Distrito 4

Rafa Macarrón

07 Sep - 21 Oct 2011

© Rafa Macarrón
Igor, 2011
Mixed media on card
58 x 117 x 17 cm.
The finished city
7 September - 21 October, 2011

The recreation of scenarios is a constant visible element in the work of Rafa Macarrón (Madrid, 1981) from his beginnings in the exhibition world in 2006. The works that from September 7th until the 21st of October are shown at Distrito 4, are part of his last specific project.

The gallery space is found to be structured to form a path way or complete image of the artist, from his sketches and paintings that are on the first floor as an introduction, until the final unveiling, an amazing place in a small space, designed together with his brother, the architect Gerardo Macarrón (Madrid, 1978). When you enter the space you will appreciate the preliminary material from the installation, he analyzes the body of the main characters, men and animals of very long and thin legs that seam impossible to be able to support the weight of their big heads. The figures are positioned in an always neutral background, blue, orange, water blue, and in each scene, the vertical line that cuts with the horizontal line of the background is the only feature that makes us recognize our own world.

The game of the distortional drawings, gives way to a series of deformed and disproportioned figures. The activities represented in each scene will be found in the final work of the exhibition, all the images make reference to a metaphorical walk through the figurative world of the artist in the gallery. Walking the dog, watering the plants, showering. All the scenes are found in blue and green backgrounds, thin drawing lines and the almost not noticeable collage of these animated drawings, are found in walls that sometimes appear as screens. The clouds reflected open our eyes to a recreated theatre scenario, the scratched white and blue floors, remind us of an old carousel, like a 2 flavor ice cream. Fake stars are found in a monochrome backdrop under the form of acid light dots.

In the austere time between wars, Alexander Calder, travelled with his circus in the 20’s of the last century. Saved in a suitcase, Calder gave life to the circus recreating little theatrical shows for his closest friends. The artist shows us his imagined actions in a visible way for the whole public; what is represented in his scenes make reference to a type of diversion or distraction of reality, while the spectator walks into the illustrated windows of his world. In the ground floor there is a video that documents the creation process. The work “Quedada en patio sur” is found to be suspended as if it were surrounded by the wall/passe-partout. These paintings follow the aura proportion, as we can notice in the credit cards, the televisions, etc. The proportion and disproportion are one of the main things that make recognizable the work of the artist it appears in the small and fantastical men represented, as well as in the insects, animals and the urban scenario that he improvises on the canvas.

At the end of the gallery, we find the work “De paseo por un mundo”, a project, where the rectangular support that we are used to looking at to appreciate a painting, is transformed and takes us one step forward, towards the installation, the unfocused painting. It is a tridimensional structure of canvas that grows under the proportions established by Le Corbusier, the artist and the human proportions. In this occasion, the great order of Le Corbusier’s scale is found to be disguised in the small stories of anonymous characters, bathroom scenes and solitary roads. There is a story told about Le Corbusier, that he called himself the man dedicated to scare away the crows on the roof tops of Notre Dame, and this can be related to the way he scared away the established precepts of architecture in those times. This French architect that conquered Manhattan with his mathematical and human reason, and it continues to grow in its own frantic and idiosyncrasy. From an analog view, the installation/isle “De paseo por un mundo” survives to the initial monochrome architectonic order.

The round dots of fluorescent light that seem to fly above his paintings, are reference points that mark, compose and light up the works of most of the creations of the artist; they are the only formal motives incrusted in his paintings and that we know as geometrical patrons, apart from the 90 degrees angles that delimit the paintings. The small light circles contrast with the rest of anthropomorphic creatures that walk around the canvas. These light dots, concentrated and dispersed through out the neutral surface as apples or light bulbs without electrical power, compose the black sky of the universe installed in the last room of the gallery. In fact, the light spots that the artist stamps could be the broken glasses of Le Corbusier. It is ironic that the structure built follows the human proportions, the calculus and the proportion when the artist has created an upside down world, completely opposed to the construction premises of the modulator, integrating chance into the composition of straight and reasonable lines in the architectural structure. From the joint work of these two brothers, the result is contradictory. The consequence of the joint effort of both of them is a sum of two spaces that only in appearance are different. The level of improvisation of the artist result in an harmonic system of virtues. In a previous installation, “Déjà vu”, we could find the following description: “mixed media on tridimensional canvases”. In the description of the work present, “De paseo por un mundo“, it will probably appear with a similar description but with the added factor of: “variable dimensions”, which is a perfect irony in every structure created by the artist.

In reference to the abstract structure of Gerardo Macarrón, with broken spaces and diagonal composition, we find the morning scene of a man shaving and smoking, a man that walks through the side walks on roads with fantasy creatures that fly and that compose the images of an imaginary world filed with day to day life scenes. As if the artist was lighting up the streetlights and the light bulbs of each figurative space. The spectator impression is to observe closely the windows in a lighted high-rise or of a main avenue. The images are continuous, day-to-day scenes that are linked together, shadows that give light, tones and characters that appear to be surprised by the curious vision of the visitor. Happy sperpentic creatures, not worried, lazy and completely ignorant of any reality that isn’t it’s own. The animated characters have no idea that they are being observed.

Before painting on top of the grey scale color of the background the structure already appeared as an empty nocturne city. Now we see the finished city, we can analyze the decisions of the artist in the ordered and the complete black space. The first thing was to disorder the abstraction with a naughty figuration, creating depth in the canvases that cut each other. The main characters f the closed off universe of the artist appear to be the authors of the installation. As if through the night they painted themselves in their context, and the artist had the sensation of being in a strange dream the morning after.

Tags: Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Rafa Macarrón