15 Sep BULLFIGHTING
I spend all 1986 painting the big triptych Bullfighting. It is an oil painting of 570 x 200 cm, painting on canvas, currently exposed in the boardroom of the Local Council of Castellón.
Confronting a so hackneyed issue of the Spanish painting (Goya, Zuloaga, Picasso and so on), I forced myself to give it a different approach, trying to turn away from the traditional view of bull-bullfighter and the folklore that accompany this bull festival.
On the basis of the fresco painting of the Cretan palace of Knossos Taurokathapsia, I recreated the initiatory scene of the Cretan girls jumping a fierce bull. To do this, I built a bull-machine with waste elements from the actual society: car and furniture parts, beams, a Palm Sunday palm, boxes, plastic packages, the drawing of a couple of nudes, etc. all these attached by rope tyings and rickety cables stressing in this way the precarious character of the construct that obviously was led by the real antler of a bull.
Knossos fresco painting
Around this sort of sculpture, three girls modelled with actual sportswear: meshes, ballet heaters, colourful handkerchiefs, dancing slippers, in attitudes similar to the young Cretan girls from the famous mural.
I worked painting from nature, with a figurative-realistic language and traditional oil technique.
To the confrontation between the girls and the bull, I wanted to give it the meaning of the time goes by from the adolescence to the adulthood. In the theories of the Freudian psychoanalysis, the bull is “the problem”, so a bull formed by elements from the actual society, with allusions to the real world with which the teenager has to fight, seemed to me a very expressive, powerful image, anchored to the tradition and pictorially suggestive.
In the following years I continued working with the idea of the bullfighting, expanding it with different techniques, included a burin engraving from the painting, the series gathered half a dozen oil of large format, engravings and drawings, as well as a very intense experimentation with mixed techniques of encaustic, acrylic, pastel, etc. which, over time, will be converted in private collections.
From those days, when I also had the honour to paint the equestrian portrait of the big master of the bullfight Enrique Ponce, I left with the feeling of having barely skimmed a very interesting issue that, may be some day –antibullfighting controversies aside- I will be tempted to take it up.
It is frequent that painter avoids speaking about their paintings, leaving –they say- that the own work says that it has to say. Great. However, I offer myself to comment my artworks in all the technical and formal aspects that I may be asked to. The exchange of ideas has always seemed to me positive, stimulating and, why not?, funny.
So my next blog entry will be on demand, I mean, you can send me throughout this month, doubt of any of my paintings that intrigue you (questions about meaning, motivation, anecdotes, technique, opinions) through comments to this blog entry, email or Facebook, and I will do a compendium with all that asking your questions to the next blog entry.