TRANSPARENT SUBSTANCE

LAURA CASTRO

TRANSPARENT SUBSTANCE

It is evident that the painting of Catarina Machado found a language and attained a formulation in which the dominant elements recognize each other, and is equivalent to the technical and conceptual maturity of her work.

A perfectly defined and explicit project has entered her days, capturing their circumstance and their mode.

From the depth of a fragility that generates excess Catarina Machado brought out all this as if it was just a study on the resistance of the painting, as if one could ask:

What is the colour of movement?
What is the trace that the impulse of the body describes?
How is it possible to glide over a canvas on the wall?
What is the form of adrenalin?
How many colours can you mix on a surface?
How does everyday life turn into art?
Do these paintings stand to be upside down?
How many layers is life made of?
Can we describe these paintings?
How do you lighten up the excess?
How many layers can a painting support?
How do you elaborate to make art from something?
How do you represent the body without showing it?
What is the amount of opacity that transparency requires?
How many spaces to develop a painting?
How do you enter infinity in a painting?
How many images in each instant?
What tricks do you need to make painting?
How many synonyms exist for each painting?
For some reason the exhibits of Catarina Machado that keep up with these boring demands have no specific title. They are just named Catarina Machado. For the same reason photos of real life are mixed with pictures of the displayed works. And, for the very same reason objects and instruments, meaningfully, appear in the exhibition space and on the pages of the catalogue: one of these objects is a surf board. The works presented made a point of absorbing the international terminology of the new dominance over the sea, dominance that is not territorial and has no frontier connection. This attitude sustains an art that live by the presence, by the moment and by the personal experience, a project of declared transparency. From the abstraction and the transparency of this creation you perceive the portrait, you observe the figure and even the landscape. We can even discover an ecological discourse, an affirmation of the energies forever renewable. We can at last face an assertive declaration of existential compromise. À la limite (as much as surf is more anglophone than francophone) we could even discern a political statement. But the weight of this interpretation would not adjust to the intangibility and sensorial lightness of the pictorial effect. Since long ago the system of formal equivalencies has been implemented with ponyos, lines and plans radiating musicality and sentiments; since long ago (and it seems much longer than it really is) that system has lost its structure and has been abandoned. But approaching strategies to the world that is perceived by our senses remain. Sometimes the painting seems to be from out of this world, especially after the image revealed itself profoundly anti-natural and consistently artificial, virtual, unstable in its inter-nautical trajectory. Thus in the stubbornness of Catarina’s painting there are also images that survive with no representation but with compromise, without realism but with reality, without attaining to daily routine but with complete identification, absolute integrity, total transparency.

Laura Castro, 2003

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