José Luis Serzo: Notes for a great work of art

 

By MARTA MANTECÓN

 

Expanded drawing is one of the hallmarks of Serzo’s universe. Each of his proposals is part of a story constructed from a fascinating mythology of bizarre characters and strange contraptions that jump from one plastic language to another, as well as multiple references to different episodes in the history of art: from the Italian or Flemish primitives to the historical avant-garde, passing through the Baroque impulse or the Romantic sublime; all of this seasoned with elements of literary, cinematographic or theatrical origin.

This mixture makes possible an unusual coexistence between disciplines in a sort of metafiction constructed by metaphors that give rise to different levels of interpretation.

His stagings, dazzling and full of humour, touch the keys of our creative imagination, provoking a connection with those areas of memory that beat in the deepest part of our being, giving rise to a feeling of illumination that allows us, at least for a short time, to look at the world with different eyes.

Serzo also introduces numerous references to the act of creating and to the transformative potential of art, which confirms his interest in the search for something similar to a revelation that is only possible when one assumes one’s own practice as a means of knowledge. The result of this whole process are compositions that operate as sketches or rehearsals for a great work, which is none other than life itself.

JOSÉ LUIS SERZO, Boceto para “Solecito”, el niño que quería ser, 2018. Pencil and oil on paper, 28 x 20 cm
JOSÉ LUIS SERZO, Dos gigantes para el tercer acto, 2014. Pencil, charcoal and oil on paper, 75 x 50 cm
JOSÉ LUIS SERZO. Mejorando lo presente (de Manet a las pequeñas montañas), 2013. Pencil and oil on paper, 40'5 x 29'6 cm