Alfredo Valenzuela I Seville, (EFE).- “And you, what do you want to be when you grow up?” It is the question that probably no one has gotten rid of in their childhood and it is the one that has served the plastic artist Alonso Gil (Badajoz, 1966) for his latest exhibition, entitled “Working class heroes”, in which he has captured the fascination of childhood by the world of work.
Fun, a joy that is as far removed as possible from the air of denunciation that distinguishes child labor situations, distinguishes this series of drawings, of paintings made with tissue paper cutouts, a meticulous technique that, the artist has lamented in an interview with EFE, has its own term in other languages such as English, French and Japanese while in Spanish it has to say “draw or paint with cutouts”.
A firefighter, a mechanic, a butane delivery man, a doctor, a cook or a policeman are some of the jobs carried out by children in these colorful works by Alonso Gil, an artist who has made the world of work one of the central themes of his work, since his recent exhibition “Gritos” in the Seville convent of Santa Clara to the series of videos that in 2001 he dedicated to street singers and musicians from the outskirts of Seville, which he considered “a kind of picaresque of the 21st century”.
fun and game
Also in 2008, he made the series of videos “Happiness at work” about workers who accompany their tasks with flamenco singing, among which there was a flamenco rock star and even a tailor who kept the beat of his scissors with the sound of his scissors. sing.
That idea of fun and even play at work returns in “Working class heroes” with cheerful and colorful figures achieved with meticulous detail and that seem to simulate watercolors at first glance, until the eye is able to distinguish the superimposition of the sometimes tiny pieces of tissue paper that, when superimposed, vary the tone of their colors.
The artist has considered that this technique of tissue paper cut and pasted on watercolor paper grants a “sort of normality” to the very theme of his creations, innocence and childish joy, hence also, he has pointed out, the naive aspect of these works.
Drawings through cutouts
The exhibition, which can be seen at the Domo gallery in Seville until March 18, is completed with a large canvas on which, with acrylic, Alonso Gil has painted the resulting silhouettes, the scraps of the cuts and whose result is a colorful abstraction on a phosphorescent background, so that when the light goes out another work completely different from the one seen with light emerges.
“Working class heroes” is completed with a video in which anonymous people that the artist was meeting on the street kiss the camera and that he began recording after the confinement of the pandemic, hence some of the participants have to remove the mask before blowing the kiss.
Alonso Gil already used the technique of drawing through cutouts years ago during the period he spent in the refugee camps in the Sahara, drawing silhouettes and emblems that were later captured on clothing by the members of a workshop that is still operating in that area of the desert. EFE