A propos of the oeuvre of Jorge Gómez, the artist from Antioquia
By Luis Fernando Valencia, Art Critic. 1
On observing a painting by Jorge Gómez, the first thing that makes itself visible is its material generosity, the color pigment that seems to detach itself from the canvas. But the painter carries out a primeval plastic strategy by which the oil itself becomes representation, that is to say, not belonging to an inert world, but becoming rather a vehicle of meaning.
A second maneuver strips the representation of its mimetic aspect, in other words, of its loyalty to reality; and a third operation leaves the work in an autonomous stance. We are now facing a painting which is totally independent from its starting point. From inertness to meaning, from here to another reality, in an independent pictorial state distant by far from the initial model.
Space now abandons any form of effectism and emerges with pristine clarity: nothing has been placed at random, nothing is groundless. And there is something surprising. Space establishes a dialogue with itself, without losing definition; it seems to pursue self-elaboration of its own accord.
In contrast to the rigid forms of premeditated painting, there is here a spatial will that joins in a dialogue with the artist; matter seems to execute its own spatiality; the artist plays along. Then there appears a capacity for adventure in the oeuvre, invading the spectator, an uncertainty that allows the spectator to become involved in the oeuvre. Novalis’ maxim comes true: “the true spectator shall be an amplification of the author”.
And now complexity abounds. All distance between the elements is diverse. The differences between distinct fields are notorious given that each territory has its own peculiarities. This creates a dissonance which, as we know from the music of the beginnings of the 20th Century, was characteristic of those nascent hundred years. Through vigorous brushstrokes, what is non-harmonic and tragic is updated to this present of ours. The strength and speed involved in the making of the work annihilate all sentimentality. Such space - open external complexity - is the portal to our time, an intricate and closed interior weft.
Simultaneously there is affirmation and denial in the oeuvre. The white area announcing midday is surrounded by black segments which proclaim nightfall. The lugubrious is born therefrom. This attitude is the one accompanying man from the initiation of the XX Century and which Being and Time
2, in reference
to human existence, called anguish; yet that which is dismal cannot emerge in a
literal way. The paintings of Jorge Gómez surmount it with the accompaniment of
pictorial discernment, with a plastic de-construction. And then this gloom is
surrounded by mystery, and, in this duality, painting is the victor.
Melancholia also makes its appearance, but not in an obvious manner that would
summon us to noise and excitement, but rather through the experience of art
which renders us speechless.
There is an overwhelming angularity, which spans from the treasured ruins of the German Romantics to the tragic Raft of Gericault, passing through Van Gogh’s portrait in the country side at
Arles spreading the sinister trace of its shadow
throughout all .
And yet, despite its inexorable makeup, the oeuvre does not establish itself on
decisive affirmations, or conclusive sentencing. With their ruinous ambiance,
they raise more questions than answers, placing us finally in front of
ourselves, leading us up to our own questions. The work which inquires-
contemporary thought- differs from the one making a statement- modern thought.
Art inquires and science states. Provence
And now another question is raised: ¿How does the oeuvre avoid narrative? ¿How does it dodge illustration? ¿How does it elude telling a story? If for Deleuze, Bacon succeeds in eluding narrative by the way in which he isolates his figures, we are, in the work of Jorge Gómez, not inside an interior space, but rather in an open exterior space. When the work verges on narration, when it is haunted by the anecdotic, a dense shadow begins to hover, a cutting penumbra which preserves the work in an eminently pictorial terrain. It is what Heidegger has called the “phenomenon”: the announcement of something that does not itself make an appearance, through something that does appear”. What does not appear is what the shadow keeps occult; what appears is the shadow itself.
Realism in the work of Jorge Gómez, as we have pointed out, is not mimetic. Since the oeuvre does not believe in the fidelity of reality as truth, it is thus that the work displays its imagination entirely and it is there where it slides into fiction. To the question posed by Gerhard Richter, “¿How can I paint today, moreover, what?” the oeuvre of Jorge Gómez responds with an interpretational realism, that is to say, with a contained expressionism, with a tenuous remembrance of cubism and an interior temporality that photography can never come to expose. With respect to this last issue of photography, the painting that we have under our consideration reverses the relationship between photography and painting: there is no inspiration from photography, but it seems, rather, that painting is suggestive to photography itself.
The de-constructive aspect of the work of Jorge Gómez is evident. In his drawings it is still more manifest. Deconstruction is an operation that withdraws from the downtrodden terrains endorsed by tradition, in order to jump abruptly and discontinuously to a brutally inhospitable backland. Painting is endowed with these attributes: labyrinth multiplicity, permanent mutation and constant fluctuation. In it there is no system, no enclosed totality, and no determined assortment; in another order of meaning, what exist are a-systematic space, open fragmentation and heterogeneous displacement. Now far beyond the familiar calm and quiet, painting re-invents its new passage. That which was unchangeable and unmovable yields way to dissemination and dispersion.
1- Valencia, Luís Fernando. Art Critic. Article published in El Colombiano, Plastic Arts Section. On the oeuvre of Jorge Gómez that goes beyond the work itself on to further transcendence.
2- Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time.
Press. 1996. NY. 487 p New York