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Life After Silence

  • Start

    05 December 2013
  • End

    03 January 2014
  • Artist

  • Gallery

    Altro Mondo • Arte Contemporanea, 3rd Level Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City

A portion of the profits will be donated to Typhoon Yolanda victims.***

Solemn Sanctuary: Paintings of Ginés Serrán-Pagán

The most obvious manner by which we consider the paintings of a multifaceted man like Ginés Serrán-Pagán is to correlate his activities to his artistic work. Serrán-Pagán is after all an individual, possessing one body, which he uses to perform his various tasks as a philanthropist, advocate, cultural worker, sculptor among many others. But this is where we fall into error, as most of us are not aware that the reason multifacetedness exists is that the mind and its various levels of consciousness presents as multiples, even with subpersonalities vying for the single body and identity. So Gines the cultural advocate, is not Gines the sculptor. They may have the same point of origin (which is easily occluded by writing in history) but when the artist is at work all else is subdued. Hence, when I first encountered Serrán-Pagán’s paintings vis-à-vis his daunting CV of accomplishments I descried something was not cleanly joined together. Like the paintings were done by another person and that the accomplished gentleman from Ceuta is a distant relative. Even his sculptures are different from the canvases.

Serrán-Pagán paints, or seemingly paints like nature itself: seamless, textured, and gleaming like the sea or night sky. The canvases follow a certain schema where the ground is effuse with a single tone or color and patterns of hue resonate in reds and oranges above the veneer of the purest cerulean blue. Or black for night scenes. It is always at the center, his bundle of textures, like an island emerging from the mythical Agean, an Atlantis trying to rise above forgetfulness and the torpor of history. Butterflies, horses and roof tiles come forward not as subjects but as vessels for some textural or chromatic musing. In fact his paintings do come off as the activity of a mind in complete abandon in the act of musing, where subtle emotions take place and merge with the senses. In this state the musicality of the mind (caused by the resonance of brain wave patterns and firing of neurons) takes dominance and hence Serrán-Pagán’s canvases appear to “sing” rather than “appear”. They cannot be decoded easily, not without first considering poetics and not aesthetics as a means to finding the flow of the works’ passage. For the paintings do not seem to be discrete, individual pieces but belonging to a long series of musings, activities done in between his more extroverted actions and interventions. They seem to be originating from a more solemn sanctuary in the artist’s consciousness, where there is a somehow a sparkling lake reminiscent of Debussy’s Clare de Lune.

Serrán-Pagán’s paintings are indeed postcards from that sanctuary.

Riel Jaramillo Hilario