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“The Bullfight … All Too Human” at Casa Europa

“Inquisidor I. Picador y toro”

By Ana Quiroz

Enrique Guillén’s painting denotes the hidden expressiveness of visible realities. Animals, just as nature itself, are the motif and subject of his canvases. However, more than just representing nature, his sensitivity opens a path to the transparency of the creative process: the flow of brushstrokes and traces of the brush reveal a perceiving apart from what is only visible. Guillén turns to the vibrating fight between animals as a reflection or a mirror, sometimes uncomfortable, of human beings’ own behavior.

Movement, something seemingly unattainable in a two-dimensional painting, is realized in rhytmos: the moment and pose the Greeks used in art to represent the sequence of movement. Guillén reproduces the imposing rhytmos of the taurine dance where each stance forms part of a beat in the spectacle’s development. The world collides with the body in the territory of the fight; the figures of the picadores, protected and astride luminous horses, appear like provocative fortresses in a joust. The human presence becomes anonymous, phantasmagoric, or fragmented, transformed into specters split in two in that volatile instant when reality is uncertain and vanishing.

To bring this new series to fruition, the artist made his first visit to a Plaza de Toros confronting the impact anyone gets attending a bullfight. Testimony to that encounter is this group of paintings and drawings where the painter grants to the animals, bull and horses alike, representation of their power and beauty.

Death’s inevitable presence informs the solemn atmosphere of these scenes. Thus the brilliant colors of celebration are substituted by a darker range of earth tones, sepias, and ochres which saturate the surface of a stronghold of tension and pain.

One of art’s possibilities is to create an affectation, to discern something that generates an experience apart from what is perceptible. It is here that Enrique Guillén’s work welcomes us.


Art Exhibition

Fiestas Bravas

Work by Enrique Guillén

Thu, Sep 13, 7pm

Casa Europa México

San Francisco 23, Centro

415 121 7277


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