Wednesday, June 3, 2009
“All the mistakes committed by great artists are due to their having separated themselves from truth, believing that their imagination is stronger....”
Royo was in the gallery several minutes before the word got around. Strangely, he too seemed diminished by the monumental presence of the paintings, to the extent that few could entertain notice of much else. But as the hours drifted by it was oddly evident that Royo was not attending just another opening but really came to say good-by. Should you spend enough time with artists you will come to understand the process by which they individually separate themselves from the alternate universe of creation and the images they coax from it. The women in Royo’s life are perpetually part of it, but the vignettes of their ponderous days, suspended interminably in oil paint, are flung across the continents, floating gracefully into vast halls and grand dining rooms.
What collectors wonder most about Royo compositions are the detached gazes of the familiar women he adoringly courts. Conjecture about this is wide and varied. We are told a Royo painting isn’t about capturing beauty but more importantly the essence of it. But it occurs to me the dialog should instead be about introspective trance. Essence all the same but vastly more challenging to compose.
If, as Sorolla suggests, the “mistakes” committed by the masters is “believing that their imaginations are stronger…” than “truth” then it is reasonable to assume that Royo is flawless in his compositional precepts as he does not delineate his imagination but instead that of his subjects. What master Royo “imagines” is not in his painting, it is in his eyes and his conversations. What the women in Royo’s life “imagine” is what the artist promises to unravel. Pursuing this discovery as vehemently as collectors gazing out a living room window, anticipating the arrival of their acquisition.
The Royo show hosted at the EC Fashion Valley Gallery May 1st – 3rd was a virtual sell out. Little surprise. Shortly after the artist quietly returned to his Spanish villa and the introspective gaze of women he does not imagine.