Regina Giménez

Regina Giménez


(Barcelona, 1966 - )

The futile

 

Although we would like to believe that a poem could change the world tomorrow, the truth is that a great deal of contemporary arts has lost all capacity for social change, beyond some eagerly sought scandal or the stamp that it can leave through the intimate dialogue that it may establish with each spectator. And this is no small matter. In particular, painting is on the way to becoming something similar to jewellery: an object in whose uniqueness and uselessness lies the sense of its beauty. This is not something bad, it is perhaps even liberating factor. Art, as the documentary film maker John Grierson stated, is always trying to decide whether it should be a hammer or a mirror. The idea of the hammer is a good one, to expect a blow from every verse, but the truth is that mane have done no favours to art with this militancy. A poem cannot be a Swiss army knife, and neither can a painting be a calendar. The practical and the artistic are opposing forces, like elegance and comfort. This obsolescence, which is to decorate homes? There is no easy answer, because the dream of the avant-garde has sown the hope in every artist that their work will be appreciated in the future, perhaps even studied, for its impact and not for the skills that it reflects. Today, every painter has to humbly invent the equation that gives meaning to their work, which saves their architecture from illusions of a market logic full of contradictions that must not poison the studio activity.

 

I studied fine art with Regina and we have spoken about these things on many occasions. Not in a particularly intellectual way, it is true, because we spoke a great deal about painting and painters, but very little about Painting with a capital p. An on this, as in many other things, we are in agreement. It was a question of painting, of practicing painting. Fundamentally, it is a question of touch. You cannot be a good musician if you do not love sound, and neither can you be a good painter if you do not enjoy the resistance of the paper to the charcoal or the sympathy with which the canvas receives the paint. There is also a question of style and even of scale. Painting cannot demand certain efforts of us, it has to be comfortable to our qualities and appropriate to our nature. The studio must be the test: there can be nothing in it to correct the vices of our imagination. But even when it is described in this way, a painter’s studio seems to be a narrow scenario for the contemporary artist. According to what is written, you can be a good painter and not be a practicing artist, one of those artists armed with ideology, taking aim at all sides, especially their own environment.

 

Whoever still aspires to use art as a hammer, moreover, does not understand disciplines. Each mission may require different tools, as exercising a single skill today can distances you from a transcendent action tomorrow. On this scenario, the painter who wishes to paint rather then be an artist would seem to be playing in an archaic league. And this is probably true. However; it is in this reality where painting today finds its modesty, recognizing its inability to direct itself to many at one, and also its political uselessness. Painting today inhabits a neglected Eden. This makes it more beautiful and revealing: today painting serves, above all, those who paint.

 

Without stating it so pompously, I believe that this is what Regina and I felt about painting when, after years of facultative disorder (well, in the faculty bar), each of us had to build an argument that would justify the conflict involved in professionalizing a passion. Something that has come to mind while looking at the paintings that fill this catalogue is how useful it is to painting for it to be to a certain extent unnecessary.

 

Lighthouses, towers and pyramidal constructions of all kinds have been a common in her works from the last few years. In short, a certain in transit that Jacques Tati parodied so well in “Playtime”. In them, in the paintings and their inhabitants, there is a disturbing calm, repetitive and hypnotic. There is also a studied atemporality. And as she almost always does. Regina escapes the subject and deflects us to the motif. Like any good magician. And here the motif is the surface itself, the paint, the glue, the paper. Definitively, the time and the effort deposited in each work. This is the wisdom that I have discovered in her paintings.

 

Concerning the virtues that any trained eye will recognize, Regina stealthily imposes the sensation that painting is a pleasure on the spectator. One can easily imagine the the reason for each painting is know above all by her fingertips. And you cannot write about that.

 

There will be, it is true, those who will feel and understand her art by dedicating a certain amount of time to the right painting.

 

An unproductive or transcendent time, according to how you understand the importance of the futile.

 

Andrés Hispano