Bring Me Flowers While I’m not Dead—
Exhibition by Nacho Torra
When Nacho Torra made his first solo exhibition, he was hardly 20 years old and was still studying in the Faculty of Arts of Cuenca. He showed in La Fresh Gallery (Madrid), his paintings full of joy, his nimble lines and his uncompleted stories – scenes which evoked something old, but which were very young indeed. Two years later, the Spanish artist comes back to La Fresh Gallery to show his new work – more than 40 paintings, through which he reflects on one of the most essential aspects of the still life genre: flower painting. A genre represented throughout history by artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Hockney or Henri Rosseau, which served as a reference and starting point for the artist.
In Nacho Torra’s work there’s something secretly contradictory. It is evidenced in this exhibition called “Bring me flowers while I’m not dead” in which he creates an obsessively changing movement through determined strokes and bright colors – he paints and repaints, removing and adding new elements once and again, his paintings only static when watched by the observers. Nacho is obsessed with the creative process and the way a painting is built. And it is precisely this experience what he wants to share. This is the reason why his exhibition is the result of a research process about all kinds of plants and vegetation, in particular about the flowers brought to cemeteries. “I was interested in how we bring flowers to people who are sick or dead, and the fact that flowers have a very short life. I started to visit cemeteries to observe the flowers that people brought to their relatives and I noticed there is a ‘cemetery fauna’: ants, butterflies, worms, flies…”
This time, he has gone further – not only he represents it on his paintings, but also he has created a dichotomy between the connotations of bringing flowers to a lifeless place and the way he represents these flowers, so vital. The flowers represented on this series are not dying, they are full of life. Through this work, he has established a direct connection between life and death. You can feel the autobiographic elements on each of the paintings and a system of affective symbols behind the floral motifs. Nacho Torra’s style is related to the avant-garde aesthetic and his childish lines remind the Compagnie de l’Art Brut and Jean Dubuffet’s painting. Once again, as Rafael Doctor said about these silent stories: “What we see is always much more than what we see”.
TANIA PARDO, 2012
“Bring me flowers while I’m not dead”