ARTIST JOSE MANUEL GOMEZ
Interview with Jose Manuel Gomez† (AZUL Issue 10, 2002, pg. 8)
One day you arrived at Fuengirola after spending several years in FranceÖ I had my life made in France. I got married, I lived there for a few years, and that was enough,Ö as time went on, that finished and I decided it was time to return to my country.† Lets just say because Iím Spanish.
I came here with my wife to visit my parents who lived in Malaga, the Fair had begun and I saw the ambience there was with horses.† I said to myself: Iím not moving from here.† A month later I bought my first horse and from that moment on I began working with a Gallery in Puerto Banus, with fabulous and incredible clients, with a high level, clients who could be buying art in Puerto Banus as well as in Paris or New York; Clients with culture and financial resources.
In the last years you have concentrated your work in the theme of horsesÖ The horse theme is a recurrent subject in my paintings as Iím a great fan.† A chat in my studio led me to work on an exhibition on the history of the Cartuja, to see how it had all happened, when the carthusians were horse breeders.† I was interested in transporting the horse to an absolutely humane context, turn it into a sacrament, rise it to the level of totem, and transporting it to becoming a cult.†
The carthusian horse is the achievement of an ideal.† It is the concept of entirety, splendor, looking for attention to have the impact of beauty.† If you had to idealize a horse, if we have to resort to the fairy tale, in any part of the world were the tale was set, the knight in shining armor would always be riding a carthusian stallion, even if they had never seen one before.
†Is it then a painting of dreams where you incorporate phantasmagorical figure? Yes, it is an absolute oneiric painting style.† In the paintings with horses I introduce characters that are radically outside their historical context, although it is obvious that it is inspired in the Renaissance era, except a little exaggerated.† When I painted the characters, Iíve always painted typologies.† When Iíve painted a character, it represents a type of character with special interior - personality.† When he is transported into the horse environment, it is truly more attractive, a lot richer from an artistic point of view.† On the other hand, thereís the folding screen out of which Iím making a solely imaginative painting.† Any point of contact with any element of reality is, if I may say so, pure coincidence.†
The power of contrast (claroscuro) is what really gives things value.† For me the claroscuro is an artistic formula that I find wonderfully wise.† When you grasp the power of claroscuro, it is the point where you truly see the life in the light, obviously caused by the contrast with the shadows, and it is a very interesting artistic formula.
What is most difficult to transmit of the feelings you are expressing?† Itís not even about chasing the shape, you can know the shape without even being a horse enthusiast.† The key is to capture the expression.† There is something that identifies it, because the expression of the andalusian horse is that of great nobility; that nobility translates into the true expression of the andalusian horse.† It has unmistakable eyes, tender eyes, sweet eyes, where you can see clearly how noble they really are.† This is the characteristic that has endorsed it world wide and during other times in history.†
Most of the horses we have seen you paint are without saddle or harness, bareback.† Does this have any particular meaning to you?† Obviously, when a horse is beautiful, it becomes even more beautiful the less you steal from it physically.† When I look at a horseís back, which is a wonderful thing, I would be taking away from its beauty if I painted it with a saddle.† What we want to see is the horse and its expressions, which is at the same time an expression of the body movements which solely belongs to the andalusian horse and which differentiates it from any other.† I try for the animal to give me this through its clean anatomy.† I donít hope to paint the perfect horse, but I try to paint horses that are ideal.† My objective is the same as that of those who bred the first horses.† It is to create within the painting that ideal of the horse.† That ideal doesnít really exist, but it is the objective.
A constant search for the idealÖ Of course; some of my friends who are horse breeders would say to me: If I could breed the horses you paint, Iíd have no problems.† I would answer: thatís why I paint them like that.
Does being a painter on the Costa del Sol make you feel like a stranger?† Not at all, the complete opposite.† I feel like Iím in my hometown, very spoilt.† Iíve never had the feeling of locking myself within a specific profile, a character profile, or created around me a feeling that people need to treat me a certain way.† I made myself known to my friends as a horse rider way before I did as a painter.† Everybody has been extremely kind to me.† The Town Council has continuously flattered me.† They have given me institutional recognition, theyíve dedicated a public square to me, one of my sculptures is a public fountainÖ These gestures have only made me feel better each day and more grateful of the town I have chosen.†
La Tienda EspaŮola
Mary Beth Horan
†3901 Rapid Run Drive
Lexington, KY 40515
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