Alberto Ámez

1963 · Spain

Artist biography

Art is a way of investigating reality. In this artistic research, some things take part, ie the scale, the time, the personal history, so it involves a profound attention into different worlds.

I have chosen my present art work to be oil paintings of small and medium size, painted in a traditional way.

By traditional way I mean the XIX century painting, just after neoclassicism and before the avantgarde movements. Please notice that they are not appropiatonist, cynic or ironic paintings. I try to hold link with classic painting, I remember attending many years ago an exhibition of a classic Spanish painter. He was old. During the many days the show took place, he attended it, with some relatives. To this day I remember the sentiment I felt. I call it dignity.

Technically, they are made with professional-grade oil colours on professional-quality linen canvas, museum standard. Made to last.

The way these paintings are made is inspired by traditional XIX century painting. The point is not to recreate or copy that kind of art. Just using the traditional tools and ways of making a painting, to create an image that is coherent with my life, emotions and thoughts. And they are emotional paintings, because I try to depict the simbolic and emotional links that exist between the diverse elements.

By painting this art works, I not only am coherent with my personal story osr emotional life, I get a crossover work of Art, that can be disfruted by people with quite dissimilar cultural backgrounds. I am in the territory of the classic work of Art, with all the cultural referents attached to it. A pure crossover.

I sometimes think these paintings are somewhat apparently close to naive, amateur or weekend-painter Art. These types of Art in fact rely on deeply based aesthetics standards, that wer established in that period, and that probably are the foundations of our present good taste. I don't worry about that loose thoughts, my path is clear. These are conscious paintings, and they belong to contemporary Art. Trying to revive the spirit of traditional european paintings is not the worst thing you can do, in my opinion. Respect and tribute to our antecesors used to be a proper way of getting proficiency in Art. But since the end of orthodox European painting, circa early years XX century, the general scheme of things is a bit like the financial system after Bretton Woods, no longer a root gold patron, value and price is based on the interdependency of several actors. That is the world we live in. A complicated cultural ecosystem. A lot of people grow up almost addicted to strong emotion and spectacular cultural products, provided by the media. Fast, faster. No subtlety. Forever young and enthusiastic, full of adrenalin and strong emotion, contributing to an endless economic growth.

The most important theme in these paintings is landscape. This theme was present in my previous art work. I am also exploring the classic genres of still life and portrait.

Special mention to the theme of vegetable gardens. It is a strong symbol of cultivation, in the sense of culture cultivation, whis I think is crucial for human beings. So there is an opposition between cultivation and the wild life. Some years ago, reading Pig Earth by John Berger was a revelation.

In some landscapes we find figures. People, animals... These elements add another layer of meaning in a novelesque and narrative way, which is lovely. They are simbolical, for instance a naked woman represents the truth, a couple hughing each other represents not a carnal atraction but the love for truth. The monkey has monkey mind so he escapes and heads for the way. He just can't stop. Whereas the wise people who know stay in the place.

In a really good painting, each element of it, for example a landscape accident, has its precise meaning. Composition and elements working toguether contribute to thicken the semantic load in a painting.

What about the portraits. Well, in this part of my work you can notice that I paint full body portraits inmersed in a scenery. Inspired by european painting traditional full body portraits, I consider this as a way to paint emotional portraits. This way we can see a relation between people and Nature. I think this is a proper way to live, because, for our good wellbeing, we need to connect with our surroundings. Opposite to this would be the portrait with no or limited scenery, that can be extremely psychological but is a different game.

About the still lifes. Along with landscapes and portraits, they are the third classic genre. There is something special in a still life, something that cannot be delivered by the other types of paintings, something about a sentiment of solitude. They allow to release overtension and to get a different perspective on my paintings.

A healthy human being needs to share contact with... things. And when I paint a portrait, I want the best for the portrayed, I don't want to project individual or collective neurosis over it. Remember: A person, a potential neurosis, a family, idem, the work place, idem, a town, a country...

What I want in a work of Art is it to project good humane energy. Art is a way of investigating into the reality. Don't do it by screwing people in the proccess.

This work can be considered rearguard painting, in opposition to avantgarde painting. Both parts are important in an army. And the this type of work in certain way is like a travel in time, or a trip to an abandoned park. In that place we find old strings and ropes. We can try to pull some of them, yes, Art used to be a subtle matter. Heaps of abandoned knowledge that we can scarcely spot in museums. A world of sentiments and not spoken words. Almost forgotten world and events, a different world. The European painting, with all its regional deviations.

In this trip, one of my ethical-based goals is to avoid spectacular or shocking visual appearance.

I think a painting proves its quality by standing the passing of time. A good work or Art never lets you down.

I'm a painter and I paint.

(Alberto Ámez, April 2017)

Alberto Ámez

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