Emilio Fornieles was already a big fan of Nobel prize recipient José Saramago when they first met – coincidentally, in an exhibition where his series of Saramago’s portraits were presented among others of Lorca, García Márquez, Cortázar and Borges. The vast expressive paintings attracted the eyes of the writer who not only acquired them for his own collection, but would also write the text for the Spanish artist's catalog. Leaving the Iberian Peninsula, Fornieles arrives in Berlin for "Lenguaje Subjetivo" (Subjective Language), his new solo exhibition at Café des Artistes, a hybrid of bar, restaurant and art gallery, where his own hybrid art styles feel right at home.
A Platter Of Many Flavors
The show presents a series of paintings along with his latest mixed media project. The Essence is the sequel of ARCO’s (Madrid’s art fair) success, The Essence of Light: portraits painted on 10cm test tubes. Differing from the first version, Fornieles now presents tiny pictures of German personalities – from Einstein to Anne Frank – under a blue LED light. If it sounds complex it's because, technically, it is. Fortunately, you don't have to imagine how it's done; Fornieles himself show us in the following video:
On the other hand, his oil on wood series Flower Of The Brothel, is an exaltation of the history of prostitution. "This is just another profession, in the same way as basic professions are essential to the development of a society. It is not only linked to the pleasure of others but rather to the ability to survive,” he explains..
In another similar case, the self-taught artist becomes concerned on representing what he sees. Inspired by the novel Lord of The Flies by William Golding, the series Angelitos Negros (Little Black Angels) is a reflection about another issue: “In a way, I’m portraying something similar: the premature way some children societies develop because of their vital needs.” He's referring to the way young homeless children are forced to mature much more rapidly when, outside of the protective womb of home, they face a harsh reality.
Besides these characteristics of protest in his work, Fornieles also dedicates his production to tributes. In the series Pintores Con Letra Grande (Painters With Capital Letter), for example, he represents famous painters through his technique of expressive figuration, similar to his other series of Hollywood classic stars, Notas Con Melodrama.
The vast canvases and the delicate Essences are not the only contrast present in this artist's varied ouvre. Fornieles leaves just enough space for friction to develop between ideas of protest and homage. Nevertheless, it must mean something to be praised by a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. I'll leave you with José Saramago's own words about Emilio Fornieles: “I do not think I'm wrong concluding that this is the revelation of a great artist.”
Emilio Fornieles [Price range of works: 400 – 9500 Euros]
Article by Bel Borst
Collectors, interested in the art work featured in this article? Please contact Nicole v. Vietinghoff-Scheel / Art Management Cafe des Artistes firstname.lastname@example.org