Barcelona, Spain, 1960.
Xisco Mensua is one of the most outstanding artist in the Spanish artistic scene for his particular way of understanding painting. His work is based almost exclusively on the narrative possibilities of drawing, incorporates as many references to History of Art and the media as to literature or philosophy, putting voices to stories which sound familiar to everyone. It is about stories that speak of the collective images that gradually become ours from which we examine and arrange our environment. Pages of newspapers, magazines, photographs, art books and text are amalgamated in his canvases, giving rise to a kaleidoscope from which the changing faces that draw the reality are observed. Xisco Mensua´s painting is based on an extraordinary ability in drawing. But it is about a mean for the construction of a universe of fiction more than a visual genre. It is about a transfiguration exercise of common references more than a formal support, whether they are of intimate or biographical order, or of political or social nature. It is not a question of regaining a lost look in the discovery and representation of reality, but to interrogate that same reality, demythologizing the complexity of the power games.
Xisco Mensua´s painting highlights a textual condition of the representation that demand no pictorial specification. It does not matter that a painting is hardly a painting and that the portrayed images are repeated in several works, because they are always connected with and related to other images in a different way in every situation, as if the story, that each painting contains, were a reminder of other stories that we recognize without remembering them. Between the comings and goings of the images, his painting tends to the synthesis of elements to obtain the more expressiveness with the minimum resources. His works expand in flat surfaces of color on which the paintbrush soberly wander along tracing lines that construct figures of children, apprentices, scholars and lovers or sleepers. Among the figures, Xisco Mensua makes an explicit use of the quote, includes texts in his watercolors and oils, repeats translations and readings, á propos the change of the document to the drawing and to the painting, immersing us in a world at once poetical and critical. In many of his works, the artist introduces his references, interpreting them again like models that are repeated on occasion in several works, achieving this way a double reading guidance: this theme of the work and the allusion to the media or to the re-reading of the historic works. Nevertheless, opposite to what could be understood like merely discursive, Xisco Mensua acts with intelligence and avoids judgments, as well as easy reading of his work, making his work much more audacious with his so obvious poetical transcendence and humor.
Lives and works in Valencia, Spain.
Works in the collection: