adrián navarro

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...the Sphere serves as a container and a filter through which you can make out what’s happening inside.

Sphere 01 came to me when I decided to encapsulate the painting and render visible the container of this illusion. Taking a step back, looking from afar, in order to observe the nature of the absolute pictorial space. 

Sphere #1, 2009. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 200x200 cm

The observer remains completely outside the painting; I let him glimpse through at what’s happening inside the painting, so that he understands that it’s an illusion. In order to incorporate the observer within the painting, this enigmatic place, I have to expel him first. 

As a painter, when you stop to look at your work-in-progress, you have to become an active observer, never passive, and that’s when time begins to function. There’s a time hierarchy, stemming from the actions which happen inside the painting, within the pictorial space. A painting where depth is activated through time intends the gaze to pass through filters, through the gaps between the figures. My paintings are conceived on the basis of superimposed layers which generate perspective. Your gaze has to traverse these and lose itself within the painting, and this requires the active participation of the eye.
...and secondly towards architecture. I trained as an architect. That’s where my interest in space comes from. At first it took me a long time to understand the relation between architecture and painting. How can my arm cross the pictorial space? How can I embrace it? It’s complicated and, all in all, necessary: we need to approach space once more from painting, not surrender it to the two-dimensional. Painting beyond painting is that which abandons the field of the two-dimensional plane in order to move on to the three-dimensional and, ultimately, to the virtual plane.
The Spheres relate to the individual on a human scale, they contain it, thus functioning on a scale of 1:1 with the observer. This view from afar is activated when I consider that the work can stand alone, that it has its own life. It’s then that I situate myself outside of the painting; I literally remove myself from the pictorial space and observe it. Why? Because when I act as an observer, I can perceive what I have painted with greater precision. I think that painting is a representation of ourselves. Man is an alienated being who thinks he is free. The same thing happens in painting, it is a free and expressive medium whose objective is to convey a view of the world where that freedom is not possible. This is the paradox which I try to represent. We are trapped in an invisible network of circumstances and relations. 

Breixo Viejo & Adrián Navarro— Painting beyond painting: A Conversation — London, 2009

Sphere #15, 2013. Oilon canvas. 200x200 cm

Implosion show. Installation view.
Hammerson Art Space. London, 2009

Sphere #6, 2010. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 200x200 cm

Implosion show. Installation view.
Hammerson Art Space. London, 2009