Luis Feo (Toledo, 1965)
The works of Luis Feo reveal a technical perfection only within the reach of very few artists. His hyperrealism is based on his great mastery of graphite and airbrush, layers and layers of varnish, his observation of the environment -found images and photographs taken by himself-, and his imagination that synthesizes the object, its essence, and reinvents details to create a new and personal reality of his own. His various subjects range from incredible portraits of animals, which convey great emotion when contemplating them, to everyday objects, often tinged with nostalgia, which he himself arranges as still lifes: Coca-Cola bottles, children’s toys packed in bubble wrap, fried eggs where you can see perfectly even the drops of splashed oil…
The artist has investigated various techniques and artistic manifestations, but he invariably returns to drawing, which he sees as something primitive, primal. For many, the first step in creating a work of art, for him, who with his great skill and ability has managed to push it to its limits, the final result, through which he invites us to find beauty in his daily “vanitas”, painting without lines, portraits full of life.
He is in a continuous search for an increasingly refined practice in which the protagonist is graphite due to its versatility and immediate character, and the work with the airbrush. Each work requires extensive prior work in which the artist has to visualize all the steps and anticipate each layer of color before approaching the paper. He works with transparencies, removing and adding glazes, creating his own pigments and gradations to achieve the desired results, be it a subtle touch of color or the most intense black. As he says ““It continues to be magical for me to be able to draw without touching the support, or to be able to make gradients and draw lights based on a blade or sander. I have learned to work in layers, using glazes in the drawing. I varnish between coats, and while they are drying, I start another piece, which sometimes leads me to work with up to ten drawings at a time. I’m pretty impatient.”
It is precisely these layers of varnish that give his work that matte finish that graphite could not acquire on its own, and the ability to be displayed without glass, as it’s the artist’s preference. It is also what allows a piece to continue to be intervened upon even long after it has been completed, and that is because Feo, with his precise and meticulous mind, cannot help but consider that his works are always “in progress” until they finally leave his study. Luis Feo studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Madrid and currently lives and works in Barcelona. Since 1998 he has exhibited regularly in European galleries and at national and international art fairs such as Swab (Barcelona), Art Fair (Cologne), Cross Road (London), Gabinete (Madrid), DrawingRoom (Madrid), Estampa (Madrid), Kunst Rai Art (Amsterdam) and the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona.
Works for sale by Luis Feo at Aurora Vigil-Escalera Art Gallery:
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