Joan Belmar

Joan Belmar
Tangling Shadows
A Site Specific Installation
Installed on July 22, 2018 and July 23, 2018

Tangling Shadows was inspired by the poem, Thinking ,Tangling Shadows by Pablo Neruda. To read the poem and listen to a reading visit the post, Tangling Shadows by Joan Belmar.

Artist Statement

Joan Belmar

Ever since coming to the United States in 1999, I have been interested in exploring the properties of contemporary materials, such as plastic, paper acetate, vinyl, fabric and Mylar etc. I like when the organic qualities of the acrylics, gouache and ink mix and move spontaneously on a fixed structure, canvas,plastic or paper . Metaphorically, they are in search of freedom in a structured world.   I play with light, transparencies and the sculptural qualities of these elements to evoke the concepts that are important in my work:  Time, Change and Movement.

In my my ongoing series of 3D works, paintings and drawings, I have become intrigued by maps, especially as I researched extincted /exterminated ethnic groups. In the maps, I encountered symbols, colors, drawings, grids, dots and lines.  Using these, I explore the psychological and cultural divisions that affect the different ways we see the world. The different qualities of the elements—the sometimes clash and contradictions of the materials—create a dialogue.


Tangling Shadows by Joan Belmar

Joan Belmar was born in Santiago, Chile in 1970. He left Chile for Spain, at the age of 24. He began painting professionally in Spain, using the Catalan name Joan for his first name John. He came to Washington, D.C. four years later in 1999, and was granted permanent residency in the U.S. based on extraordinary artistic merit in 2003, and became a citizen in 2010.

Joan Belmar is well known for his unique technique of 3-D painting. He combined his former painting and collage techniques with painted and untreated Mylar/paper strips in circles and curvilinear shapes. This technique produces variations in transparency, as light and the viewer move in relation to the work.  The sheer quality of these translucent materials captures and reflects light and encourages an up close viewing of the work to reveal the different layers within.

Joan is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Mayor’s Art Award Finalist in Washington, DC, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Fellowship Program, and an Individual Artist Grant by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and the state of Maryland.  In 2016 he won first place in the Osten Biennial of Drawing in Macedonia.

He has exhibited in numerous shows including Addison Ripley Gallery, Charles Krause Reporting, IA&A at Hillyer, Curators Office,The Gabarron Fundation, Univeristy of Maine Museum of Art and the (Katzen) American University Museum.  Joan has exhibited with Adah Rose Gallery at PULSE Miami Art Fair, PULSE New York Art Fair, the Silicon Valley Art Fair, and the Dallas Art Fair.