Axel Vervoordt Gallery presents the solo show of Angel Vergara, opening during Art Basel in Hong Kong.
Angel Vergara’s work is a continued research into the power of the image. By means of performances, videos, installations and paintings he tests the limits of art and reality. He questions the way the contemporary image shapes our own reality. Every work is an attempt to break through the image and to make its impact come to the surface on an aesthetic as well as a socio-cultural and political level. With his work, Vergara creates a new, suspended reality, grown from the artist’s personal dialogue with reality and with the image by which it has already been transformed.
Decontextualized images of reality are mediated by the artist and transformed into art. The viewer is thus encouraged to question his way of perceiving the everyday and the way it is presented to him in images. Also, the position of the artist himself is questioned. How can he fill the gap between what is real and what is art? How can he make reality enter art and art enter back into reality?
Vergara’s work is above all transparent–physically as well as conceptually. The transparent supports on which he paints allow the outside world to intimately become a part of the painting and to shape it. Reality is literally reflected and projected on the painting. Its fleetingness is captured by the artist and concentrated into a gesture, a stroke of paint. Vergara’s paintings hide nothing. There is no denial of their making process; there are no hidden meanings beneath their surface. Though parting from (the image of) reality, Vergara’s newly created images become autonomous objects that break through the ready-made narrative of their referents. They are open to new interpretations and to new modes of signification.
Vergara’s paintings comment on the abundance of images that are continually forced upon us and that block the psychological mechanisms by which we shape our own reality. The plenitude and the speed of the contemporary image makes it almost impossible to distinguish between fiction and reality. Our memory is polluted. Vergara’s image slows down the speed of the contemporary image to the time of painting. For a brief moment it freezes the flux and encourages the viewer to again take on a critical position towards the image as a referent of reality.
In this new works, produced in Hong Kong, you will see Vergara filming and painting in dialogue with the citys landscape.
- Photo © Heleen Rodiers
- Still taken from a video of Angel Vergara at work in Hong Kong Filming and painting in dialogue with the city, December 2015