Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
I’ll choose as a representative piece an artwork-object that it’s still in observation, I could say it is still a prototype, or a model of a series to come, or may be it may turn out to be the only piece or result of a process I’ll try to describe in the next lines.
To turn up a picture, they way you do with a sock. 4 or 5 years ago, looking for one of Malevich’s art piece in book, to copy and have at home, there was one that called my attention, it’s name was “Peasant head (with a black beard)”; in this painting, the peasant’s face is clear and has no distinctive aspects, it is just framed by its black beard and the background is blue. It seemed to me that the main figure came so much towards the spectator and instead, the background would move backwards in such an evident way, that the painting could explode or implode at the same time with just a little push. Therefore, it’d be turning up like a sock (the inner side in the outside and vice versa, this are the starting points that I enjoy the most! Like finding a color, a new one, or being beyond, in a landscape always beyond. Then I tried to explain this in the clearest way to my wife and we found it entertaining drawing the beard man in this way and see what each imagined, this image, turns up as a sock, could look like. Results were absolutely different because in the process there are too many choices to make, a door opened at that point, a very interesting door to me and I decided to continue with it from time to time to see where I got and what I found in this process. Now I look for that first drawing I kept, and I find it in a pile of sketches made on parties and concert’s brochures (from the time I worked in a bar), it is made with pencil and it’s very schematic. There is a circle in the upper part that corresponds to the head, occupying the borders, and into the inside, you can see the beard coming, and framed in an inner circle you can see the sky or background with a square in the middle corresponding to the exterior shores of Malevich’s picture, which is now interior and connects to the peasant’s face (that is now near the borders) trough a neck that is still similar to the original but turned 180º. This little sketch is next to others which are similar exercises in which I introduce the picture frame in the center of the image (because if the image explodes, the object implodes); I even used the same method (unclear and ambiguous) for a room and a house. I kept thinking how to turn up a picture like sock (I’m sorry but I can’t find a better way to express this) from time to time, usually waiting, until last year. Looking at the pictures I was making (views trough windows, little worlds that could easily substitute an outside) I decided to apply this almost-method and get at least one clean object, so I started drawing, trying to think this graphically. That is how I realized, working on my current sketch pad, that I could include not only the frame, but a piece of the wall as well in the centre of my work, actually, as a little sample of the work’s external universe, because if everything outside goes inn and vice versa, everything could be inside the frame, or in the center of this object (of course, we should minimize the universe to put it in the center of the picture-object turned up as a sock, with a frame and a piece of wall). In that way, I decided to put just a piece of wall in the center and then I thought that it could have wallpaper. I got stuck in this point for some time because I started studying the wallpaper’s history (which is ridiculously parallel to painting history) and painting some wallpapers replicas that seemed accurate for their historical reference as well as being beautiful, and I thought of inventing some of my own but referring to Pombo or Siquier’s art works, and that was when I realized wallpapers were making me weird and funny and I drop the issue, staying with a clean wall, different from the wall on which I would hang the picture just for the sake of shining and color. That last decision untangled everything and I got to the frame stage. So I went to see my frame’s guy and I ask him to make some little inverted frames, with the lash to the outside, golden and much decorated frames. He never call me to say they were done (he must have think I was joking) so after some time I made one with some extra Italian pieces I had, but I didn’t like the too much. Freaking ornate! The frame had to be golden (gold in painting is always somewhere in between representation and reality), but, how couldn’t it be an ornament, a joke? I found the solution sketching in my computer in a 3-D program. Stairs! If I love stairs, and the type of frame I love the most is the one with little stairs. How didn’t I think of that before? Stairs are perfect, the path of the picture into the exterior that is now in the center, what could be better than doing it by stairs, golden stairs! So I used the opportunity to emphasize the separation difference with the painting-support wall, having as a result a kind of hole in the middle of the object. Exterior was now a central hole to which descend by a golden stair. I go back to the notebook and find short notes about it, I rewrite them: stair, regrets amounting, possibilities decreasing; picture in picture, may be breaking the center, multiplying the frame; the impossible jump; the wicker trumpet, remember Carl Sagan’s explanation about black holes and the space curvature. When I got to this point I started drawing possible motifs for my picture but what I still had to solve was the perimeter border, too many decisions were to be taken since several paths open in several directions and each implied something, plus the eternal final stage in which it could look right or wrong. Let’s go over it once again, borders, in case I decided there would be (since the paint could go on and on is I was really exhaustive or orthodox) are in this object what in a original paint is the center, so we could materially take it like a overhang canvass, separate from the wall as if there was nothing under it (like in antique maps of the flat world, held by atlantes, ending abruptly). I held myself from putting atlantes under the canvass to hold the picture, but I did have to go through the different methods to draw maps (projections, segments, etc) to decide the perimeter shape of the object. In the first sketches, the shape was logically rounded, since the center of a picture could be thought as a dot, and in expansion, something rounded. But it looked wrong, definitely wrong, like some kind of shopping mandala, so I tried with other more concrete shapes such as hexagons, octagons, or even rectangles, which as an expansion of a dot may seem a little forced… but looked good. Having resolved this and drawing some possible motifs for the painting part, pretty satisfactory, I let all this take a little nap while I worked in just as pretentious projects.
One month ago, waiting for dawn at Reta, I was lucky enough to share all this here told with my wife, who knew a great part of it, my daughter, who healthily paid not much attention, Juliana Iriart and Ernesto Ballesteros and got together the necessary impulse to get to the final chapter. The last step. To paint. But like in a movie with no sex scenes, I will skip any kind of description related to this moment. The realization of the painting was made behind locked doors, and its details are left to your imagination. So now I proceed to describe the artwork, prototype, no title, just the way it looks in this moment, after doing and undoing it several times in the last month. To start, the objects is just 22x22cm and it is ridiculously small to its big pretentions (may be for substituting the fictional world with the real one and vice versa). It is hanged in my studio over a white wall with some charcoal drawings by María Guerrieri (my wife) and its octagonal shape. On its side you can see that is a canvass on cardboard separate from the wall by 2 or 3 cm, and held by its center. Frontally, you can see in the center the little golden stair frame that sink into a neutral color area, different from the wall holding the art piece, and all this has a rhomboidal shape. In the octagonal clothed board there is a gentle landscape painted in oils, with a clear sky, some mountains, a lake, some little trees, and in the center a non-window, from which plants are growing. At first sight it’s a modest object, and in its construction you can see its home made condition. It is yet not allowed to go out on its own.