Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Juan Gallego

Juan Gallego
Spanish painter Juan Gallego paints images that are technically floral paintings, though they are unlike any I have seen.

Gallego takes his inspiration in close-ups of flower forms that are convoluted, multi-layered and often have a wrinkled or withered appearance.

These are the basis for his large scale compositions (it’s instructive to see a photo of an exhibit to get sense of their size), that border on abstracts. but retain their recognizable forms.

He apparently uses photographic reference, and deliberately plays with the illusion of focus in areas of his canvasses, giving them both depth and and compositional structure, demanding that your eye find his intended center of interest.

Gallego often provides several detail images to accompany the paintings he posts on his blog, in which you can see the painterly handling of the surface, something that would be hard to see in the smaller images. Also, most of the images in the blog, including the detail images, can be clicked on to see a higher resolution version.

He doesn’t seem to update often, but there is enough on the blog to get a good feeling for his work. In the image above, the whole composition at the top shows its painterly characteristics in the detail below it, which is taken from the right hand side of the painting, about a third of the way down.

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