he to have almost single-handedly brought back a movement many had long-thought dead, though in fact is to be found alive and thriving at the heart of the new Miami Design District.

Why am I whittling away however, for whom better to tell you about his work than Mora? To gain a true portrait of the artist, simply click on each link below to journey to his Miami Design District studio to watch him whilst in the midst of the creative process itself as he explains in his words each and every step.

STEP ONE:

This quick exercise helps me to begin my painting session.

Enrique Mora: Portrait of an Artist, Part I


STEP TWO:

Since I have been traveling and away from my tools and studio, the movement of the pencil on the paper brings back in a hurry.

Enrique Mora: Portrait of an Artist, Part II


STEP THREE:

Now that I’m back into art making mode, I’m a different person.

Enrique Mora: Portrait of an Artist, Part III


STEP FOUR:

I will continue with the flow of the pencil/paper exercise. Now I’m on the canvas, I don’t think I just do!

Enrique Mora: Portrait of an Artist, Part IV


STEP FIVE:

There are no mistakes at this point.

Enrique Mora: Portrait of an Artist, Part V


STEP SIX:

In fact I’m a big believer that the initial traces of paint and or the first drops of paint into the canvas are extremely important for the direction of the final painting.

Enrique Mora: Portrait of an Artist, Part VI


THE LEGEND

¡Ay, qué lindo es mi bohío!


Y qué alegre es mi palmar.


¡Y qué fresco el platanar


de la orillita del río!

¡Qué sabroso es tener frío


y un buen cigarro encender!


¡Qué dicha no conocer


de letras ni astronomía!


¡Y qué buena hembra la mía


cuando se deja querer!

Vida Criolla– (Décima)
- Luis Lloréns Torres

What Mora’s paintings evoke is the legend of those long ago who set the stage for the work of future artists like them. It is a great deal to live up to, yet the Miami resident somehow manages to make it seem both natural and effortlessly easy.

That is nonetheless Mora’s story to tell. For to know him  is to step into his shoes and take a walk through his world.

Enrique Mora on Enrique Mora: Portrait of an Artist, Part VII

 


BIO

Latin American artist Enrique Mora is a rare talent with a natural sense for what is beauty and what is art.  There are two things Mora has been sure of since childhood: that he would never have a nine-to-five job and that he would one day express himself exclusively through his art.  As a self-taught painter, his use of passionate colors and voluptuous shapes has led to a unique interpretation of the female form. His artwork frequently focuses on the many roles of woman: as mother, caretaker, wife, friend, fighter and lover. Whether he’s painting wind-blown hair, a pouting set of ruby red lips, or a wistful glance, viewers are quickly captivated by his welcoming images and bold use of color.

Growing up in the Caribbean, Mora was exposed to the lavish colors of a lush island surrounded by a vast deep blue sea. Not only did the aesthetics of the island serve to influence Mora, but also his Puerto Rican heritage, which is full of color, passion and erotica.  Never deviating from the Island and its Spanish legacy as his central influences, Mora succumbed to his curiosity for different landscapes and culture, which led him to further explore the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Japan, Indonesia and mainland United States. He lived in Miami’s South Beach for nearly a decade where his work was shown in “Galeria Mora” in Miami’s Design District throughout the 90’s.

Today, Mora continues to live close the ocean which is a major influence in his work.  He commutes between Neptune Beach, FL, a small beach community outside Jacksonville, and Miami where in 2014 he returned to the Miami Design District and launched Studio Mora.  Studio Mora is both a gallery and painting studio, making Mora the only working artist in the Miami Design District .

Mora also maintains a gallery in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, the city of his birth, where local collectors are among an international following that extends throughout the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe and Asia.*

*Courtesy of Miami Design District

**Photos courtesy of Enrique Mora


CONTACT

66 NE 40th ST, Miami, FL 33137

Tel. +11 (904) 382-4582

Email: qmora44@gmail.com

Mora Studio

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