Under the title GET REAL! the Miguel Marcos gallery presents the individual exhibition of Chema Cobo’s (Tarifa, 1952) recent paintings, one of the main artists, of the Nueva Figuración Madrileña movement, a group of painters who became known in the 70s. His work has previously been seen in the gallery in various solo shows.
The exhibition highlights the timeliness of the principles that guide the conceptual codes of Chema Cobo's works, who, using the rhetoric of "the sublime" and baroque allegory, dramatically staged the relationships between culture and memory, distanced himself and adopted a critical attitude about the evolution of contemporary art and culture.
It is a careful selection of paintings and watercolors made over the last three years. Moving in complex and paradoxical spaces of unreal and intense colors, we find ourselves in front of some fantastic silhouettes, often fragmented that take us to the world of games and narrative or discursive content, questioning the same idea of representation, whose nature is always for him. unfinished.
Chema Cobo's work is largely grotesque, full of humor, very much in the tradition of romantic irony or a Becketian poetic of the absurd. The mask, for example, that appears recurrently in the artist's production comes from the tradition of the emblematic Mannerist and Baroque that at the time attracted Picasso, Ensor or Magritte to name a few, this time has a different reading, largely conceptual , inviting the viewer to the Chemacobian plastic and philosophical universe, showing that things are not what they seem. From there we find ourselves before a sequence of works, where the order and meaning will be determined by the visitor himself.
Another recurring theme is the Joker, the destabilizing carnival figure who is dressed as a jester or harlequin, who since the nineties has a great role in the artist's production, acting as the master of ceremonies of an anonymous farce, presenting the work of a shape that is reminiscent, in a way, of Max Ernst's Loplop, revealing the artifice of paintings. Although the artist constantly cites the game and the transformation into fictional characters such as Ubu Rey by Alfred Jarry or Alicia by Lewis Carroll.
Words allow Chema Cobo to go even further, confronting verbal elements with visual elements in the most explicit sense. It is a continuous coming and going in the mirror of representation and meaning. In it, he pursues the gradation between light and shadow. The obverse and the reverse of the experience. This choice of aphorisms, in the conceptist tradition of the Spanish Baroque, is reconciled in a hilarious synthesis with the meaning of "language games", but articulated with the mirror of vision, finally creating an artist's own linguistic-visual paradigm. The text inscribed in the visual scene, always in English, we can perceive as another form of duality, an attempt to avoid falling into the joke, the obvious, to seek universality instead.
Throughout his artistic career, he has exhibited in numerous museums and art centers. Among the last we could highlight the anthological exhibition of drawings entitled "The Clamor of the Flies" at the CICUS, the University of Seville and its recently inaugurated sequel to the Old Teaching School of the Jaén University. His work forms part of important public and private collections, notably the Kuntsmuseum in Bern (Switzerland), the Galeria Nazionale d'Arte Contemporáneo in Rome (Italy), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Frederick Waisman Collection in Los Angeles, in the USA, in the Reina Sofía Museum or in the contemporary art collection of Fundació la Caixa in Spain, to name just a few.