NIL OMNE José Viera

Uploaded by nilomne1 on 26.02.2012

NIL OMNE, everything is nothing.
This is what is written on the desk of one of the most famous Antonio de Pereda ‘s Vanitas.
It is placed under the skull, near a hourglass.
And in those terms we can talk about José Viera’s painting,
he discovers the void that is in everything.
The finishing that that time provides to reality.
As such the painting of José Viera is settled in the own barroque’s core,
in his disilusionated vision of reality and specially from the flesh.
The flesh becomes cancer, bulge, it becomes animality in pure state,
uncontrolled and phantasmagoric animality.
That is José Viera’s painting.
José Viera’s painting is like a fascinating trip around the world of mistery and fantasy,
around what doesn’t seem to have rational explanation.
His imaginative and wonderful drawings always refer to a world
where things have a hidden side close to the real one.
For instance I can remember, randomly, an amazing time when he got into painting chalices.
So he made a wonderful collection of Grials where
every one of those holy cups where praying “drink me”.
What happens if someone drinks those magic cups?
He will truly submerge in a parallel world, but at the same time wrapped in the fantasy
of the impossible in real world, however is located
in our imagination, in our way of perceiving the world.
All these things set up an incomparable space in the Spanish's contemporary paint.
What Viera has done is from his own and just from him.
Where does this originality came from? I basically think that it is due to two main points.
Firstly his innate techinque, I think he was genetically determined to paint,
because he has a formidable technique to achieve his work.
In addition, the technique is not good just for recreating the past.
Besides that the technique is not good only to recreate the past, he is not just a revival
of italian Cuatrocentista's paint, even if he is a full classic painter.
But also Viera incorporates to his subject, to his brush-stoke even to his contemporary soul.
The soul of his time is a ruptured soul, an investigatory soul. A soul which is questioning himself
about why, how, when, what, and that means, without any doubt, a modern feature.
Clasicism and Modernity converged on Viera’s painting proving himself as
one of the most outstanding spanish artists.
José Viera's work shows a very developed and perfectionist technique.
At the beginnning, he thougth the painting as a draw.
We could say that is a work of coloured draws using egg tempera to express himself
following the Florentine sens of the renaissance, like painters such as Botticelli.
Later, while he was developing his aesthetics, he developed "The Spot" aesthetic,
introducing within it the opposite trend of the venetian stream.
Even thougth, his idea of drawing apears constantly in his art
even it might get lost in some of his works.
For instance, the profiles of the figures over the mist in the background, or even smoothed
to be integrated with the landscape or the architectural elements.
His technique is in constant evolution. Before to start his paint, he generaly makes many
previous drawings, some of them so finished that they almost get a painting treatment.
The previous planification of the work is esential for him: Over the bracket, in canvas or wood,
he brush over a mixture of water and glue first,
and then add a mixture of calcium sulphate (plaster) and zinc oxide later, with the same binder.
After that, he brush over a egg tempera grey primer in orther to transfer the drawing
by stencil or grid. A drowing where he separate and contrasts light and darkness.
The drawing is fixed to the sufrace by a diaphanous
oil primer that makes the relation between ligths and shadows softer,
to avoid an excesive penetration of the oil and a rare process of drying.
Nowadays, when he works oil, the technique is very similar,
changing only the binders and the ochre shades of the backdrop.
The color always express dedication,
and he is paying much atention to the surface effects.
Anyway, there is his transparencies game, made my thin oil colour layers,
what leads him to his latest efects full of infinite refinements
that finally mix in the beholding of his work.
When I look this paintings, I think about the surrealism used by Salvador Dalí
I can tell some references to the japanesse painting, with the barbel an the dragonfly.
A very simple and expresive painting whith some unusual colours like gold or silver.
The work of José Viera shows a painting that reminds
to surrealism and i think that he shows great skills using it.
I find fascinating the position of the cup in relation to the beetle.
I feel that is concise, direct and simple, very punctual and characteristic
and it emphasize woman's image.
I like it, I find it he treats light and all that, very well done.
A litle bit of life’s philisophy, about he human being existence, about the the duality between
life and death in the end of your life, the last moment between good and evil.
If I see any of the characters that he created out of context, out of any José’s picture,
I think I would say “This is a Viera character” and that is something very important.
Those famous pictures inspired by The Count of Lautréamont.
The riddim of his characters is related to the real time of the dreams.
The technique of mixing a bit of marble powder in his painting, as Rembrandt or Velazquez did,
in orther to create more transparency in the colour’s layers.
He does not stay where others did, he goes a step forward,
so this fat marble dust that the classic painters introduced
gets aboslutely pulverized in his work to create
even more transparency by absorving the oil of the colour’s layers.
In this last work of José Viera, more and more stripped,
more discarged,there is always the vision of a death’s island.
For instance, I would highlight Night Wispers where
where can be seen emegring over a flat inhuman surface,
a Cypress, or the shadow of one cypress… and forest or a shadow mash as backdrop.
It looks like a polar night, I mean, in the end what you see is emptiness.
The last set of paintings I had made, are the most melancholic of all,
also the most poetic, but in the end it has became a Vánita,
one of the many Vánitas that I have painted during my life.
I want to remind Antonio Pereda, who is one of the most important painters
of the XVII cenury for me. I have entitled it as “Project for a trip to nowhere”.
This set of erotic drawings that I have done are based in some Poems of my dear
Luís Alberto de Cuenca. For me, it was like a breath of life between
all this Vánitas and so much melancholy.
-Hey, this is beautifull -yes, very beautifull, with a violet backdrop,
i think that is Flora and Fauna…”
Flora and fauna are the names of the friends that heat this poem up.
They have the name of Walt Disney’s fairies,
but just the name, beacouse they ignorate everything but phisical pleasure
and they have not any want to protect any princess.
They melt so well, exchanging fluids madly,
that they do not see how I get closer to them
and i reach a space between their ardent and humid bodies.