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Rafael Grassi. Ojo por Ojo

April 11 / May 31 2013

In his work, Grassi shows a sensibility to every way of formal contamination, reconciling  an attachment  for the  pictorial matter with an illusion of perspective, or a tricky figuration, creating in this way a surface filled with contradictions and chromatic variety.

If in earlier works photographic images were an starting point for a process of abstraction and manipulation, Ojo por Ojo refers to the, not always smooth relationship between painting and photography.

For centuries painting had the hegemony of the construction of image, and its history is parallel to the history of European thought. The arrival of photography was a disturbing element as it questioned this monopoly in the building and construction of the image., it often remains captive of the use economic interests impose. Its technical development and the growth of its possibilities reduce more and more the awareness of what it photographs in benefit of its spectacularity. With time, photography has prevailed to all other possible means to construct this image but, being one of the most effective means of propaganda

Painting, instead, concentrates its interests in territories out of the reach of photography, a search which has taken it out of the field of the construction of image, activity which had been essential for centuries in its evolution.

Reacting against photography and emancipated of its duty to image, painting has showed its vitality, confirming the self-sufficiency of its means, the matter of its presence and the awareness of its production.  Against the capacity of the machine, it turns to the essence of the problem; the consciousness of what we look at, of how we look at it and the language into which it translates what has been watched for a moment into something which will be visible forever.

From this argument between the photographic look and the painters look, from this plot between the thing and its image, the experience and the language, a hybrid is born. Is the final result, although not definite, of a settling of scores between photography and painting, to look and to see, the man and the machine.

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