Essays of the Artificer is an inciting book of Escobar’s main theoretical works, which redefine the margins of the critical essay by proposing an inseparable relationship between the artist's work and his thought about art and existence. The theory as poetic exegesis of life, ardent creator of its own meaning, is inseparable from the art trade. It is an expression as personal as it is political, which denounces the impotence of prisons before the irreducible desire to live and fight. Prologue written by Csaba Polony.
The drawings gathered here constitute an act of liberation, where the walls of the prisons in which the artist was held for 20 years acquire a new meaning, a transcendental one -- the beyond, the constant unfolding, the spiritual flight to other areas. Elizam Escobar's drawings are essays about identity, multiple revisions of the same obsession to discover himself and rediscovered from the very heart of confinement, sketches of a self that knows itself free, in another place. For this, the mark of the self-portrait in the drawings abounds, even when the artist is drawing other people, because the face is the place of permanent flight, the symbolic canvas where resistance is carried out. His drawings, now paradoxically enclosed in a book, show evidence that no jail exists that can contain a free imagination, a creativity (un) leashed.
This collection of Escobar’s notes from seven of his 20 years in U.S. prisons gives intimate insight into his genius, as well as the torment of being held in what he calls “the United Nations of crime.” It exposes the poet, the dreamer, and the lover in him, as he aspires to freedom, regardless of prison bars and walls.