Julio Galan.MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
Julio Galan's inventive mix of Mexican kitsch and contemporary pictorial styles has won him international attention for nearly a decade. An early but timely retrospective of this work unified what have often seemed like discordant gallery shows.
Galan's decorative early tableaux (1982-84) share a school girl's predilection for pretty colors, frontality, and simplification. The children, toys, figurines
Figurines is an indie rock band from Denmark, formed in the mid-1990s. The band released their first EP, The Detour, in 2001 and their first full-length album, Shake a Mountain , and animals depicted in these cute dreamscapes Dreamscapes is a limited edition eight-CD set of rare Alphaville recordings, released in 1999. It features 124 tracks with a total playing time of around 9.5 hours. 43 of the songs had never been available before, and all of the remainder were been remixed. refuse to be anchored or linked. Beneath the apparent innocence of such cheesy cheesy (che´ze) caseous. and crowd-pleasing surrealism, there is something disturbing, perhaps perverse about these paintings. In Nina con vestido de animalitos esperando veralgo que no te puedo decir (Little girl wearing an animal-print dress waiting to see something I can't tell you, 1983), a fair-haired child faces a window that looks into the picture's void. In addition to preventing the audience from participating in whatever she is expecting to see, Galan also depicts her with her eyes shut, thus doubly closing avenues of vision.
Galan's move to New York in the mid '80s prompted a shift in his developing pictorial vocabulary, one away from folksiness and toward the ambivalent painterly paint·er·ly
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a painter; artistic.
a. Having qualities unique to the art of painting.
b. extravagance then practiced by artists like Julian Schnabel and Sigma Polke. Once attuned at·tune
tr.v. at·tuned, at·tun·ing, at·tunes
1. To bring into a harmonious or responsive relationship: an industry that is not attuned to market demands.
2. to their flamboyance, Galan's surfaces became his fantasy playground, and would henceforth be draped in full post-Modern regalia. Like many of his contemporaries, Galan resorted to superimposing multiple planes, collaging cacophonous ca·coph·o·nous
Having a harsh, unpleasant sound; discordant.
[From Greek kakoph elements, collapsing figuration fig·u·ra·tion
1. The act of forming something into a particular shape.
2. A shape, form, or outline.
3. The act of representing with figures.
4. A figurative representation.
5. into abstraction and vice versa, cutting up the canvas, and, of course, attaching tchotchkes to it. Ever since, Galan has abused his trademark prettified and afflicted self-portraits with fruits, vegetables, and flowers; linear, organic, and mosaic patterns; allegorical landscapes; and domestic animals.
The visual opulence of these paintings is suggestive of an intricate code for the author's conscious and unconscious secrets. The scrambled sentences scribbled onto much of the work ("Me muerdo pero no me como" [I bite myself but I don't eat myself], "Amored-mil-27,") as well as the vague references to his relations ("El amor contigo nunca entro en mis planes" [Loving you was never in my plans]) contrast with its emphatically public scale and coarseness to create a physical as well as an esthetic distance. Whenever Galan teases us in order t rouse our curiosity (Desearias saber . . . [Would you like to know, 1986]), he only magnifies the viewer's distance (both physical and esthetic) since there i no apparent answer to any of these questions. It is as if he wishes to advertis his alienation by deliberately discomfitting an audience predisposed to recognize a solitary and wretched soul in these pictures.
The young painter tortures his canvases and their contents, hoping the painting will serve as a metaphor for his allegedly distressed self. But this flagellation flagellation /flag·el·la·tion/ (flaj?e-la´shun)
1. whipping or being whipped to achieve erotic pleasure.
3. the formation or arrangement of flagella on an organism or surface. is actually perpetrated on the spectator who must be led to play b the rules of Galan's intrinsically deceptive work. Galan thus operates as a cunning esthetic dominatrix, rather than as the sorrowful sor·row·ful
Affected with, marked by, causing, or expressing sorrow. See Synonyms at sad.
sorrow·ful·ly adv. , confused persona of his self-portraits.