NO TE ENCONTRABA Y TUVE QUE BUSCAR LA LUZ EN EL SOL / I COULDN'T FIND YOU AND HAD TO LOOK FOR THE LIGHT IN THE SUN
In his first solo exhibition with Galerie Droste, Javier Ruiz Pérez embarks on a search for humanity, tracing the radiant, light moments in a sometimes-harsh reality. No te encontraba y tuve que buscar la luz en el sol / I couldn't see you and had to look for the light in the sun visualizes with soft poetry human relationships in a barren scenery. There are single or multiple people shown in just plausible, yet slightly bizarre, situations. The depicted people seem to be unaware of their own surroundings, seem free of any restrictions, curious - sometimes wild, always friendly. Thus, we as viewers are automatically confronted with our self-image within society.
If at first glance Javier Ruiz Pérez's works seem like classical paintings of old masters, at second glance they are characterized by a very modern theme and execution. It is the search for humanity, a free, wild humanity without socio-political constraints, staged before our eyes in a barren Andalusian landscape. Even the use of the time-honored material oil paint is deceptive: Javier mixes his own paints, using a higher pigmentation and thickening the paint to bring out even more the roughness of nature. The painterly process itself is a direct one, with full physical involvement. Closeness and sensitivity to his works, to the area and the people is evident in the details of the compositions.
The clash of contemporary and classical elements is particularly evident in the work No seréis vosotros quienes digáis cómo deberíamos sentirnos (It is not for you to tell us how to feel). Sculptures and stylistic devices of traditional still lifes such as grapes and flower arrangements are broken up by the depiction of modern people and even graffiti. Decadence, the transience of the floral arrangements, and the barrenness of the surroundings build a tension that is perpetuated in the painterly voids. Bridging the gap between the familiar old and the uncertain, the harsh, yet promising now is in the eye and heart of the viewer. Pérez's works encourage us to linger in his imagined moments and to never neglect our search for the light.
Javier Ruiz Pérez (*1989, ES) lives and works in La Carolina, Jaen, Spain. He studied Illustration in Madrid as well as Los Angeles.