PHILIP AGUIRRE Y OTEGUI
Opening: Sunday 09/09 from 2-5 pm
Introduction by Jo Coucke at 2:30 pm
Geukens & De Vil ANTWERP
Exhibition > 13/10/2018
© We Document Art, 2018
Carefully looking at the world around him, Philip Aguirre y Otegui (°1961) creates work that is poetic and compelling at the same time, using daily objects and memories from his own life as well as political or social events to create his own imagery.
Rio Mare consists of a selection of new sculptures. The title is based on the iconic tuna can – a consumer article existing for many decades with a perfectly rational form. Aguirre uses daily objects or moreover cans – an object that fascinates him since his early career – to create sculptural ‘still lifes’. By means of a long-term process, Aguirre meticulously explores the perfect balance and tension in each composition, by which the Spanish still lifes (Bodegones), shown in Bozar Brussels last spring, form one of his many inspiration sources.
In addition to compositions in mixed media and their counterparts in bronze, Aguirre shows more figurative work. A woman (Océanide) bearing a fish on her head is linked to a memory of the artist being in Cameroon. At the same time the title refers to the homonymous sculpture by Henri Laurens in Middelheimpark. The way the sculpture is created – with a mold of a real life fish – results in an almost totem like imagery, fixed on a pedestal with wood brought from Senegal.
The social consciousness that often lies behind the pure form of Aguirre’s sculptures is not the main importance in this exhibition although it is subtly present. Je vous offre une maison is a compelling image that can be seen in the light of the refugee crisis although this was not the intention of the artist. More than showing work within a preconceived framework, Aguirre’s sculptures burst with references to architecture and art history, the artist’s own experiences and society in general. In each work, Philip Aguirre reveals a small part of himself, as a person as well as an artist.