I Was Just Thinking of You

Pablo Bermudez

July 12 - August 11, 2018

Gallery 1

A creative sabotage

The creations of an artist do not always need to be classified, that is, traced back to a precise expressive gender, to be understood. But if I were to define those of Pablo Bermudez I would not hesitate to regard them as pictorial works.

Yes, I am precisely talking about the works carried out with pages of magazines stacked or vacuum packed, and if you are wondering where the painting is, I honestly have to say that it does not actually exist in them because instead of painting we find “the pictorial representation”. Pure painting, our dear, old painting, to which I too am so fond, for most of the artists of Pablo’s generation has given way to an extension, to a sort of application of his compositional models of photographic images, digital elaborations, assemblages of mass media material…

In the case of the works on display it is clear that, in place of the tubes of oil paints, there is another chromatic material made up of the pages of glamour magazines, but the result of the use of this material is still a painted effect, an area where the centrality of the figure and the potential of the colour (reinforced by the ruffles, by the ripples of the paper) are imposed on the observer’s gaze.

I believe this is an indication that should not be underestimated: its meaning is perhaps in a strong awareness that, for artists today in their twenties (and not only), the basic elements of the creative process are provided by the world of mass media and correspond to basic images, which are more or less recognizable by everyone.

The fashion advertisements on which Pablo works have not only belonged to our collective imagination for decades but have even been raised to models of a canon of almost sacred beauty.

I think, we, therefore, understand that the iconoclastic action from which these works arise: an action, nevertheless, which tears and smothers the advertising pages, but does not destroy them, if anything, it sabotages them, hindering their communicative mechanism. The faces and the glossy, corrected, cropped and ratified objects that look out from any mass media support are inundating us until they well and truly leave us breathless: it is therefore well worth going to see what is hiding underneath, as Pablo literally does, to tear the veil of this laminated beauty, or, on the contrary, to exasperate its artificiality, to laminate it completely to focus on its aseptic and disturbing charm. In both cases it is not about a defensive attitude, but if anything the possibility to revive, to relate what is in the media to what is pictorial (and possibly poetic), to transform the face of a model, which is all the more perfect as it is disembodied and expressionless into a work that is both pictorial and material at the same time.

– Roberto Borghi