My friend and Art Historian Krisztina Kovács honored me not only with her presence at the exhibition, but also giving the inaugural speech, with her very professional critics on my works. This is the English version of her words.
When José first told me about his exhibition, and then he asked me to say some opening words, not only the friend, but also the art historian that lives in me was glad, since I´ve been following the artistic phases of José for some years. But now also the great public will have the opportunity to know the complex and sensitive world of José.
In this exhibition, we can see before us a selection of creations from the last years. The works presented are characterized by a mixture of different painting techniques, styles and materials, having as a common basis an absolute spontaneity. José doesn´t sketch; he doesn´t outline the composition a priori, point by point; everything gets born on the canvas itself. Thus, it can happen that an original idea suffers a total transformation until it gets the final form. We are witnesses of a total artistic freedom: José´s expectations are not to be content with any trend or artistic style, nor to follow some painting techniques in fashion followed by others. He only desires to express his feelings as a response to the impulses of the world that surrounds him. We are talking then, about a self expression that overcomes everything. It doesn´t matter what is the surface, nor what and with what he paints, his main aim is to express, to get rid of that excess from his inside, that rocking of feelings, or sometimes the homesickness that grabs him when he listens to music, when he gathers with his friends (Drinking And Looking At You), or in his moments of solitude, when he thinks of his homeland, Mexico. Many try to seize the time in photographs, but for José´s sensitive and complex soul – but Theoretic, at the same time- this would only be a banal and void solution, as for him what matters is not as much the finish work as the elaboration process. This is the reason why sometimes he is working for years with some paintings, so that all over the years -through a prolonged work- he can invoke, revive and assimilate all that was previously lived.
It would be too difficult to point some tendencies in José´s work, mostly because he is still giving his first steps as an artist, but also because he consciously he is concerned about his free creational process doesn´t obey any conventional diagram; this would contradict, then, his spontaneous spirit, eager of freedom. Nevertheless, if we focus our attention on his works, we can uncover some common characteristics between them:
First, let´s trace a dividing line between the figurative and non-figurative works. Most of his figurative paintings date from before –and around- the year 2000, and among them, we can glimpse nudes or nude fragments; there are no men in any of them! José doesn´t try to be loyal to anatomy in these works, on the contrary, he stresses some parts of the body, and exaggerates expressively the feminine essence – the breasts, the hips- to express thus his bursting feelings. His aim is not to reproduce faithfully the reality, because this would be nothing but an illusion, a tricky image, an empty mirage. What matters to him, is to give shape to abstract and intangible things – like smells, the time passing by, or some sounds- and to the memories attached to them in a wide net of relationships. Sometimes, he does it in a more concrete way, such is the case of the painting of a street in autumn, covered by golden leaves as at the bottom of that scene, there lies the memory of a very concrete moment.
In most of the cases, though, José´s works cover longer elaboration periods, in which experiences and a great quantity of feeling are accumulated creating layers on the surface. We can mostly get this from his latest works, for example in “My Heart Is A Cave (2010)”, painting that suppose a change on his art, and perhaps the most eye-catching of the whole exhibition. Thanks to it, José has discovered and profit the possibilities of the black marker to create new and exciting structures.
In there, creation happens in two faces: First, he stains the surface with colors in a spontaneous and unconscious manner, and at the colors joints he traces the outlines with the marker, then he adds shadows originating thus new relationships between the lines. A kind of decorative net is created, and its able to give form to itself based on randomness, giving finally light to a surrealist order in which everything is on its place and on which the observer also takes part through his owns associations.
From this point on, the lines traced with marker created a net on the works. This technical method is what allows José work free, since as we can see in his early Works as in the latest, there is a point, a common creative focal spot between the paintings that connects them unconsciously to each other despite of revealing completely different worlds, and that is: The space. Let´s not forget that according to José´s formation, he is an architect, fact that grants him a special sensitivity for the space and perspective. Even his most poetical and spontaneous creations reflect this game with the perspective and space. In some of his works, we can even find some three-dimensional elements that jump from the plane to the space. In the same way, just as the outlines of the walls and big volumes of architecture give sense to constructions (meaning that they surround the empty space), the confused lines also delineate the colored stains giving light to the shapes that are stamps of José´s feelings and memories.
Last but not least, we still have to mention music´s roll in the works creation. Whoever knows José must know that music is his vital essence, and that for him is a great pain not having being born a musician. This is, then, another level for the approach to his paintings, since several times they are directly inspired by concrete melodies, which will be playing not only during the inauguration, but also later, in Vittula. And we haven´t finished yet: his works are not only complemented with music, but also with his own poetry, as José tries to express himself in every possible way and make his feelings immortal in all levels.
In conclusion, we can state that in we are in presence of a kind of “total art” in this room, or a contemporary “Gesamtkunstwerk” that doesn´t need of theories or art critics explanations; the only thing to do is to let ourselves be guided by our senses and let the naïve and pure world of his painting to open freely before our eyes.
Thursday , January 13th of 2011.