Published in the catalogue of the exhibition by Javier Velasco in the Council of Huelva, 2006
The Andalusian artist Javier Velasco arrived to a country that, at first, shouldn't be completely strange for him. He was able to approach to its harshest face and, once he overcame the initial impression, he knew how to decode some of its contradictions, while he wove his own web of affective, intellectual and artistic relationships. Now he is linked to that country, and his recent work is a sign of it.
Javier knows how to pop into the corners where privacy and the not-written rules (those that we assume pretending we don't notice) stay together. Once there, he smoothly lifts the veil, exposes the paradox. It seems that his point of origin is always the skin: built, charted, assaulted. The skin, a door, a vehicle for sensations and therefore of sense. Mexico has its own skin, whit folds. There goes Javier. He faces fear -irrational, as always-, habits -dogmatic-, icons -indisputable?-, demagogies. Is it necessary to remember that this route can't be traveled without contradiction?
He arrived to Mexico city for the first time in order to be included in an exhibition. Without planning it, there he could develop an installation that previously was not possible for him to display in all its sense. Since then, his work has been infiltrated by codes, images and characters typical of a seductive and voracious city. A governmental comic-book turn into an opera is the best example of how these works address the permanent game between social strata, public discourses, individual actions and prejudices. In "Opera for Mexican migrants" a tenor sings the text of the libel published by Mexican government where advice is given about how to cross the border and not to die during the attempt. New shades of meaning for a very complex situation, that allow us to know by intuition that corner of skin which most of us were not looking at.
Early in the morning Mexico city begins to bustle, it marks its rythms without stopping until the next day. That moment of faint light that joins dawn and daybreak, just before the pharmacy is opened, is ideal to discover characters almost stripped of their night disguise, with their reality hardly camouflaged. As day goes by, they are replaced by a crowd, turn into personal anecdotes depending on the point of view: down in the subway platform, in front of a shop window, inside a purse. Now let's add countless shouts, unrecognizable mixes of sacred and profane images, smells difficult to remove and many, many cars on the street. Among the profusion, inside that skin full of marks and wrinkles, Javier is amazed and makes a portrait of us. Behind so many glitterings and gleams he is able to find the darkest obsidian.
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