José Luis FariñasJuventud y madurez en Egipto, 2007
Watercolor and paintbrush on cardboard, 40.5 x 30.5 cm.
In a press release about José Luis Fariñas’s solo exhibition Soul’s documents in New York, Miyako Yoshinaga remarked about the recent artist’s works in paper, but the arguments can be apply to all Fariñas’s masterpieces:
Throughout the exhibition, the iconography portrays the artist’s intensely obscure and ambiguous world of his soul. In the composition of Fariñas watercolors, hybrid creatures structure the floating landscapes while ovoid shapes cocoon a microcosm of spirits and larvae. These half human-half insects chimeras evolve in various stages of metamorphosis, alternatively embracing their human likeness and giving into their animal existence.
Fariñas’s masterful watercolor technique executed with an extra thin brush gives the viewer a rare opportunity to see contemporary draftsmanship at its strongest. The preciseness of the details associated with the poetic freehanded lines exposes the unbound inner worlds of the artist’s soul.
With Soul’s documents, Fariñas employs his distinctive style and technique to further achieve a conscious state of narrative explorations. One can easily detect an evocation of the magical realms of Gustave Moreau’s symbolist work, though the unmistakable precision of Fariñas’s lines suggests the hand of an Albrecht Dürer.
Each landscape, each art piece is a documentation of Fariñas’s introspective mind, which further explores beyond personal values, traumas and hopes, while being accompanied by magical beings through his soul’s journey. About his thesis of Soul’s documents, Fariñas express: “I try to focus, metaphorically, some eventual horizons of fragmentation that support different levels of realities. Perhaps, with the simulacra of the gesture of Hermann Hesse’s Das Glasperlenspiel, “I construct variations on a theme, a submerged glance toward the soul’s agony in the chaotic and abyssal labyrinth of the existence”. 1
1. Miyako Yoshinaga, Soul’s documents, (Press release, New York: Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, 2013).