For some time, we intended to open a new tab to share art matters, interpreting them in the broadest sense possible – ‘everything and more’-: as you already know, at DE we just like… everything. So today we are launching: ART.
Graphical content will be at the Forefront, accompanied by short and sweet texts, without any airs or graces and not geared towards any kind of formal or academic focus: we will be dealing with accessible, live and relatable art.
Zygmunt Bauman, Fashion Author, wrote a little book: “The art of life. Life as a work of art”. Its title serves as an aim for this new space and even everything that we post: helping to make our lives a work of art.
PORTRAITS AND FIGURES BY RAMÓN HERREROS
This year it will have been 15 years since an extraordinary exhibition was launched by the Fundación Vila Casas at their Espai Volart in Barcelona. I have visited a lot of exhibitions there, that time has erased or blurred out without any issues, but, however I still have a strong image of this. The catalogue did not let me down: PORTRAITS AND FIGURES. It turned out to be unique in post-modern Barcelona, where the only official religion went by Tapies and all of the sections of abstract, that are showcased with an impressive display of 60 figurative pieces and, in addition, almost all of them being female portraits.
It is true that Ramón Herreros had gone through his abstract period, but he had reached the same conclusions as Giacometti: “I know that whatever I do, whatever I want, I will feel obliged one day or another to sit take a seat on a stall, in front of the model, and try to copy down what I see. Although I do not have even the slightest hope of being successful… it is inevitable. The abstract works of art that I had done up until now are finished once and for all”.
For this reason, the titles of his paintings are: Sarah, Mia, Agnes, Irene, Sonia, Mariona, Sabine, Amanda, Cristina, Nuria, Alicia, Carmen, Clara, Karenina, Carlota, Tere, Margaret, Helena…, the names of his models. And it is not an act of vanity to remember them because it allows us to establish that, even though they portraits are of different individuals, they are, moreover, each and every one, the image of THE WOMAN. And not the woman in the sense of portraying a person or gender, but rather the MYTHICAL woman, the eternal feminine of all original cultures. They are portraits, yes, but they are also icons.
In the paintings by Ramón Herreros there is always a message in the background that refers to other messages, a constant ongoing symbolism, echoing the worries and experiences of the author. What is clear is and is not there on the surface. Backed up by a personal technique, he manages to transcend the figurative significance. Following a paused pictorial process, based on applying consecutive layers of colour, that are consolidated on thick and dense surfaces, thus achieving unique and truly stunning textures and colours that belie any realistic intention.
With the rest of them, the intimacy and stateliness in his figures and compositions, in line with the great Italian renaissance tradition (Ramón’s devotion for Piero della Francesca is well known), accentuating this willingness to transcend in the background.
A lot of paintings are hung up today in museums, foundations and private collections. But it can still feel like a stimulating adventure to look for and get hold of one for good measure. This is why I am signing off the report with a work of art from that exhibition, in particular the one that kicked off the series of portraits in 1997, already living at a good friend’s house: ‘Sarah’. I overheard someone say, on seeing it: “The paintings by Ramón Herreros light up the walls”. Being aware of the cause, I can, and I want to show faith in it. And I will not deny that this is an invitation as well.
TWO GOOD UPCOMING NOVELS
The Christmas cultural supplements bombarded us with lists of books to be released in 2021. In line with our brevety and quality, I can only tell you about two, good upcoming ones. You will hear people talk about them.