17 January – 8 February 2020
Part of Julio Anaya’s strategy figuratively has a certain condition of travel, displacement or transfer: why not, back and forth. The artist carries preexisting works taking them to environments where they are resigned, and detonate new interpretations or those spaces are transformed. We could say that, being recognizable works by irreplaceable authors of art history, he makes them his own, he makes them travel to his painting: Anaya paints them, he repaints them over again, he does not settle for mechanically reproducing them to minimally intervene. Once copied, once that one-way trip is made, Anaya projects and resizes them in his own way of exposing them and in the place where he does it. Here is the metaphorical return trip. That is, the poetry of Julio Anaya does not simply consist of a loan or paraphrasing exercise, within what we know as appropriationism. That copying exercise is – so to speak – a means and not the end. Formally and materially reproducing masterpieces or, at least, significant art history on absolutely precarious scrap and declassed materials, as cartons found by the artist himself. Anaya seems to put on the scene, and perhaps in conflict, concepts such as that of what is high, the icon, the prestige, theophany, the aura or the distinction of the image and its material condition. Tradition – good painting – ends up materializing or enunciating in his brushes based on behaviors and resources away and beyond it. In some cases, these replicas, which systematically have the recreation of their original frames or those that they have in the museum institutions where they are deposited, when painted on cardboard or directly in the exhibition space can cause interventions aimed at generating shadows, so Anaya develops illusions and refers to the illusionist character of the painting. The painting acquires in this case an installation character that can come close to the environmental, ensuring a phenomenological response by the viewer. That is, Anaya adds us to the uncertainty via artifice and illusion. We must make sure if what we consider an object (the frame) is such or just an image. This process of disclosure forces us to a continuous kinetic exercise before his pieces, aimed at finding the points of view that assure us that, indeed, it is pure illusion.
Juan Francisco Rueda