I continue to investigate the work of the Spanish master for the exhibition on the bicentennial of Goya’s black paintings. When reinterpreting a work centuries after it has been accepted, the question arises as to what makes a painting contemporary. I think that in the Western context it is required that the work contains part of the DNA of history to be considered. No matter how groundbreaking this may be. You can paint oranges in new fluorescent pigmentd, but if they don’t contain something from Cezanne and Matisse, it’s hard for them to be considered contemporary art. The next question is whether the concept of Western culture and its unwritten norms have any validity today. It is evident that we are witnessing its absolute decline and dismantling.
For this study I have reproduced Goya’s palette with the most similar pigments to those he could use in his time. I have changed the main witch for a stereotypical alien that represents the absurdity of a future that exists, but we cannot imagine because it is chaotic and unpredictable. When I paint scenes with aliens I think that in an overstimulated and information-saturated society the only thing that can surprise me are some little green people dancing the conga from the sky and wanting to suck the brains out of the crowd. Somehow, the tragic and dramatic that Goya’s Romanticism had, now becomes a kind of meme.
(This piece is part of the show Needful things II at Rodzlo gallery in Berlin)
Artists have always painted still lifes either because they sell well or because they are the perfect model. They are decorative and since the Flemish merchants began to buy them, they are a guarantee for the painter’s subsistence since they do not bother anyone or are associated with political or deep meaning issues. This is the aspect of still lifes that interests me the most, because it seems to me that it is a facet to be exploited. Even the most banal physical objects store very powerful cultural meanings and somehow absorb identities and customs or entire eras. In fact, that is the value by which we usually appreciate ancient works of art as unique objects, even when we know that half of the museums are collections of forgeries. Because we think those objects contains the history inside. This is also why NFTs are still meaningless and just a speculative product (art is too, but adds other meanings to its value). Objects need passage of time to reveal their meaning.
Sometimes I paint still lifes from photographs, inspired in old paintings or in a more abstract and symbolist way. But lately, I try to face them from the real, so that they go to a two-dimensional plane and finally to the virtual plane, which is where everyone is going to see them in a one second scroll down. So that the work becomes a link between the two worlds.
Anthurium is a tropical plant, native to Colombia. I am a disaster taking care of plants and it is one of the few that survive with me. Next to the plant are my latest readings of the Argentine writer Selva Almada and my Pentax analog camera and its Japanese case unfolded like a rag. The oranges are from Valencia, the place where I was born and the bowl is Chinese. Unlike the avant-garde that appropriated the cultural objects of the European colonies, this still life belongs in itself, and not the other way around, to a global civilization. In a way, it is a still life that represents the end of Western hegemony and its absolute decline.
Painting inspired by the works of Bernat Martorell, Jaume Huguet and the Catalan Gothic. With an industrial landscape in the background inspired by the petrochemical factory that dominates the town where I was born. The knight is a woman and the princess is an old rocker with a mustache.