Smoke and mirrors
19 November 2016 - 7 January 2017
"It has been five years since I last exhibited my art in Madrid, in Evelyn Botella Gallery. The work I showed back then, under the meaningful title Back from Paradise, was meant to initiate a new path characterized by the rupture with the conceptual and aesthetical strategies prominent in my previous work. This new stage is intended to be much more representational, strongly symbolic and denuded of the Pop reminiscences I had exploited before.
With the figurative German painting of the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) and the European classical artistic tradition previous to the Avant-garde as my main inspirations, recovering classical elements of the genre painting as the baroque portrait and Vanitas, and assimilating all of these factors to the concerns and anxieties of the contemporary world, I have initiated my particular return to the tradition through a postcontemporary perspective and a strong surrealist nature.
Recently my good friend Lee Clarke described this last art works using the popular English expression “smoke and mirrors”, in allusion to the magic and artifice, the lie and the deceit. Barroque Vanitas. The truth is that in this paintings mirrors are abundant, sometimes as physical objects that reflect the world and sometimes as grotesquery of specular design. The occultation and mystery, the smoke, are the necessary reverse to the idea of the parallel universe that the mirrors represent. The appearance of skulls is to some extent inevitable. Is it not the purpose of the barroque Vanitas the poetic demolition of the world´s illusions…. It’s smoke and mirrors? Another frequent subject is the pastiche. Take a classical painting (cubist, symbolist or renacentist) and walk through it, not as a barbarian but as an explorer. Somebody once said that the better science fiction is the one that talks about the past while simulating to be describing the future. Images in this painting operate similarly, as they are jumps in time and as such, History painting."
La nueva figuración de Jesús Max en la Galería Theredoom
Diario de Burgos
Puerta a mundos nuevos cuajados de recuerdos