After One Hundred Years of Solitude, 2007. Oil on canvas
Despite being exclusively a painter, Aramis Gutierrez’s approach to art making is primarily conceptual. The subjects of his paintings focus on the notion of the death of painting in contemporary art culture and as a result are often very fatalistic. Frequently approaching this theme literally, his paintings feature murders, accidents or other happenings that are laced with a powerful sense of mortality. When not dealing directly with death, or the supposition of death, he focuses on the theoretical and historical aspects of painting. Perhaps in an effort to combat a felt absence in contemporary art of that which figurative painting stands for – his passion for symbolism highlighting a recent lack of this discipline.
When working with a language that has so much history it is often necessary to learn a lot even to be able to say the simplest of things. The paintings Gutierrez makes provide both symbolism and a complete/incomplete picture, and are happily the kind of images that will go as deep as you want them to. In that respect he is arguably a ‘popularist artist’. If people simply demand pictures of pretty girls and dramatic weather then Gutierrez provides; but for those who seek and/or appreciate a lot more, there is a suitably plumbable subtext.
Winning, 2007. Oil on canvas
Sparing with virtuosity and as yet not obviously vested with a particular ontological perspective, Gutierrez’s essentially secular work has thus far been successful in developing its own unique poetic idioms, atmosphere, and audience.
His sizable works – refreshingly traditional in their execution – display a reverent appreciation of painting’s history and appear to thrive in the present absence of art forms that people can truly relate to. In the fickle and perhaps panicked preference for that which is considered by the majority to be ‘hot,’ are we returning repeatedly to painting as if looking for something we need and aren’t getting elsewhere?
For more information on this artist please visit: www.deeringestate.com
For more information on this gallery please visit: www.castilloart.com