BACK TO EARTH – Miguel Núñez


Patricia Bueno del Río

Returning to the earth as a figurative action involves a kind of fiction, whichever way you look at it. It is legitimate and automatic that we associate with what we assume to be strange a certain aspect of the everyday meaning of our lives, because only in this way do we connect with ideas, with what we apprehend and with the magnificent, the sparkling cocktail that sensitive souls crave.

In the imaginary of Miguel Núñez (San Roque, Cádiz, 1991) there is a resounding and idyllic way of looking that goes through the act of linking elements from different environments and composes them visually and intellectually to generate disconcerting and symbolic scenes, full of poetics, in which disparate readings are enclosed; all of them, in a natural, instinctive and figurative key, which makes it oscillate between the disturbing of the metaphysical and a peaceful place of enjoyment, a terrain of action and evidence, that is, using the literary myth of the locus amoenus as an ineffable reality.

The idea underlying his work, therefore, derives from a clear premise: freedom, the quintessential human capacity that allows us to act of our own free will, and that by using it, turns his painting into a tasteful and independent creation; reflective, methodical and meaningful, giving it a crucial foundation that places it on a transcendental plane and turns it into a psychological and philosophical work that focuses on the essence and perception of beauty, leaving present the intentionality of making reference to concepts such as apotheosis and melancholy.

In the works that make up the exhibition Back to Earth there is mystical silence and an apparent tendency towards an understanding of pain. There is also reflective thought, the action of re-dimensioning the reality that is being shaped, and pulsation. In a way, the themes he deals with allude to certain figurative universes that approach an existential vision, in which the figures represented symbolise concerns, illusions and desires that the author seems to seek to materialise through figures that pose an enigma that allows one to constitute oneself towards the construction of one’s own history.

In this way, the habitual presence of decontextualised classical sculptures that recall past times, speak to us of our own dreams that are sometimes tinged with the sweetness of decadence by presenting in their constitution, subtle elements of mutilation and deterioration that symbolise the passage of time and absence, and leads us to perceive sensorial phenomena such as silence through visualisation, reminding us of subversive aesthetic theories such as those reflected in the Marquis de Sade’s writings on aesthetics, where it is indicated that the undermining and the voracious is also beauty. [1]

The work of this artist reconstructs, in short, a subjective scenography in which the human figure tends to become an icon through art itself, as it appears represented through creations that refer to the intentionality of exaltation.

The use of intense, vivid and saturated colours, in contrast with fragmented classical sculptures, represents a disturbing interpretation that oscillates between the disturbing and the setting of shocking enigmas, although they function as a visual oasis, and the representation of out-of-context architectures reinforces the idea of passing through or wandering through imagined spaces.

What is certain is that when sculpture reached its peak in the 5th century BC, man was taken as the new measure of the universe, idealising the faithful representation of nature, and the tendency towards the realism of emotional sensations began to be avoided by all means, emphasising the animal, the visceral. [2] Representing the real through pretence, as occurs in the scenes we are seeing, is nothing more than an intelligent escape route, which demands a comprehensive, conscious and avid search for primitive themes in which we all participate, such as love, religion or death, analogous to the development of homo sapiens since the birth of his species, and up to the present day, something that is reinforced by including as motifs of representation – through sculpture or ceramic painting – men accompanied by animals, who relate to each other from different or equal planes, as an intellectually elevated, timeless, fallacious, inert and static[3] relational miscellany, which seems to dodge from the lavish to the apocalyptic, as if it were a break from an omen.

[1] Sade describes that “[…] In the horrendous, the grotesque and the disconcerting, in the atrociously shocking, there can also be beauty. – taking the sculpture of Laocoön as an example; […]”. This can be seen in the minute details of deterioration and anchorage of the sculptures that appear in Núñez’s painting, which he situates in complex axes of vision, placed in perspectives that do not seek idealisation.

[2] This is the revolution announced – for 21st century man – by Yuval Noah Harari, in his book “From Animals to Gods”.

[3] From animals to gods: that Homo Sapiens are currently in the process of becoming “gods”, as a consequence of their scientific revolution and their capacity to create life or to overcome the frontiers of Socrates’ own atmosphere and thought.

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