Rainstorms, storms of raindrops, of noise, of eccentricities, of gyrations, of shouting matches, all falling on a day and a night, it’s Palm Sunday, the day of winds carrying, looking for something unusual, the day of winds sliding, standing among the people, passing by his side, but still goes on passing through them until it arrives to a house, home of surprises, craziness, of matches in white colour, of unexpected black coinci- dences, where I do not know for how long nor in what time do happen, but I think that always from now on, one day and another they take place working, creating with complete clarity, day and night, sun and moon, winter and spring, fall and summer , equinoxes. Equinoxes that occur from time to time, times when you do not know if it’s day or night, where terms flights, times that works together although they both are pretty opposite, and that, for a while, they reach each other, a few seconds of metamorphosis. Moments in which objects laugh and cry at the same time, moments in which objects show us an incredible effrontery, all this mess in order happens every day in this universe. Every moment is winter and spring, in each space they speak in silence, each one in her/his own way; Isabel, the night, the winter of collected fire, the city in tiny pieces, the moon in a day, all inward, everything to her, surrounding every corner of deformations, corners that are being broken, corners that being formed, being constructed, which give life each other, that spoke each other with such freshness that seem to love; calling and caressing with some brutal tenderness; Mean- while Rafael, the sun of death, the drama of the spring, and Saint John ́s Day, explotes us in front of our face, showing us worlds of ironies which rotates and scampers between acidity that moves instincts, worlds that lives between colours of laughters with a taste of vinaigrette while everything around him is impregnated with vivid environments which plays among spicy sinuous lines.

Jesús Pedraza Villalba

Rafael Aguilera, from the expression to the symbol
“The Expressionist tradition”

Artist with an extraordinary personality. Rafael Aguilera Baena alternates in his artworks three fundamental dimensions. On the one hand, an essentially expressionist vision, in which the artist commits all his skill and his knowledge to find a full expression in which the picture is part of a conversation with the viewer, in which world of images involved preponderantly . In a second dimension, Aguilera’s work explores the possibilities balanced simplicity of a traditional figuration in its serenity can serve as a counterpoint to the innate tensions of expressionist aesthetics. And third, using an alphabet care symbols, in which childhood memories, visions that this set with unique forcefulness and results of a conservation dream experience, the artist knows how to seat his paintings are collected at that is beyond the experience and the everyday, all images that move in the paths of the ineffable.
The first of these dimensions is expressed in a big painting (2 meters by 1.50), in which the artist centralized, in a single view, a whole serie of images that have assaulted him on several occasions gotten to contem- plate Lucena ́s Easter, his hometown. A short expressionist art technique serves the artist to treat a wide composition, which is not the answer to a photorealistic approach, but, on the contrary, try to string all sequences, cadences and incidents related to Lucena ́s Easter in a single vision and a single expression. Something of Carnival, something of a gigantic duel, of amazing collective examination of conscience are gathered in these figures that include no leniency whoever look at them, constituting an important page in the young Andalusian pictorial panorama in one of the territories, the realism, in which the painters of the region are truly masters.

Raúl Chávarri Porpetta
Spanish Association of Art Critics
Diart Magazine, Madrid, 1981

Isabel Jurado, Figure and Presence

“Faced with a vision of existence”

Isabel Jurado ́s painting is one of the most interesting statement repertoires that have occurred in the new generations of Madridean artists. It is based on a task of rigor and academic demands, but deliberately de- void of all academicism. A naturalist impulse, a longing wish to capture life in its demands and circumstanc- es, to perform a task where the game of truth is its fundamental requirement, preside over the elements of a way of seeing and painting in which the artist reflects deeply about the world around her, she selects rep- ertoires of images and she applies to them totally, searching foe ach painting as the starting point for other digressions and, at the same time, she establishes a chance to affirm all that has been previously done.

In this order, the figure is predominant in her pictorial universe and in the repertoire of her thematic pref- erences, the world of objects is also a direct consequence of the plastic blended possibilities that obeys transcription of the human being through common place is the doll or portrait. There is a pantheism of human presence that pervades all aspects and is present in many different embodiments. For the artist, the human being is the dominant and privileged presence in the world of objects and their works reveal a pe- culiar tension come to discover as-pects more complex and broader expressive possibilities in interpreting this figure, it is never a superficial task, but something held with deep sense of demanding critical analysis..

Raúl Chávarri Porpetta

Spanish Association of Art Critics

Diart Magazine, Madrid, 1981

Blue Meadows, Isabel Jurado ́s paintings

Isabel Jurado ́s paintings addresses several subjects; portraits, still lifes, dolls, landscapes. In this diversity there is sometimes a common denominator; an eerie silence, a mysterious rest. We can see it in some of its portraits.
The shimmering figure springs from the colourful atmosphere in bursts of pink, blue and turquoise. There ́s neither re-poussoir nor horizon in the picture, just a sort of nothing substantial, a purely latent space that is defined by the outline of human presence. The woman occupies the space that surrounds her and defines, giving both mutual realization. In the dim mist traces of a landscape vaguely perceived; clouds, a roof …, brief sentimental figurative signs, evidenced in a new light by his second form of aesthetic truth.
The artist believes that “abstraction is pure matter, lyricism, imagination, synthesis; while, on the figuration, the idea is recognized, the synthesis is pursued, the form is spread like a plague “. Under these premises a dialogue is initiated with nature. The principle of figurative identification, carried so far in other pictures, explodes in a variety of elements.
With a complex interplay between distant and nearby things, horizontal or vertical, open or closed by ele- ments that are rather formed by matter clumps, which is sculpted on the canvas.
In these landscapes it finds the meaning of the architecture confusing the colour and the shape by long and very hardcover brushstrokes. Isabel felt in the oil the colour and the texture, and it considers it autono- mously. It forms with the painting a sculptural dimension and the landscape elements are articulated in this primary sense with figurative moieties that are both contours of solid forms and contours of a form of air.

This painter of the colour does not want to return now to the Impressionist evanescence, wary now of the intervention of broken light, of the spells of the prism. Therefore, her passion for shimmering color, almost a symbol for her of the pictorial art, finds a solution in the filling. Moreover, quite often she pastes the horizon with white clouds that touch the surface of the earth, stripped of superfluous elements and only populated by the plans of the houses and bare lands admirably simplified.

Blue is, for her, the colour that represents the essence of the visible, the one that supports the architecture of the other components as it would have the power to engender them. The painter put the effort in this colour to figure the unlimited static matter. Crops will not be more than a pretext to translate them into tidal blue, the sun will only appear as the instigator of the geometry of a blue space, heaven and earth em- brace each other carrying everything visible to the first unit of infinity.


Closed paradise for many people, open gardens for everybody. Rafael Aguilera. Artist / Gardener

When I visit Rafael in his house in Lucena, he shows me his paintings. They pick off the walls, off the closets, off the furniture, off behind other paintings. So, suddenly, the three floors of the house are filled with an extraordinary flowering; gardens, parks, flowerbeds, prodigious plants of such a great variety that suggest that a collector that has been accumulated over there, as in a greenhouse.

Rafael seeks to perpetuate the perfect flower, and therefore, he puts safe from frost and drought, heat and insects, and he painted it placed in pots and vases, in interior compositions of his home.

The plants are placed among a profusion of different objects chosen for their shape, colour or sentimental value: a mask, a toy horse, portraits, a coffee grinder, a kettle, a fan, a crucifix, mirrors … In a stylized proto- col between nature and human artifacts, bright colors are alternated weaving a web of brilliant chromatism where flowers stand out as pure and refined coloured spots.

Everything is meticulously arranged in each painting. The painter has placed the objects to maximize the aesthetic distance, calculated with apparent carelessness but with immense care, the position of the ele- ments. Of course, that’s not the way the objects are seen daily, it is scene composed for the viewer. The scene does not belong to the real world, but to the space of representation, and what appears to have been placed randomly, it is actually full of memorable incidents, and the field of view encompasses traditional pictorial symbols and precious things loaded with personal life.

These still lifes can be studied from many points of view. Surely decipher the meaning of some of these objects would provide us interesting pictorial or biographical conclusions. What does the toy horse, or the image of the crucified Christ, or the number of masks that look at us sometimes smiling or sometimes with a somewhat macabre grin? Why the painter is interested in windmills? Why he peeks sometimes its own silhouette presiding that bazaar of such disparate objects?

Among different topics, it stands the priority accorded in that painting to the topic of “painting within painting”. Painting portraits, images, finished or unfinished paintings, drawings are multiplied in each of these artworks. These elements represent a metaphor of painting.

Those images works as condensed images of the total canvas surface. It is not by chance that Rafael has included in his paintings the prototypical symbol of painting: the mirror that, sometimes, also serves for a metaphorical space organization.

The splendid metaphor of juxtaposing paradigmatic forms of representation of European painting tradi- tion is getting complicated.

The rhythmic games of frames and borders in the paintings make the space contained between these limits in fragments woven design on the flat surface. The jambs of each element have outweighed the object that framed becoming colourful geometric lines.

Thus, a wise abstraction frees things of its configuration and leads to a schematization.

In the still lifes, the painter has done deliberately impossible the scoping of the flower: are there in the picture or in the picture within a picture? Possibly in both pictures at once, as real people taken directly from nature and as artistic beings that appear in the mirror. Plants, for their spatial indeterminacy, and the open semantics that breed on the surface of the fabric, mobilized a poetics of representation that is the real subject of this painting.
The painting emphasizes the flat view by the strong and simple design of the brush when summarizing the figures. Rafael willfully ignores care scale and perspective alters the nature when composing his picture. To give a sense of naiveté, he makes his technique voluntarily rudimentary, staining the canvas with long, thick brushstrokes where isolated colour touches are defined. The painter has endeavored, according to their iconography, in order to make this view not mediated by artifice; but this apparent simplicity could be defined as a special knowledge that possess only true artists.

Supossed innocence pictorial is misleading, Rafael is always in control of his material and landscapes are full of traces and clues of artistic intervention. He doesn ́t copy nature; the geometric distortion and the abandonment of perspective, as well as the arbitrariness of the plans, make stairs and terraces bring into play the false security of the architects. Plants are also counted on; invented by the artist, which stand out against the thicket. Bright colours are not mimetic, Rafael decants fauve chromaticism in the fullness of the stain, and it includes the design of the line in the colour, not in the outline.

With regard to the human figures, Rafael doesn ́t link voluntarily the relation with the real size; feet are too small, too short or very long legs, tiny and graceful heads. For this reason, these creatures seem more innocent, almost devoid of weight. Installed on the two dimensions of the canvas, they move with supreme ease and are easily detached from the earth, almost floating in the air, fading in the light.

This “mise en scène” of innocence is enriched with visual rhyme established between the inhabitants of the park and the plants.

The characters are formed as iconic representations, their faces are as big ornamental points represented by pink ovals, with or without facial features, and it corresponds to the flowers. They formed in chromatic and physiognomic terms a whole ontological especially with the green world.

Rafael seeks his landscapes appear straightforward, without artifice, because the pictorial medium must correspond to the message. He invites us to escape from the artificiality of civilization, and to rediscover the innocent paradise of childhood in that park, that seems to be renewed, refreshed by the work of the painter, full of signs of intelligence that has commanded it, as an anticipation of an absolute order inhabited by the divine energies and faceless human beings like flowers. The viewer is invited on that spring Sunday to join the kids in the cool of the morning.

Lily Litvak

Texas University (Austin)