Jesús Meco Castellanos (Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain 1967)
The timelessness and the image matter as the axis of the visual experience determines the artistic production of Meko. Timelessness, image and matter in a work whose path runs from the Conceptual Art and materic Art between the colorful and informalist commitment and the constant pursuit for reinvention.
Meko used techniques which mixed pigments traditional art with materials as sand, fabric, straw, rope, etc.., with predominance of collage and assemblage, and a textured close to bas-relief. Use the technical mystification and use of heterogeneous materials, often waste or recycling, mixed with traditional materials art looking for a new language of artistic expression. Apply its mixture of various materials in compositions that take the consistency of walls or walls, which added several distinctive elements. Images that reflect a concern for human problems: disease, death, loneliness, pain and sex. Tone akin to existentialism says the tragic destiny of man, but also claims a freedom, the importance of the individual, his capacity to act against life, ultimately free search of knowledge.
"The ideas inside a work are an element more important than the object or the sense by which the work was created. The idea of the work prevails over his formal aspects, and in many cases the idea is the work in yes same, staying the final resolution of the work as mere support"
SPAIN ON BURLAP
The exhibition is formed by series of works of Spanish theme with clear tendency to the critical pop art: Studies of the Prado Museum, Constitution, Traditions, 1936, The Eighties, Crisis, Present, Future, etc... For example in the series Studies of the Prado Museum the works: "Infanta" and "Citizen Margarita" which are free versions of which was considered the last work of the great Velázquez, "The infanta Margarita of Austria" that are free versions of the one that was considered to be a last work of the big Velazquez, which in fact was painted by its son-in-law and disciple Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, I refer to two systems of government or state that they have existed in Spain: Monarchy and Republic.
The series Traditions includes for the time being two works: "Bullfighter" and "Brotherhood of the Holy Alliance" to that I have added a titled work of 1987 "Carnival". In the series 1936, "Militiawoman" is a homage to Marina Ginestà (deceased at the beginning of 2014), communist militant that there appears in the photo taken in the terrace of the Hotel Colón of Barcelona on July 21, 1936 by the war photographer German-Mexican Hans Gutmann Guster (Juan Guzmán). The second work of this series "Bombing on Madrid" is still in process. The series The Eighties is composed for the time being of a work, "Freedom going out of Rock-Ola". The series "Crisis" consists of a work until now titled "Spain devouring his son", it works with pronounced character of social denunciation, being an example of the use of the Art like tool of transformation and social declaration. I have wanted to add two more series: Present composed for: "Nude or Transparence?" and Future composed for "Lovers (Two Spains): Honest Orkasitas and Leticia Botín".
WORKS ON PAPER
In this collection, I am presenting for the first time part of my work with and on paper (card, cardboard, etc...), among which include sketches, drawings, paintings, collages, monotypes and prints. In many of these works the paper is made for my. Titles refer to the year and series.
The paper is one of the oldest and most traditional supports of the history of art, and has been considered for a long time as a component or secondary material. Today it is no longer a simple basis on which to develop a project or a sketch, so it has its own identity and this turns him into a work of art in itself same.
This collection is an example of research on the possibilities of the role as support and as the work itself, offering a contemporary view of the different languages, techniques and styles, and working paper as a means of artistic expression.
A western view of Ukiyo-e School
For many years I roamed head make a exhibition of a forgotten painting school in Western and that has greatly influenced Western art from the Romantic movement. Besides being for me the first art school of painting that became popular in the content and concepts, especially economically. This school is called Ukiyo-e. Literally meaning «pictures of the floating world».
Ukiyo-e or Japanese print is a genre of prints (made by woodcut or wood engraving technique) produced in Japan between the sixteenth and twentieth century, among which are landscape images, theater and alternate areas. Refers to the impulsive chonin culture that boomed in the urban centers of Edo (now Tokyo), Osaka and Kyoto where it develop an important civil culture. Early Ukiyo-e appear in the seventeenth century.
An example of this approach to the work of Ukiyo-e School is my work of 2011, "Wave" that has broad connotations with the work of one of its leading exponents Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), "The great wave approaching the coast of Kanagawa". The works are in now seeing are of 2012 but five painting are from 2008, 2009 and 2011. The sample consists of oils and mixed (what I call relief collage and mixed collage) on board. Collages-mixed are painted on burlap dyed and sometimes pigmented and these in turn glued on board or panel. (see "Maiko 02-C: The Hour of the Ox")
All my work in 2012 is influenced by Ukiyo-e School, though not in the technique but in the subject. Several examples of this influence are my works: "Maiko 04: The Hour of the Monkey", which has some parallels with a picture of the master of the Edo period, Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), also titled "The Hour of the Monkey" (or "Saru no Koku" in Japanese), "The Widow of Hinodeya", somewhat based on the work of the same name of Utamaro. All other works in this exhibition are based on Japanese prints.
Actually 2011 was a year of transition in my life, maybe that title to this Escapism collection. Transition in registering and themes of my work (return to figuration and approach to Japanese painting) and the use of different materials that had been using in recent years.
Likewise making a direct reference to some of the leading painters of the early twentieth century of the so-called School of Paris that had many influences of Japanese painting (see "Tribute to Dedo -Amedeo Modigliani-") or referring as always Marcel Duchamp, recreating as it were my own readymades (see "Orion Nebula Look"). With enough influences informalists we can visualize the work "Hermetic Paradise" and with influences of conceptual trend we see "Homunculus 01". Continuing the escapist experience we find "Love Will Tear Us Apart" with a strong proposal related to the Symbolism.
Back again to the figure, I owe to the Japanese print. So I decided to make a western remake of some works of several masters Japanese printmakers of the Edo period like Utamaro (1753-1806), Hokusai (1760-1849) or Kunisada (1786-1865). And I started working in the sample: Oriental. A Western view of Ukiyo-e School.
The use again burlap and collage make me go back to the first moments of my artistic life, when looking cheap materials to start and continue the creative process. Burlaps tinted of blue, yellow suede fabrics, flat colors, and bright, yet loaded with a fragile beauty will experiment with Japanese prints. (see "Maiko 01-B")
This sample is a part of a series of works that honour 30º anniversary of the first album of study of the British band Joy División, so called Unknown Pleasures, published in June, 1979 by Factory Records.
The image of the album cover shows 100 successive pulses from the first pulsar discovered, one way or another from here part the aesthetic idea of the whole work of this collection.
All these works are from 2010 and are made with a technique called Couthe. The term "Couthe" is an word invented by me, which means collage of fabric (fabric being previously prepared with gypsum, marble chips, pigments, resins, etc ...), derived from the fusion of the beginning of the word Collage (Co ) and the completion of the word Clothe (the).
Some of the works I have titled as one of the songs of this album (see "New Dawn Fades", "Insight" and "Disorder"), others have titled simply named "Unknown Pleasure" -Nº: ... - (see "Unknown Pleasure 01", "Unknown Pleasure 02" and "Unknown Pleasure 07").
Spaces series, also called Reciklart, conducted in 2009, consists of a series of works made from recycled materials where traditional art pigments are mixed with everyday materials such as sand, plaster, fabric, rope, etc ... with predominance of collage and assemblage.
In these works can be viewed informalist influence -especially Spanish of the Group El Paso- (see "Space 10: Incubo") and while the conceptualist influence -especially early French of objet trouvé, as an example the work of the years twenty of Marcel Duchamp- (see "Space 03: Crisis").
A once in a parallel space we observe many references to American Abstract Expressionist painting (see "Space 07: Crucifixion") or the Spanish abstract painting of informalist period (see "Space 06: Bull I").
I started painting as a child and I see my childhood always represented through a canvas may be that some of these works are those realities. First of all my artistic training is based on what I call "Trench Painting" (the importance of social criticism through the paint). Surviving the Roaring 80 gives you a view of life and art very different and yet much more vital. "Life is a reality often retouched" Meko (see "Carnival87").
This is a sample of several works that mainly I made before 2008, though and I inserted some paintings made later. This collection consists of landscapes (see "Breakwater" or "Village"), nudes (see "Venus Neoconcrete"), still lifes (see "Still-life with Lemons" or "Still-life with Oranges"), figure (see "Party XIV" or "Night Scene, Old Port of London"), etc ...
In this collection you can guess my early expressionist influence, reflecting a subjective way the Nature and the Human being, besides giving primacy to the manifestation of feelings rather than objective description of reality.
WORKS ON CARDBOARD / JAZZ
From 2000 to 2008, I did a lot of charcoals and gouaches whose subject was the Jazz. Most of the drawings I made on grey cardboard compressed, this material provided a particular visual effect of nighttime. Although the cardboards are exposed right now are all from 2008, I have many more before this year, I will try to find them. (see "Louis Armstrong", "Dizzy Gillespie", "Albert Nicholas" or "Sax")
THE BROKEN CHILDHOOD
Exhibition in progress consisting of Paintings (large format), Drawings (large and small format), engravings and sculpture whose central theme is childhood and war and their subsequent impact on the future of actors.
Examples of these works are «Waiting for Mom» -London 1940- (2016. Graphitoil on primed Japanese board. 48.8 x 60.6 in) -Original photography: London Blitz. Photo of East End of London during the Blitz. September 1940. WWII. Author: New Times Paris Bureau Collection-, «Carnival Sunday» (2016. Graphitoil on primed Japanese board. 58 x 48.8 in), «Looking for Daddy» -Fukuyama. Japan 1945- (2017. Graphitoil on primed Japanese board. 58 x 48.8 in), «Capitalism: the Original Sin» (2017. Graphitoil on primed Japanese board. 48.8 x 59.2 cm), «In a Perfect World» -Aleppo. Syria 2017- (2017. Oil relief on primed Japanese board. 39.3 x 48.8 in) and y «Near Sky» -Ghouta. Syria 2018- (2018. Graphitoil on primed Japanese board. 43.3 x 40.9 in), «New Order» (2020. Oil relief on primed Japanese board. 124 x 100 cm) and «The Farewell» -Barcelona. Lasts of September 1938- (2021.Graphitoil on primed Japanese board. 147.5 x 124 cm).
Series of conceptual abstract works in which I do a tribute to different great men and great women who wanted provided that Spain was a progressive country, ahead of his time and ultimately a nation of freedoms. The general line of this series of works I conceived when I read this poem "Little Spaniard" by Antonio Machado in his book of poetry "Fields of Castile" (1912), where you can display two parts separated by other one as metaphorical language parts referring to the Two Spains. Most of them are compositions of jute burlap on sack burlap, where the vertical fields predominate with blacks and whites colors (see "To the Memory of Mariana Pineda") or whites and reds colors (see "To the Memory of Antonio Machado"). Two of them are assemblages of lacquered wood on jute burlap (see "To the Memory of Francisco de Quevedo") and two are compositions silk satin on wood board where two colors also predominate. One such work is itself a collage of letters lacquered wood on burlap sack (see "A Dream. To the memory of Juan Negrín López") or an assemblage of an abstract expressionist painting on burlap sack on wood board (see "Who has taken away the key? In Memory of Exiles").
Series of abstract works with clear influences informalists and expressionists where I paid tribute to different Spanish painters who broke with the aesthetics of the past and have evolved into other artistic expressions such as Picasso, Miró, Esteban Vicente, José Guerrero, etc ...
Four of these works are made on sack burlap on wood board and are divided into color and abstraction fields (see "No one who does not dream sleep. Tribute to Esteban Vicente" or "Tribute to Modest Cuixart"). The remaining two pieces are compositions of satin silk and different fabrics on burlap lacquered (see "Tribute to José Guerrero" or "Tribute to Joan Miró").
ARTISTIC TRAINING Study of drawing and painting of Antonio Arnau. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (1983-85) Photosetting. Vallehermoso College. Madrid. Spain (1987-89) Mosaic and stained glass. School of Arts and Crafts -nº 10-. Madrid. Spain (1989-90) Drawing and painting with natural model. Fine Arts Circle. Madrid. Spain (1991-92) Contemporary Art Restoration. Meko Art Studio. Quintanar. Toledo. Spain (2008-... ) Web Design. Meko Art Studio. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2008- ... ) "The true religion is the Art. And God, the Woman". Meko
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS I Manch´arte. Ancient School of Columbus. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (1988) Manch´arte. City Hall. Villacañas. Toledo. Spain (1988) MalasañArt. Dos de Mayo Square. Madrid. Spain (1989) Another Look. La Paloma Institute. Madrid. Spain (1990) Hands United. The Ermitilla Exhibition Hall. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (1993) Hands United. The Ermitilla Exhibition Hall. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (1996) Views of Calafell. Promenade. Calafell. Tarragona. Spain (1997) Contemporary Art. Promenade. Sitges. Barcelona. Spain (1997) XXVI BMW Painting Award. House of Cows. Retiro Park. Madrid. Spain (2012). Work Vienna Gallery. International Contemporary Art Fair. Shanghai. China (2013). Work The New Collectors Book. Ward-Nasse Gallery. Soho. New York. United States (2014). Catalog Quatro. Stone House. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2014-15). Work I. Work II. Catalog
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS II
From a Place of La Mancha. Quinarte. Traveling by Castilla-La Mancha: Culture House. Ocaña. Toledo (28 december 2015-8 january 2016); Domus Artis. El Toboso. Toledo (11-27 march 2016); Municipal Museum. Alcázar de San Juan. Ciudad Real. Spain (12 december 2016-8 january 2017). Work Quatro. II Biennial Exhibition of Creators of Castilla-La Mancha. Stone House. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (28 january-26 march 2017). Photographs. Work I, Work II y Work III. Catalog ArtBox Gallery. The Armory Show. New York. New York. United States (March 8-11, 2018). Work Artavita Online Gallery. Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show. San Diego. California. United States (October 18-21, 2018). Work Galleries West. Art! Vancouver. International Art Fair. Vancouver. British Columbia. Canada (April 25-28, 2019). Work The Forgotten. Association of Memory and History of Manresa. Barcelona. Spain (June 1-16, 2019). Work I y Work II 50th Anniversary I.E.S. Infante Don Fadrique. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (4 november-31 december 2019). Work I y Work II Tribute to Antonio Arnau. XXX Painting Prize. Showroom El Recreo. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (August 15-29, 2021). Work I y Work II Quatro. III Exhibition of Creators of Castilla-La Mancha. Showroom El Recreo. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (23 december 2021-6 march 2022). Work I y Work II. Catalog Galleria d'Arte 56. Cremona Art Fair. Lombardy. Italy (March 24-26, 2023). Work
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Drawings: Tribute to De Chirico. I.E.S. Infante Don Fadrique. Quintanar de la Orden. Spain (1984)
Murals. Columbus Avenue. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (1988)
Aliens. Bar-Gallery Desert. Malasaña. Madrid. Spain (1992)
Horizons. Bar-Gallery The Street. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (1994)
Drawings and Watercolors of Calafell. Manchego Circle. Calafell. Tarragona. Spain (1997)
Jazz. Bar-Gallery Mezzanine. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2003)
Jazz08. Café-Gallery Zarco. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2009)
Spaces. Café-Gallery Zarco. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2010)
Unknown Pleasures. Café-Gallery Zarco. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2011). Catalog
Escapism. Café-Gallery Zarco. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2012)
Oriental. The Ermitilla Exhibition Hall. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2013). Catalog
Oriental: A western view of Ukiyo-e School. Former Casino. Albacete. Spain (2013)
Spain on Burlap. The Ermitilla Exhibition Hall. Quintanar de la Orden. Toledo. Spain (2014-15). Catalog
Unknown Pleasures (2010) - Solo Exhibition
Oriental. A western view of Ukiyo-e School (2013) - Solo Exhibition
The New Collectors Book (2014) - Group Exhibition (1) Quatro: First Exhibition of Quintanareños Creators (2014-15)- Group Exhibition Spain on Burlap (2015) - Solo Exhibition
Quatro: II Biennial Exhibition of Creators of Castilla-La Mancha (2017) - Group Exhibition Quatro: III Exhibition of Creators of Castilla-La Mancha (2021-22) - Group Exhibition
Notes: 1.- Presentation of the catalogue and exhibition at the Ward-Nasse Gallery (Soho. New York) from 4 to 18 January 2014Editorial: Tchera Niyego & Basak Malone LLC