sábado, 17 de marzo de 2018

‘I wanted to use paintings as a metaphor for secrets’ | The Indian Express

‘I wanted to use paintings as a metaphor for secrets’ | The Indian Express

‘I wanted to use paintings as a metaphor for secrets’

An exhibition examines different approaches that two artists employ to trick the viewer’s perception of material

Written by Pooja Pillai | Published: March 17, 2018 12:32 am
 Galerie Isa in Mumbai
Small Big Bang

Your immediate reaction, when you enter Galerie Isa in Mumbai and look around, might be to wonder why an art gallery has carpets up on its walls. This is until you realise that these are not carpets, but paintings of carpets. Spanish artist Antonio Santin, whose works these are, doesn’t like to apply the term “hyperrealism” to his paintings, even if that is the first word that comes to mind for those who see his work. “I prefer to call these ‘sculptural paintings’,” he says, “My technique has evolved a lot since I first began to make these kind of works, but it’s basically just oil paints used in a sculptural way.”
Santin’s works are part of the show “Modelling Matter”, an examination of how two artists with radically different approaches play similar tricks with the perceptions of viewers. If, in Santin’s works, the tradition of trompe l’oeil is used to make viewers question their own instincts, in the sculptures of Mexico-based artist Aldo Chaparro, this effect is achieved by battering and folding a thick sheet of metal till it begins to resemble something more easily manipulable like foil. “We both come to the same questions about material from different points in the universe,” says Chaparro, “When the works hang together, it’s like a good conversation. The meaning of both our works is amplified.”
But there’s more to these works than visual trickery and neither artist is interested in employing the methods he does purely to fool viewers. Santin, who was originally trained as a sculptor, became drawn to painting when he started assisting an artist in Berlin early in his career. “I was drawn to the smell of the oil paints, the sensibility of painting,” he says. He made still lifes and portraits in the beginning, but his current ouevre of tapestries, rugs and carpets emerged when he began exploring ways of making “figurative paintings without any figures in them”. Unlike traditional portraiture represents a particular idea or image of a person, Santin’s intricate works, made by squeezing threads of colour out of a syringe-like contraption, represent all the things that people don’t usually reveal about themselves. “It’s like the English idiom – to sweep something under the rug. I wanted to use paintings as a metaphor for secrets,” he says.
If Santin’s work becomes a representation of all that remains under the surface, Chaparro’s sculptures are, for the artist, a representation of a specific moment in time. He says, “Preparing the sheet takes a long time, but once it’s ready, it takes me very little time to shape it the way I want. I use only my body. It’s like a fight with the material, and also a dance. If you want me to repeat it, I won’t be able to.” Working on these sculptures, says Chaparro, makes him live “very intensely in the present”. Describing his works as “photos of a moment”, he says, “ Earlier I worked with plexiglass and used a torch to transform the material. Once I started using materials made of stainless steel and aluminium, which I could manipulate by hand, the process became a lot quicker. With a long process, while your hands do the work, your mind is somewhere else. But I want to be fully present. The final object is just the result, that’s not important. But that moment in which I’m making the work — that’s important “
“Modelling Matter” is on view at Galerie Isa, Lion Gate, in Mumbai till April 21 
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