We imagine the Carmen González Castro‘s studio full of volumes of art history scattered here and there among her paintings, each page glossed with pencil notes, underlined and studs.
Because his artistic task has always been to comb the story against the grain, appropriating certain pictorial resources or certain foundational myths to rewrite them with her own pulse.
Her playful and transgressive spirit leads her to dwell on the most ingenious techniques that painting has given, such as anamorphosis, a game of perspectives that spurs both the imagination and the intellect of the spectator.
In O tempora, o mores (2015), she took up the epic lament of Cicero in light of the relaxation of the Roman habits to give ironic title to paintings in which audacious anamorphosis reduced the gods of the Olympus to veiled phallic motives of which the muses are served at their whim. Only by looking at it from a fair perspective does the mystery reveals itself, the reason for the rapture of Danae, Io, Daphne …
In this series she dealt with the theme of the struggle both in love and in war resuming mythical confrontations (Theseus and Centaur, Perseus and Medusa…) and leading us to an awry looking (as Zizek says) or elliptical view. By using a technique that denies the frontal vision, we are questioned about the elusive nature of sexuality, passions, and the rivalries that arises from them.
The anamorphosis served Renaissance painters to encrypt messages in more or less conventional paintings, such as the skull that in the oil of Holbein The Younger transformed a genre scene into metaphysical reflection, or the divertimento of Erhard Schon (like that of Jonah being swallowed by the whale and, from a side view, is seen as a defecating man; or romantic couples who when seen from lateral maintain less prudish relations).
Somewhere between the metaphysical speculation and the joke, in the will to undermine the canonical by inserting optical bluffs, riddles, distortions…, unfolds the work of Carmen González Castro.
The reversible game between concealment and unveiling also sets the tone of her latest project, Pygmalion and Galatea (2017). Carmen inverts the demiurgic myth that relate the process of mutation of the cold ivory of the statue in turgid flesh, usurping as an artist woman the misogynous Pygmalion’s place. The pictorial series transpose on canvas the metamorphosis of the stain in a form that in its embodiment we can guess (once again) a struggle, this time of pure love, between two anatomies coiled around each other, merging into a single being, that of creation.
The pigment struggles to emancipate itself from a background presided over by classic versions of the myth (those of Gérome, Lagrenée, Regnault…), which have been reduced to mere outlined and end up overlapping the flesh like soft tattoos. So the formless, the distortion, foreshortening, texture… gain ground. Each image is accompanied by a phrase from Ovid’s poem: he thought she was warm, fell in love with his own work, finally his mouth no longer kissed a false mouth…
For her exhibition in Ruiz Linares gallery, Carmen has chosen an epigraph, Metanamorfosis, which translates her love for the changeable, the unstable … Contains within the word “metamorphosis” while the prefix expands the term anamorphosis with a going forward, to transcend the display of technical prowess to reflect on the resource itself as a metaphor of creation, and on the creation as a commitment to capture the unattainable, to formalize the impossible, to glimpse that flame that lights three times.
The exhibition “Metanamorfosis” can be seen
in Anticuario Ruiz Linares, Granada
until 1st of April 2017