Ángel de Cáceres García - Artista. Pintura a Pastel
Portraits and Allegories
“When I work in a portrait everyday life mingles with signs of an imagined life. That is how I conceive the exercise of painting a portrait, building up at the same time what is real and what is imaginary, the form and the content, the figure and its imprint. That inner element, the spirit, should live in the canvas in the same way that it lives in the portrayed person. If the features, the limbs, the body in general, constitute the most demanding nature and the foundation of the harmonies, the imprint they leave on the retina when they vanish is its essence, that which endures and outlives them.
The allegory, understood as an abstraction that has just adopted specific forms, means to me the plastic transcription of the world of ideas, the projection of feelings through symbols, and therefore an ideal resource to complete what is strictly real.
Both disciplines, the portrait and the allegory, offer me the possibility of a setting that is tailored to the impulse, where observation transforms into signs, thought is hidden under the harmony, the chaos of dreams can be summarized in fictitious ornaments... All as an answer to a core idea: reason chases beauty in the same way that the portrait chases the interior of the person”.
“To paint Venus or Eve, or Rusalka or Ligeia, or Andromeda or Danae... to look for an image that represents the trace of Camille Claudel or Jeanne Hébuterne... turning me in this way into a traveller among their histories or their times, is like paying a visit to the dreams. In both of them I have found a reflection of a great majority of our passions, so that the concepts of myth and legend blend themselves in each case with the effects of love and with states that range from despair to ecstasy.
Each one of these interpretations was therefore intended as an excuse to bring closer qualities, states and feelings, which sometimes renders it useless to put a limit to their scope. The goddesses, the myths, the fables or the legends of ancient times, the characters taken out of literary works, live together with the women that left a profound imprint in the arts of Painting, Music or Sculpture”.
From dawn till dusk, from Monday to Sunday, the four seasons of the year; in between the allegory titled “Time Asleep” can be considered as a synthesis of what this series represents: the passing of time in accordance to our most everyday parameters, trapped in the unaltered beauty of the woman in her splendour.
Foreground portraits reflect the lights of a full day, female figures sitting on carpets, wrapped in clothes and symbols that act as metaphors of the days of the week, or lying on exclusive divans in order to evoke the essence of summer, autumn, spring or winter.
“Time, a destroyer by nature, does not affect beauty in the slightest. Here time does not mean before or after, it does not corrode, it does not mutate, here time, or times, is nothing more than different moments of beauty, a vibration of light, a movement, a gesture, an anticipated breeze. [...] If beauty is able to escape from death and aging it is because what is measured is not time, but beauty itself. That means that harmony is taken to the point that it immediately caresses the eye and the spirits of the beholder, not just the figures, the forms themselves, which would turn into metaphors of other things. And thus, what has been painted transcends the own painting”.
Comments on “Measured Time”, December 2016. José Luis Sánchez Lora (Modern History, University of Huelva).
The connection of certain species of flowers with the concept of immortality gives birth to this series where the female figure hides part of its nudity under white translucent cloths and places itself on stone platforms made up of symbols and references to each flower. All of the materials chosen here possess the constituents that are usually associated with the features of these species of flowers: polished stone, gold, the cloths whiteness, the exposed skin, etc.
“Immortality flees, but it always flees. It is a magical concept that is sometimes very close to its opposite, mortality. That makes it exceedingly mysterious. If death disturbs us, immortality disturbs us even more, and we also react to it with an eagerness to transcend. This has been our attitude since prehistoric times, which is made clear in ancient and modern offerings and in the way that desires and feelings are visually expressed, by associating them to the species of flowers and materials that represent purity and eternity”.
“Rodin’s work has usually been categorized as a sequence of sculpted paintings. The unfinished look, almost liquefied, of most of his works, together with the intentional contrasts in textures, especially between figures and pedestals, or outline blocks, represent the essence of his identity. There also lies the origin of my identification with him and his legacy. It is something that goes beyond the “Rodinian” imprint and directs itself to that appreciation of “sculpted painting”, which has then been inverted by painting a collection of sculpture works.
As Rodin himself did with the hours he spent reading up on the subject, I have taken an interest here in connecting messages that come from several artistic disciplines, in a way that some of these works have originated from literary or religious texts (Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil, Dante’s The Divine Comedy, fragments from the Bible), musical pieces (Erik Satie’s Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies) and elements treated with sculptural textures.
The premise upon which I build this series is to paint sculptures. Its purpose is to pay a tribute to Rodin’s work, and especially to his relationship with Camille Claudel. I have significantly toned down the female nudity with intimate or acrobatic poses in accordance with the polishing that the master applied to his own figures. Similarly, in the pedestal zones or outline stone blocks that he used to leave unpolished I have introduced rough-looking and neutral-colouring irregular volumes, thus contributing to the effect of contrast that identifies Rodin’s sculptures”.