martes, 30 de noviembre de 2010


I am waiting for you.
Meet me in the library–
any library,
every library.
–Jerome to Nagiko
Peter Greenaway was born in 1942 in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. He trained as a muralist before directing his first short film Death of Sentiment. He worked as a film editor for many years until he returned to directing. In 1980 he made his first full length movie The Falls, a collage of many images related to flying surrounding a British tragedy. Not much later came the movies he is better known for: The Draftsman's Contract, A Zed and Two Noughts, The Belly of an Architect, The Cook, The Thief, his Wife and Her Lover, Prospero's Books, The Pillow Book and one or two others amongst TV collaborations and art shows. Today he is devoted to audio visual art that for the most part involves a review of classical paintings and their makers. His last work revolves around Da Vinci's Last Supper which was staged at the repository in Milan

Greenaway is an artist that paints with film, his work is structured in the most classical esthetically provoking way and the story around it, thought well planned, often falls useless, bending around the stunning art design. 
In that matter we are provided  with a visual encyclopedia of human endeavor that is footnoted with our most primal pathos and passions. To see a Peter Greenaway movie is to be sucked into the dark side of things that are traditionally represented in a clean and banal way in the art world in an attempt to paint us as superior beings, devoid of defects or in such case, well in control of them. It's like having a chance to sit at a table where Caravaggio, the brilliant murderous artist and his most wretched friends are having dinner; you are both struck at the brilliance of the moment and the fear of finding yourself in harm's way. 

A few commentaries and description on a selection of his films by yours truly:

The Draftsman's Contract gives us a glance into the era of Louis XIV, where a rich widow hires a draftsman to make a portrait of her property, though he tries very hard to encompass every detail when he is not distracted seducing the woman, the house seems to change itself, rendering his attempts at exactitude, useless.

In A Zet and Two Noughts, twin zoologists force three women into becoming the object of their obsessions, forcing them into a love triangle and later documenting their decay. At the event of losing their subjects, they themselves are forced to become the object of their obsession.

The Belly of an Architect, one of my personal favorites. American architect Stourley Kracklite  is in Rome to mount a show for the estranged French architect Boullée (infamous for inadvertently inspiring the Nazi architects of the third Reich) his idol. The immensity and history of Rome slowly begins to crush Kracklite's perception of true architecture, being that he was obsessed with Boullée, a much more westernized architect. Eventually even a classic Roman tale brings distress and tragedy to Kracklite's life.

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.  To me his most brilliantly designed movie with many of its sets inspired in Flemish Baroque paintings. Albert Spica is a thug who has taken over a famous restaurant, with his violent behavior not only has he confronted himself with his staff but also lost all his costumers, a thing he doesn't seem to care about. His wife, Georgina (brilliantly played by Hellen Mirren) has lost all interest in him and instead has focused on a nerdy costumer who is a quiet book keeper. Eventually she seduces him, spawning a full confrontation with Spica, who mercilessly forces the book keeper to choke on his own book pages. Ending in a dramatic and somewhat hard to digest final scene, the liberation from tyranny and cold blooded revenge is attained. 

The Pillow Book. A young woman develops a fetish out of the love for his calligrapher father. No man may love her unless he is a good calligrapher, so she lends her body as a book to test their skills. Both beautiful and smart, Nagiko seeks out strange lovers in search for the perfect man. Divided in several books referencing a story about  Shei Sonagon, a Japanese consort who kept a log of things and thoughts about her life around the year 1000, perhaps the first blogger in history. The story of Nagiko flows towards several tales of passion and tragedy when she discovers that a tyrant book editor who tormented her father is still around. 

Today Greenaway continues his visual art endeavor, already having been invited to mount a visual installation in the Sistine Chapel focused on Michelangelo's Last Judgment.

                                   from Prospero's Books.

jueves, 25 de noviembre de 2010

La poesía de la contemplación

Desde niño siempre me gustó Giorgio de Chirico, encontraba una magia muy particular en sus calles abandonadas, sumidas en el brillo agonizante de los crepúsculos y bañadas en un silencio confortante que tan solo puede venir de la ausencia total de humanos en el plano físico, pero no en el espiritual. Me gustaba cómo al dar vuelta en sus esquinas de perspectivas forzadas, se topaba uno con esculturas antiguas, máscaras africanas, caballos y monigotes hechos de pedazos de distintas culturas. El tiempo detenido en el minuto uno de toda una eternidad. De Chirico da la sensación de un post apocalypsis sin guerra, como si los humanos un día simplemente quisiéramos dejar de existir pero tuviéramos el buen gusto de limpiar la casa antes de desaparecer. Una vez colocadas estratégicamente  las señales de vida, tomaríamos todos un  tren a la nada y dejaríamos atrás un mundo hecho de memorias confusas; el silencio únicamente cortado momentáneamente  por el ruido de una bola que ha caído de una mesa y que ya nadie jamás volverá a levantar. Atrás quedarán congeladas en la incertidumbre del origen de los sueños, esas esculturas romanas sin pupilas, silenciosas y contemplativas.

miércoles, 24 de noviembre de 2010


Durante dos años estuve enfocado en problemas personales que afectaron mi producción. Las obras en proceso estuvieron expuestas a un constante cambio de ambientes y circunstancias que por obvias razones emocionales no lograban madurar

Aunque tiene rato que dejé de dar explicaciones sobre el simbolismo de mis pinturas, ésta es una obra que finalmente se pudo realizar bajo el abrigo de un nuevo estudio y ya libre de interrupciones constantes. Claramente trata el tema del conflicto interno y la confrontación con uno mismo.

"Versus" .

Oleo sobre tela, 130 x 130 cm

For the past two years, I was overwhelmed with personal problems that slowed down my production. The works in process were exposed to constant change in ambiance and circumstances that for obvious reasons kept them from maturing properly.

Though I gave up explaining my symbolism in detail, this work was finally done in the shelter of a new studio, free of annoying interruptions.
Clearly the theme is about internal conflict, personal confrontation.

domingo, 21 de noviembre de 2010

The Mirror - Burning House

Estos días trabajo en una nueva serie de obras en las que el fuego y el agua tienen un papel importante aunque el tema individual de cada cuadro varíe. Una pequeña parte de la inspiración proviene de la película El Espejo de Andrei Tarkovsky. En esta escena, una de las más bellas jamás filmadas, se puede apreciar el talento único del director para contrastar dos elementos: el agua y el fuego. La primera obra en la serie está terminada y la segunda en proceso.

The first work on this series is done, the second and third are in process.

These days I am working on a new series that has fire and water as a binding link. They play an important role in each piece, though they might not be related in their individual theme.
A small token of that inspiration came from viewing the movie The Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky. In this scene, one of the most beautiful ever filmed, one can appreciate the unique talent of the director who managed to contrast the two elements in one single scene.