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CHLOROPHYL november 19, 2009 - january 23, 2010
  • Red Chlorophyl

    Red Chlorophyl, 2009

    Synthetic enamel and methacrylate on sailcloth, 180 x 162 cm.

  • New Pollution

    New Pollution, 2009

     

    Enamel, oil, acrylic and serigraphy on paper, 97 x 80 cm.

  • New Pollution

    New Pollution, 2009

    Enamel, oil, acrylic and serigraphy on paper, 97 x 80 cm.

  • Surrounding

    Surrounding, 2009

    Sculpture, 45x31x1 cm.

  • Petrol

    Petrol, 2009

     

    Sculpture, 170 x 120 x 10 cm.

  • Chlorophyl

    Chlorophyl, 2009

    Video, 5'

  • Red Chlorophyl

    Red Chlorophyl, 2009

    Synthetic enamel and methacrylate on sailcloth, 180 x 162 cm.

  • Red Chlorophyl

    Red Chlorophyl, 2009

    Synthetic enamel and methacrylate on sailcloth, 180 x 162 cm.

  • Blue Chlorophyll

    Blue Chlorophyll, 2009

    Spray, graffitti, and synthetic anamel on canvas

    130 x 97 cm

  • Blue Chlorophyll

    Blue Chlorophyll, 2009

    Spray, graffitti and synthetic enamel on canvas

    180 x 162 cm
     

  • Tragic Pantone

    Tragic Pantone, 2009

    Spray, graffitti and synthetic enamel on canvas

    100 x 81 cm

  • Tragic Pantone

    Tragic Pantone, 2009

    Spray, graffitti and synthetic enamel on canvas

    100 x 81 cm

  • Tragic Pantone

    Tragic Pantone, 2009

    Spray, graffitti and synthetic enamel on canvas

    100 x 81 cm

  • Chlorophyll. Exhibition view

    Chlorophyll. Exhibition view, 2009

  • Chlorophyll, Exhibition view

    Chlorophyll, Exhibition view, 2009

  • Chlorophyll, Exhibition view

    Chlorophyll, Exhibition view, 2009

  • Chlorophyll, Exhibition view

    Chlorophyll, Exhibition view, 2009

  • Chlorophyll, Exhibition view

    Chlorophyll, Exhibition view, 2009

  • Chlorophyll, Exhibition view

    Chlorophyll, Exhibition view, 2009

PRESS RELEASE

Santiago Picatoste´s work is a homage to the arts, which manifests all its amplitude in a special way in this first exhibition in Málaga; an exhibition that reveals a change between the previous stage, Petrol, and the actual one, Clorophyll. The titles are very significant and although nature is the main character in both of them, it is treated from different perspectivas, as a result of the personal evolution and an important change of circumstances.
Picatoste praises nature, which takes, in his work, different shapes and nuances. In Petrol, the nature surviving a hostile environment is represented with some less appropriate, or even incompatible materials, out of whose toxicity emerge phytomorphic flowers and silhouttes. This strong, claiming nature reinvents itself and never abates under the pressure of an exploiting and annihilating civilization, but instead succeeds to adapt to the obtacles and gives birth to a new system of life. In Chlorophyll, nature opens into freedom, exhuberant, vivid, dynamic, alluding to all that is full of life: the juvenile games, the fertility of the tropics, the longing for life expressed in a chromatic dance that adopts the winding and suggestive colors of the euphoria. Nevertheless, the medium is very urban and universal, in all of the meanings of the word: the graffiti. Not in vain, the first time the artist experiments it is in Sao Paulo, a city with a long graffiti tradition, being in charge of making a stand whose work has been lost during the transport. Picatoste gives free reign to his most pop and precious side, a formal way, and discovers the most hedonistic part of his character.

The flowers in Petrol struggle to get out of the ghetto, they fight to survive in a sequence of “no places”, where everything is transitory and nothing suggests continuance nor invites to continue living. They are actually human-flowers, the ultimate product of chaos and of the artist, which embody and reveal a certain order in the middle of the chaotic juxtaposition of layers represented by the urban environment, which becomes encoded with the passing of the time. Let´s remember the “tell” in the Egyptian and Mesopotamic cities and the different stages of Troya; contrary to Shliemann, Picatoste starts from the former, adding up layers until achieving a sum of tactile qualities and incredible textures, which result from the cut up and dripping of pigments over the surface of the farbics and papers. Chaos and order, the antinomy formulated by the Greeks that has recently become Lorenz´s theory, and the interpretation of the chaos as the most subtle and profound side of the order, the freest of all type of hierarchies, which can be detected in the behaviour of the dyamic systems; and there is nothing more dynamic, although in many circumstances dynamics may be perverse, than the frenzy of a city. The majority of the mathematical games have emerged from the intersection of the chaos and the order: Rubik´s Cube, Hamoi´s Tower, Sudoku… and other toy-games like the puzzles and the constructions. Santiago Picatoste was a great player of Lego and Tente.

The evolution from Petrol to Chlorophyll can also be detected in the sculpture. The Surrounding series, which uses metal plates, is succeeded by a generation of pieces of a totally different concept, which the artist proposes as toys, and with which he draws in the air those fluid plant silhouttes extracted from the fabrics and, by using the car enamel, eliminates the harshness of the steel, obtaining an efect of lightness, flexibility and energy.

The contrast as a search for the equilibrium is one of the keys to decipher Picatoste´s work, by confronting materials, pigments and textures in an alchemy exercise inside whose flask abstraction and metaphors have been interacting, looking for one into the other; expresionism, pop culture, action painting, including a certain type of näif in the ”ode” to Matisse, which could have been the graffiti. It is also a homage to Gerhard Richter and the new German wave in the Clorophyll video, which the artist defines as a painting in action, a Japanese visual poem, actually, a digital Haiku that repeats the previous premises.

With Chlorophyll, the artist inaugurates new elements into his fabrics, to which he had been previously adding pieces of canvas; for example, the methacrylate plates assembled into the framework with screws, which make reference to his interest for the industrial methods. The exhibition is also a homage to the posters, particularly the constructivist ones and, in general terms, all the posters that cover our streets, which invariably interfere with the graffitis, objects that form part of our collective memory that Picatoste moves to his canvas and his papers, developing a pattern technique together with the most violent and radical side of this medium.

The Nietzchian influence present in all the vanguardias from the beginning of the XXth century is being accused in Picatoste´s work. Nihilism proposed the annihilation of the art as a reality opposed to life. Nevertheless, bringing back art to life, merging with it, stands for the main argument of Picatoste´s work.


His dogma consists of the necessary destruction of the preexisting order to give way to a new model, a faithful expression of his time. He advocates a critique to the representation, without falling into the fatalism of the French postestructuralists - Foucault, Barthes, Derridá, Lyotard, Baudrillard… - who discredit it by substituting that which they represent but voiding it of life, and establishing the reference. They, together with the philosophers and the moralists, constitute the reagent, negative sector, of the nihilism, active principle in the history that reveals itself as the very history of our time, consequence of the Platonic-Christian tradition that lays the basis of our Western civilization, and which has generated a type of human being, a type of human behaviour that has a solvent effect and that has to be surpassed in order to validate the trajectory between the afirmation of the precipice and the power to transcend it. In a certain way, we recuperate the Greek dialectics between the terrible depth and the beautiful surface or appearance where rests Nietzsche´s affirmation that nihilism is an esthetic phenomenon, being here where the debate on the human being´s posibilites about his future needs to be exposed. The art is the single superior force opposing every single intent of denying life, as, although it perceives its terrible character, it experiments and wishes to experiment it. (L.E. Santiago, “The Nihilism and Our World”)

Active, positive nihilism, or esthetic anti-nihilism; this is the message of Santiago Picatoste´s exhibition, which seems to embody the prototype of the “affirmative” artist, who possesses a “transforming” praxis that transcends the destructive inertia by means of the creative pleasure, the human being´s single productive act, generator of life and future.

I.H.







 

© 2011 Isabel Hurley