By Beatrice E. Rangel
To trap color in movement and movement in life is no simple feat.
But Master Carlos Cruz Diez not only trapped life in his works but gave it a new and more beautiful dimension: that of joy.
I cannot remember visiting any of his exhibitions without being replenished with optimism, joy to live and faith in the future.
Color and light would penetrate your soul so deeply that fear, insecurity and sadness would be immediately exorcised.
As a result, Cruz Diez' vision of progress and human achievement would nest in your heart to trigger creative ideas and inspiring missions. In a sense, through his work, he would transform reality from struggle to survive into a creative paradise where all dreams could become true.
As a person he was lively, funny and full of life.
And one would always wonder where he got such an enthusiastic approach to life and such an unrelenting disposition to bring color and movement to everyday life.
Cruz Diez was born in 1923 in a Venezuela ruled by Juan Vicente Gomez, the dictator that ruled until his death in 1935.
Oil exploitation had begun and triggered the irreversible voyage of Venezuela into modernity.
A strong and vibrant middle class began to flourish. In this milieu Maestro Cruz Diez was born.
He was attracted to study the impact of light by the caramel and crimson reflections from the soda bottles into his home dining room.
He was young and curious and the first idea he had was to trap light into an experience that would produce feelings in the onlooker.
Light should be felt like the wind, the rain or the sun. And he dedicated his life and creative spirit to achieve that.
This Promethean passion was perhaps born out of his realization that light was key to human development in every dimension.
From the political dimension light is truth and transparency.
From the social dimension light is creativity.
From the economic dimension light is energy.
And he knew well that light is the enemy of barbarianism, dictatorship and crime.
Venezuela his home country would never be free without embracing the light.
He thus left the much loved but backward country to find a place where he could trap light. France then became the locus of his creative travails.
In France he was free to transform light and to return it to mankind enveloped in beautiful colors and the firmness of hope in human creativity.
This would not have been possible in Venezuela, a country that staged three dictatorships along Cruz Diez' life.
But his work carries that unmistakable mark of the country with the most imposing sunsets in the world were the colors of the national flag mix to compete with Cruz Diez Colorythms.
And as the country continues to struggle to achieve freedom, Carlos Cruz Diez's entry into another dimension will perhaps inspire the struggle. After all, freedom is the ethical dimension of light.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.