#CLÁSICOSDESOLLADOS

Inocencio X, Tribute to Velazquez and Bacon (2018)

30/08/2018

In this work, Alamà constructs a complex synthesis between the canonical work of Velazquez (Portrait of Innocent X, 1650) and Francis Bacon’s own interpretation (1953), an obsession and an icon in his career. Between the majestic control of the Baroque and the phantasmagorical convulsion, Alamà places his tribute halfway, applying the techniques of cutting and suture, a typical aspect of the #ClasicosDesollados series, in one of the most iconic portraits of Western art.

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Scyphozoa, Hommage to Géricault’s ‘The Raft of Medusa’ (2018)

12/08/2018

el rai de la medusa v2 - copia

In Scyphozoa, Alamà recuperates the pale feelings of those who have given up hope but continue keeping themselves alive and fighting to persevere in extreme circumstances. In the unfolding silhouette of the raft, we see the inner division of each individual which keeps the spirit alert to a possible salvation but knows that due to circumstances the destiny is death.

This is the second version of Scyphozoa, an alternate depiction of Géricault’s masterpiece.

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Homenaje azul (2018)

09/08/2018

The anecdote surrounding the creation of the portrait of Juan de Pareja by Velázquez is famous. De Pareja was the painter’s assistant firstly as a slave and later on as a free man. It is said that when Velázquez arrived in Italy to paint Innocent X, he had no sample of his work to show the Pope, who did not know his work. He decided to paint Juan in order to demonstrate his talent.

Through this portrait, Velázquez played a double game. On one hand, he dignified his assistant of humble background painting him in a pose used to portray powerful people. On the other hand, he knew the composition would undoubtedly seduce the pontiff, imagining himself in that position. Alamà revisits and reconstructs the masterpiece using the techniques used in his #ClásicosDesollados series and dives further into the historical anecdote, conferring more presence to Juan de Pareja.

By giving him an anachronistic and jovial Cruz de Calatrava, he recognizes De Pareja as a rightful painter of his own, creating a tribute both to Diego and Juan. The paint’s skins are layers of time, cracking and showing us this reconfigured full-size portrait in which control and expressive freedom coexist effortlessly.

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Serie Negra (Black Series)

15/07/2018

instagram rey

Following the pictorial discourse of #ClásicosDesollados, the Black Series presents a new twist in the personal reinterpretation of the classics. Alamà obscures the compositions and the narrative tone of his works by means of night skins and visual distortions. The Black Series perseveres in the game of intertwining paint coatings and historical layers.

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Lirio y Capa (2018)

09/07/2018

Lirio y Capa

#CLÁSICOSDESOLLADOS

09/10/2017-21/01/2018

 

(…) everything. It fills us. We arrange it. It collapses. We arrange it again, and collapse ourselves.
R.M. Rilke (1923)

 

When contemplating #ClásicosDesollados (Skinned Classics) for the first time, we get the feeling that Alamà is leading us into a new experience. We see how a moving reinterpretation of the history of painting unfolds in pursuit of an expansion of the codes for reading contemporary figuration.

Alamà steps over the abyss of what had already been painted, like a tightrope walker, and studies the landscape of such an immeasurable tradition that is complicated, or virtually impossible, to make a final twist around the figure, portrait and mimesis – all forms of representation of an elusive world that resists being interpreted. This is especially true in an image-centred society in which the furtive glance of the eye hardly allows any opportunity for a calm critique by the gaze on reality. In this state of equilibrium – through disfiguration and smudging, being both the creator and destroyer of the artistic object and with the gaze focused on a tense and threatening path – we can see how Alamà expresses present-day problems through canon characters and scenes. Their validity as testimony of the human is not based on time, but on timeless capture of our nature.

This complex collection of studies or ‘amusements’ – in the artist’s own words – is based on a meticulous selection of classical works as its backdrop. This includes works as it backdrop. This includes works by, among others, Velázquez, Goya, Géricault, Friedrich, Manet or Degas. It shatters the serenity – imposed by custom and passivity of the collective – and reminds us that they are surprising and alive objects.

We see how he favours the use of light desaturated tones that, like torn curtains, force us to search and make way for a renewed understanding of such iconic peaks. Alamà reworks the masters, applies wide acrylic stains buried beneath thick layers of resin, rips the canvases and relocates theirs folds just as a surgeon would do. He skins them; removing the hide and undressing the classic. […]

Alamà recalls milestones from the West to tear them apart, skin them and finally recompose them, anchoring them in the now thanks to an aesthetic and formal jolt that creates a delicate dialogue between yesterday and today.

Albert Font

Curator of the exhibition