domingo, 10 de junio de 2012
Cuenco Taino II
Oleo sobre lino
JORGE CHECO: AESTHETIC FORMULATIONS OF A LUMINOUS AND RATIONAL STILL LIFE PAINTER
Abil Peralta Agüero
Critic of Art and Curator
Member of the International Association of Critics of Art, AICA-UNESCO and Secretary General of the Dominican Association of Critics of Art
Translated by Maximo Encarnacion
Faith is an inner bet that transcends time. It is the intemporality of doing. It is also the visible number of what is transitory and its perennity in time because the art that does not bear the mysterious seal of the communication of what is human, even being it an act of celebrating life, is doomed to an imminent death. On the other hand, if it bears the signs of what is transcendental, even having being created as a phenomenon of the denial of its own existence, it will transcend and will break the walls of history the way it happened with the enigmatic artefacts and objects of creation of the Dadaists, who, as part of their aesthetic-philosophical-ideological Manifesto, bet the whole artistic arsenal created by the artists grouped together in that trend, on the signification of non-art, provoking, on the contrary, in the course of history, the most defensible fundamentals for all that has been the philosophical-psychological thinking that is directly related to the concept of modern art.
As I look at the works of the Dominican artist, Jorge Checo, I think of painting as a ritual-intemporal act, as an outstretched entity of the being an artist, but not as an object of creation that proposes and interacts with time and visible space departing from a particular thematic formulation founded on the still life painting genre, as it is his case. Why? Because his aesthetic thought is not defined by the normative reasoning of the exterior spectacle, on which minor art bets in general. As a creating artist, however, his painting, in spite of the linguistic-visual codes that support it, is conceived as a spiritual event that emerges from his own reason. Being his faith attached to painting as a means-medium and to the quality of the profession as a reason for honesty, Jorge Checo feels he travels through non decadent historical paths. The same way, in recent years, some postmodern aestheticians and thinkers, have referred to painting as an expression which is not adjusted to dynamics and economic, cultural, social, or political dialectics. Checo, departing from still life on the table, associates his art to one of the most antique aesthetic expressions recorded by the universal artistic tradition.
Not only the conceptual proposal of the representation of foods as a celebration of life, disposed-served on the table under the attention of the participatory look dates from the extraordinary mystic formulation of “The Holly Supper” (1495-1498) by Leonardo Da Vinci, but also there was an iconographic approximation that was less transcendental in terms of artistic-theological substantiation that had been produced with “The Last Supper” (1445-1450) by Andrea del Castagno which is in the Santa Apolonia Convent in Florence, Italy.
It is observed that, as a strictly artistic-mystic variant, in the work of Leonardo, the visual sense makes the mystic order of the foods on the table prevail, but on the contrary, in the piece by Andrea del Castagno, the foods are not emphasized in order to concede artistic supremacy to the modelling of the human figure expressed in the figure of Jesus Christ and his apostles.
¿How can we deny, then, the omnipresence of the foods in art due to they are an essential part of an entity that is integrated in the mere genetics in human existence? Foods are part of a celebration of nature and life; and thus the artist, Jorge Checo has structured it in the language of his painting, exactly the same way its antique periods such as the Romanic, it is represented by the Beyaux Tapestry, installed in the Beyaux Cathedral in France.
The validity of still life painting as a resource of aesthetic expression has been kept along the whole historical evolution of Western painting, and it is assumed as aesthetic thinking and a visual word by artists of such dimensions as Juan Sanchez Cotan, “Bodegón del Cardo” (“Still Life of the Thistle”), 1903; Frans Zinder, “Bodegón con Sirvienta” (“Still Life with Maid”), 1836; Francisco de Zurbarán, “Naturaleza Muerta con Naranjas y Rosa” (“Still Life with Oranges and Rose”), 1633; Chardin, “La Raya” (“The Ray”), 1728; Vincent Van Gogh, “Florero con 14 Girasoles” (“Vase with 14 Sunflowers”), 1888; Paul Cezanne, “Naturaleza Muerta con Cesta” (“Still Life with Basket”), 1888-89; up to the rationalist proposals with a cubist structure that Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris proposed us.
In Holland, the forerunning scenery of still life painting as an aesthetic and conceptual expression and manifestation meant a transcendental historical event. Culturally speaking, in the said country, it reached the category of superior language due to its social, ideological, and cultural meaning for it was the painting of a genre directly related to the social ordering of the aristocracy. In this type of painting, great still life artists such as Pieter Claesz, Jan de Heen, and Jean Batiste Oudry stand out.
Still life painting is an aesthetic-sociological phenomenon that extended up to the France of the XVIII century and up to England due to the iconographic typiphication that historiography had been assigning to it along its historical evolution as a modelling aesthetic means with a high sociologic-psychological value within the signet repertoire held by circles of power.
Jorge Checo`s works reveal a rediscovery of painting as a possible substance for the psychological stimulation of the senses: sight, taste, smell, touch, and sounds of nature expressed in fruits and in objects grouped together or individualized on the clothing surface. There is the mystery of the seducing capacity of sight. There is the secret of the visual temptation that summons the intellectual memory, provoking the transcendence of this artistic genre, which constitutes a phenomenon that, associated to the exceptional quality of its production, assumes the challenges of the art that is exhibited as an agent of change in the postmodern present times.
The rigor of the compositional sketches of Jorge Checo’s paintings tells of the condensation of visual representation. Checo does not intend to found nature in his art. He assumes it in each of his canvasses. He takes possession of its mystic and aesthetic sense and celebrates it with us and before us, as offerings of memory, as a calculator of beauty. As a thinker, in clear tune with the most advanced philosophy of present times who bets on the life of the planet by celebrating the enigma and materiality of nature, he speaks the language of the most radical ecologists, formulating an expositive-non pathetic-but-symbolic-reflexive naturalism.
He obtains artistic accuracy through a composition that denies the classic modulation, approaching, without reaching the limits of compositional anarchy, formulations that are close to the memoristic orderings of archaeology. Above all this, when in the rational sense of his poetics, he knows how to associate fruits and objects of our rural-agricultural tradition with conceptual rigor and semantics. Or else, interrelating vanitas elements subtly with the almost-esoteric purpose of meaning the momentariness of mere life contrary to the perennity of nature in spite of the damage and challenges to which, daily, the hand of progress, since ancient times, has been submitting it. The canvasses of this Dominican artist are a compositional kingdom where textual excellence and the clean and sedative brushstroke with sensual rhythm prevail. He is the forger of a sensible volumetry that assimilates light as a manifestation of great aesthetic value and splendour, not as a forced exposure within the compositional system of his paintings. Checo assigns the design of his works a rational architectural proposal in which the fantasy provided by his grammar of color stresses the value of nature in its mystic sense. This is always associated to art as a pantheist extension of its own entity-subject of divine creation as it is well recorded by aesthetician and historians of art from ancient times to the present. Above all, from the domain and the look of those who still have eyes to see and feel the marvel, the fantasy, and the inner joy that the visual corpus of good painting has always, always provided.