Overview

"I set to work without prior premises, without rational objectives, without a plan. Paper on a wall or on the floor and let my hand run through the folds of memory, of the subconscious. Recovering, I know this now, the pleasure of painting. Without any responsibility, as there is no project or objective. Just filling in papers without fear, for nothing, just because. Unsuspected things started to come out".

-Javier de Juan

The work that Javier de Juan produced during the lockdown of 2020. Eighteen acrylic paintings on paper in which the artist, in an exercise of freedom and delving into the folds of the subconscious, rescues characters from the biblical stories of his childhood. This exhibition of PAINTED SCRIPTURES arises almost by chance.

Possessing a very personal and recognisable voice, and a splendid mastery of drawing and colour, Javier de Juan became, during the prodigious decade of the eighties, one of the most present and active artists in the field of drawing and painting. Javier has been able to maintain a coherent and constantly evolving artistic career, always preserving his most characteristic creative identity. He is a splendid draughtsman, with an innate ability to tell stories through images. His technique is fresh, agile, clear and simple. With few lines and graphics he is capable of constructing scenes, situations, moments and, of course, emotions. His characters, men and women, are always recognisable and are animated by a special liveliness, full of energy, registers, movements and also sensuality.

The Pandemic meant, among other things, the suspension and paralysation of numerous artistic projects, and consequently the artists' awareness of the need to consider new strategies and new ways of expression. A sort of personal and professional "resetting". Javier de Juan's case was no different. After a hard confinement in Madrid, he settled during the summer months in a coastal spot on the Mediterranean, equipped and accompanied by a good number of sheets of paper, acrylics and charcoals, and, above all, with a great desire and need to open new channels of creation and, more importantly, with the determined plan of not having any plan at all. To let the pure pleasure of painting - an elixir less and less consumed by many painters - fill his days and nights.

And so, without applying any filter of sketch, idea or intention, a series of new images began to emerge in the studio, as if by the magic of the magic of art, which nevertheless also carried within them aromas that were already known, almost familiar. The figures and compositions that emerged from the paper, like daughters of the gesture and the stroke of his hand, did so at the same time as emblems of his memory. It is curious, but absolutely true, that in the cupboard of our memories there can coexist such unsuspected things as those stories - which we were told were sacred - taken from the biblical chest of the Old Testament, and which we were told at school, during religion classes. I must confess, with hardly any modesty, that I loved those stories of heroes, battles, epics, deaths and sex, yes, you heard correctly, also sex... In this way, two men fighting can stage the eternal fraternal struggle between Cain and Abel, or beautiful and sensual girls become Delilah and Judith.

Javier de Juan now offers us PAINTED WRITINGS, an exhibition project, which already by its very title gives off obvious biblical aromas, but which also affects his particular use of phrases and words, and which undoubtedly add a rich narrative and textual dimension to his proposal.

(Text Francisco Carpio)

 

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Press release

Javier de Juan | Painted Scriptures
Galería Isolina Arbulu / 17.06.2022 - 08.08.2022

Marbella June 2022 - From Friday 17 June, Isolina Arbulú Gallery presents the work that Javier de Juan produced during the forties of 2020. Eighteen acrylic paintings on paper in which the artist, in an exercise of freedom and delving into the folds of the subconscious, rescues characters from the biblical stories of his childhood. This exhibition of PAINTED WRITINGS arises almost by chance.

Possessing a very personal and recognisable voice, and a splendid mastery of drawing and colour, Javier de Juan became, during the prodigious decade of the eighties, one of the most present and active authors in the field of drawing and painting. Javier has been able to maintain a coherent and constantly evolving artistic career, always preserving his most characteristic creative identity. He is a splendid draughtsman, with an innate ability to tell stories through images. His technique is fresh, agile, clear and simple. With few lines and graphics he is capable of constructing scenes, situations, moments and, of course, emotions. His characters, men and women, are always recognisable and are animated by a special liveliness, full of energy, registers, movements and also sensuality.

The Pandemic meant, among other things, the suspension and paralysation of numerous artistic projects, and consequently the artists' awareness of the need to consider new strategies and new ways of expression. A sort of personal and professional "resetting". Javier de Juan's case was no different. After a hard confinement in Madrid, he settled during the summer months in a coastal spot on the Mediterranean, equipped and accompanied by a good number of sheets of paper, acrylics and charcoals, and, above all, with a great desire and need to open new channels of creation and, more importantly, with the determined plan of not having any plan at all. To let the pure pleasure of painting - an elixir less and less consumed by many painters - fill his days and nights.

And so, without applying any filter of sketch, idea or intention, a series of new images began to emerge in the studio, as if by the magic of the magic of art, which nevertheless also carried within them aromas that were already known, almost familiar. The figures and compositions that emerged from the paper, like daughters of the gesture and the stroke of his hand, did so at the same time as emblems of his memory. It is curious, but absolutely true, that in the cupboard of our memories there can coexist such unsuspected things as those stories - which we were told were sacred - taken from the biblical chest of the Old Testament, and which we were told at school, during religion classes. I must confess, with hardly any modesty, that I loved those stories of heroes, battles, epics, deaths and sex, yes, you heard correctly, also sex... In this way, two men fighting can stage the eternal fraternal struggle between Cain and Abel, or beautiful and sensual girls become Delilah and Judith.

Javier de Juan now offers us PAINTED WRITINGS, an exhibition project, which already by its very title gives off obvious biblical aromas, but which also affects his particular use of phrases and words, and which undoubtedly add a rich narrative and textual dimension to his proposal.
(Text by Francisco Carpio)

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