ADA STREET GALLERY , October 2008
Artist Adrian Navarro presents a new series of works combining painting and screen-printing on canvas at the exhibition Common Peoplewhich will take place at Ada Street Gallery. In contrast to his previous work, the outcome of intimate studio-based painterly activity, theCommon People paintings are individual and group portraits of urban character which arise from the artist’s direct contact with the city of London.
The use of screen-printing has added direct graphic value to these new works by Adrian Navarro: the presence of the photographic image has served to reproduce the faces and looks which he has encountered whilst walking through the streets of London. In Panda Band, for example, he places us before a local London scene (in the East End) where a group of young people meet and interact in a concert. Something similar is happening in Butp in which a series of figures observe the viewer from different urban locations.
The flâneur has paced the streets, observed and listened to the city; he has gathered information, gone back to the studio and renders it on the canvas. Along the way he has acquired an impression, in the strictest sense of the term. As the artist himself has indicated, “painting for me is a means, not an end”. A means which, in this case, may combine street art, graffiti or collage techniques, but which, all said and done, is clearly single-minded in its purpose: aiming to show a specific angle on the world that surrounds him, contemporary street-life and its protagonists, the city as it is now.
In Common People Adrian Navarro enters into dialogue with the photographic and even the cinematographic experience by inserting the figure in a context where it moves from being a static image to an image in movement. One often forgets that in cinema, in order to create movement, the image has to be frozen first twenty-four times per second. What the cinematographer captures are thousands of instantaneous photographs or snapshots which later the projector activates by way of a rotor and a beam on the screen. When Navarro goes out to pace the streets of London, his eye is concentrated on taking instantaneous shots which later he activates through screen-printing and pictorial work. Recreating movement on the canvas, without the help of a projector, implies a challenge which works such asBabylon or Victor y Maria have dealt with in different ways: the multiplication of the screen-printed portrait, the abrupt changes in scale, the outburst of the curves, the proliferation of colour, the division of the canvas into a diptych or a triptych…
Adrian Navarro (Boston, 1973) lives and works in London. His most recent individual exhibitions include: Galaxia, UBS Bank Madrid (2007);Hombres y salvajes (Men and savages), Galería Artificial, Madrid (2006) and De Diario, Centro de Arte de la Comunidad de Madrid (2002).Highlights from recent collective exhibitions include Ilumini, The Crypt Gallery, London (2008); Salon 07, Seven Seven Contemporary, London (2007) and Hernández, Mastretta and Navarro, Galería Heinrich Ehrhardt, Madrid (2003). His works can be found in numerous public and private collections, including the Fundación Caja Madrid and the UBS Bank collection.