The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Joaquin Jara’s Sculptures and Paintings Experiment with Process of Decay

Joaquin Jara is versatile. Born in Barcelona, he studied art at La Llotja, in Barcelona, and the Camberwell College of Arts in London. He finished neither. Why should he? He knew precisely what he was doing.

Joaquin Jara is versatile. Born in Barcelona, he studied art at La Llotja, in Barcelona, and the Camberwell College of Arts in London. He finished neither. Why should he? He knew precisely what he was doing.

He works in many disciplines. He’s worked on movies. For the movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, he contributed murals. He also worked on The Orphanage, Biutiful, Savage Grace, and Inside Silvia’s City. For these, he contributed portraits that enhance the film’s atmosphere.

He’s worked in dance. Here he’s collaborated with directors Lipi Hernandez and Victor Zambrana. As with the films he’s worked on, his work enhances the piece’s choreography.

He’s also collaborated with other artists, including Rosa Rodriguez.

Then there’s his solo work. He paints, he sculpts, and he intervenes. His work is baroque, moody. It’s not morose as much as it’s inevitable. It’s based on an ashes-to-ashes-dust-to-dust esthetic. Art may be long, as the expression goes, but there’s nothing permanent about the organic process each piece describes. His oils on canvas seem to dissolve before our eyes. Four portraits without germana shows the human body at different stages of decomposition. Nude women from the next down are whole, if not pristine. The head, though, shows the disintegration from time. His Portrait of Teresa shows a woman, un-decomposed, from whose body grass grows, as if she is fertilizer.

His interventions are a cross between sculpture, installation, and public art. A method informs the work. “Select a location in a natural environment, create a human situation relate with the site to leave it in that environment once finished (…) Let the created object become an individual and change. Supposedly, it is always the same, even if grass has sprouted again or if it has a new fissure (…).” The result is, literally, a body of work that blends in with its setting. Its patina is not just the effect of air on paint. It’s the effect of time on the human body.

These interventions, along with his other work, suggests that art is not different from life. That it’s part of the same process. That both have a shelf life measured in mortal time.

Related Articles
Idyllic paintings of daily life set centuries ago are spliced with a dystopian sci-fi fantasy in German artist Jakub Rozalski's work. Nostalgic elements clash with futuristic ones as giant robots invade the European countryside. Soldiers, armed with rifles and on horseback, are powerless against the mechanical beasts. Unlike much sci-fi inspired work, Rozalski's paintings have a painterly quality to them that evokes the loose expressiveness of Impressionism. He convincingly inserts the robots into scenes that would otherwise appear straight out of the late 19th or early 20th century, inviting viewers to imagine a starkly different version of history than the one we know today.
Jesse Mockrin takes the romance and impressiveness of Rococo painting, the 18th century style known for its scenes of love and amorous encounters, and reorganizes it into small pieces. The Los Angeles based artist's portraits have been described as "angelic Frankensteins", tightly cropped images of classical figures like privileged youth and secret lovers where only an ear, curvy fingers, or part of their attire appear in the frame.
Victor Fota’s paintings often explore our relationship to science and machines, with both retro notes and elaborate contraptions. Recent work also mixes in futuristic abstraction and seemingly alien lifeforms, with detailed studies that remove humanity from the scenes. A desperate or at least, uneasy vibe offers a dystopian slant to his visions. He was last mentioned on here.
Dennis McNett, creating works under the moniker "Wolfbat," creates wild woodcarvings, sculptures, and installations A new show at Heron Arts in San Francisco, titled "Hallowolfbat," is an ornate, largescale adventure into McNett’s practice, with some of the creatures crafted for this show up to 10 feet tall. At the opening, the street was closed off and rock act High on Fire performed.

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List