The interrupted line of Jorge Gallego
by Ignacio Estudillo Pérez
In general, the artist's relationship with the era is always contradictory. Any transgression is by nature impure inasmuch as it must know what it is transgressing; transgression is born precisely committed to that which it transgresses.
Image-generating devices are (the great) privileged when it comes to entering, definitively, into the regimes of distribution and reproduction of merchandise. Our world is transformed into a screen that broadcasts only that which can give the most pleasure with a ratio of eight seconds of attention. The virtual world has configured another reality: that of the image. This world transforms communications into journeys of the eye. The eye and only the gaze of the real spectator, the user.
The interrupted line of Jorge Gallego, from his oasis in the southern mountains of Seville, continues to delve into his same interests and driven by the same motivations but with the advantage that the passage of time can give, a greater awareness. Jorge thus presents himself to us at a moment of discursive maturity, of crucial change in his work, but without the need for rancor or vindication.
I will take as a paradigm of what I want to say something that happened in past exhibitions in which Jorge included some figures in his compositions. In them he worked in a more user-friendly way, since he solved almost the whole process of relationships with the work by offering us a protagonist with whom we could identify and locate ourselves through the distance of the gaze.
His work is now more stark and demanding. Those characters no longer appear, the vision is not enough, and to bear witness, for the work to affect us, it is necessary to introduce the body itself. This time, it is in the game of looks where his compositions take into account the user, who explores the images and the matter as the real body of the world.
I insist a little more on the user's gaze. One thing is the cultural and human interest that an image can have, the user looking and organizing the previous cultural generality. Another thing is what the user looks for, the painting as an independent body that looks for us in a certain way. It takes us by the hand to see in depth, to plunge us. To plunge us in all the elements, in its time.
Simply looking at something does not allow us to move forward. Each look mutates into a considering, each considering into a reflecting together, into a linking together.
In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus, the landscape is the other part of the gaze, of the face.
Jorge lives in Montellano. Landscape between the countryside and the mountains is the visual material for his work. Jorge works the landscape as an invention that offers us the abandonment of the immediate, and the concentration through a deployment of themes that advance as a zoom in towards the interior, of all.
Jorge works with elevated and distant points of view. Large landscapes of temperatures and natural cycles. At the same time he introduces constructions that invade and break the soft transition between the support of the earth and the celestial roof that shelters us. The becoming of history. Landscapes that have been forgotten appear, probably because there is no interest in them. With the ruin and the rubble, the landscape dissolves. An organization around this emptiness, admitting the limits of existence. No one is active, agitated, with what they know. Jorge builds on another plane, raises a fictitious place for the individual, for everyone. He plunges his gaze into what is even closer with small still lifes of models. He makes the world a larger landscape than it is.
The task of capturing reality has ceased to have meaning, validity. Art in general ceased to have ascendancy as fascinum, as deception and element of deposition of the gaze. Since the veil of Zeuxis, painting has been emptied of centuries of deception. In 1839 Paul Delaroche sentenced "from today painting is dead". In reality he was speaking of the obsolescence of the lure. In 1866, with Courbet's The Origin of the World, art could no longer endure the place of the trap, it could no longer provide lures for the eye.Jorge's language is full of decisions to reach a plane where he shows reality on a first level but on a second plane. It is not analysis but awareness of what is analyzed. The real, his search, sharing. Jorge goes to meet us through a direct realism carried out with an overwhelming technique. And he does it through the sharpness with which he resolves the gradients of depth, a careful precision in the analysis of shapes and color. Prodigious worlds that can be described but not explained because there is nothing to explain.
Jorge shares the positions of spectator and protagonist with us and with the painting. He dissolves the self because subjectivity is not enough. He does not solve the vision, he shares it. There is no distortion, we go together hand in hand and participate without rhetoric.
Painting is nothing other than the expression of the mystery of the world and mysteries cannot be revealed, we simply approach them.
In La línea interrumpida Jorge Gallego transgresses representation, generates absence, relieves the gaze and brings us closer to share the construction of what we see in this time.