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Raymundo Sesma. Iconoclasta

6


Iconoclasta IX, 1999 pigmenti naturali e resina su tela 79,5 x 53 cm.
 

Example 3: Painting Sesma likes to recall a phrase, courtesy of Piero della Francesca, related to him by his maestro: ìThe tension between two cypresses in a painting is more important than the painting of the two cypressesî. Piero della Francesca belongs to an age when perspective was at the center of a renaissance cultural revolution, when art was seen as the ideal model of the natural world and one could aspire to a level of perfection that would surpass even reality. Consequently, cities become ideal cities, figures are inserted into a rational world, and bodies are drawn according to precise standars respecting laws of perspective. The paintings of Piero della Francesca are the historical demonstration of the power of art as an artificial model of reality, capable of modifying the real world thanks to its superior design. Meanwhile, the paintings presented by Sesma in this context bear only the outline of these ideal cities ñ not a representation of them, but the project and, particularly, the drawing of Vitruvioís ideal; city. The figures depicted in these paintings represent monuments brought to destruction in recent times: in Sesmaís composition, the figure maintains a central position on the surface of the painting, though this should not be taken as a nod towards nostalgia, a return to a long-lost centrality. The figures are mutilated, their colors have a faded look (calling to mind the opacity of rust on metal assaulted by time) and, most importantly, the perspective context that once endowed these figures with their auratic power is missing. These are the signs, which intervene on the artistís pictorial surfaces. In semiological terms, meanwhile, the sign is a convention determined by both the history and culture that produce and share it. Dismantling and reassembling the function of these signs is normal practice in Sesmas poetics. For instance, while the samples of Vitrivioís city still present in these paintings may be deprived of their symbolic clout, the notion that man cannot do with out a hypothesis for mapping reality remains to the fore in Sesma´s re-contextualization. In Sesma, home and city concede, not as nostalgic attempt at producing a more familiar world but rather as an attempt to propose an art that implies dynamic participation in society, or the construction of our own identity. Some of the biographical information covered here, coupled with the fact that Sesma, geographically speaking, belongs to Mexican art ñan art that has had many an occasion to pass social comment- should not lead the spectator to formulate facile definitions. While it is all relevant to Sesmaís work, it is accompanied by a lucid awareness of the fragmentary nature of existence and the present as well as an undeniable desire to rediscover a harmony based on more than aesthetic theory. Sesma needs art which expresses itself through instruments other than the realization of art just as his work transpires in new contexts wherein to reconsider the function of the sign and, in the final analysis, the function of art.

 


Iconoclasta VII, 1999 pigmenti naturali e resina su tela 200 x 150 cm.

 

 

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