Es arte gallery invites you to reflect on the different questions arising from the reality that befalls us through the eyes of three artists:

Richard Westerhuis, Juan Naranjo, Paco Sanguino

From 4  March to 30 de March

For more than a decade, de-socialisation has been considered one of the great problems of our time, although it has certainly reached its peak in the last year.

The lack of interest in the direct relationship of human beings with their fellow human beings leads to an introspective process by which a person experiences the detriment of his or her role in society and, therefore, a loss of power and prestige, which inevitably results in a loss of social identity and a crisis of self-esteem.

But beneath the icing on the cake – of a year of prevailing isolation – lies a reality that is not a cyclical historical imposition, but an anthropological issue rooted in the dissemination of ideas and models of being human that are eminently fallacious.

Historian Matthew Fforde argues that what characterises post-modern society is the loss of bonds, an evil that we often try to alleviate through social technology, an insufficient improvement of which Simone de Beauvoir warned us when she said that “the telephone does not shorten distances, it only confirms them”.

This leads to another daily problem that increases the domino effect of the subject: the ego and narcissism without limits.

But this evil, however, has its own counter-performance: once the social basis of personal interaction has been removed, overcoming the fear of loneliness, the plague and quintessence of the contemporary condition, is a one-way and irremediable path.

The work of the three artists in this exhibition makes us reflect on the different questions that derive from this reality. Thus, we are presented with ideas such as the loss of links, which is revealed head-on through the project “Through the second skin” by the artist Richard Westerhuis. His photographs connote reminiscences of tenebrism through the masterful use of light, prefiguring a certain Zurbaran air that is manifested in the representation of frugality, precision, austerity and the rawness of silence through plastic art.

Among the messages, we can also see the relativistic vision of an individualistic lifestyle that causes a rupture in the community, present in the bubble portraits of Juan Naranjo, “Isolated”, a painting carried out with impeccable mastery and great modernity; and we can also perceive ideas such as boredom, materialised in the painting of Paco Sanguino, in which themes such as the decadence of the family, youthful suffering, emptiness and loss of confidence are latent through a fresh and loose painting, which denotes his technical control over the form when resolving the detail of the images he constructs.

With these works, we show that we are a society in danger of losing its sense of personal and social responsibility, the sense of common decadence and even public morality.

The tendency of contemporary man to unsocialise and the mechanisms that act as levers to separate people have systematically imposed the loss of bonds, and this reality, made more acute by the current situation, is one of the consequences of an unprecedented epochal crisis, in which people’s state of mind becomes the frame of reference and profile of the situation itself.

Personal disintegration is taking place in a context of social disintegration, and this will entail, as we can glimpse, the transformation of human groups.

Patricia Bueno del Río

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