Recent works. A bottle of night black ink, a tie acting as barrier or a swinging butterfly, his photographs describe a poetic inventory of reality, transformed by an illusionist. Madoz also presents compositions around eyes drawings.
Esther Woerdehoff Gallery is pleased to present a selection of recent works by the Spanish photographer Chema Madoz. A bottle of night black ink, a tie acting as barrier or a swinging butterfly, these photographs describe a poetic inventory of reality, transformed by an illusionist photographer. Chema Madoz selects the size and edition he gives to each of these precious silver prints and the gallery presents for the first time his stunning large prints, where a giant butterfly becomes a bird or a music partition appears as venetian blinds. The photographer also presents in exclusivity his new hybrid works, where he creates compositions around eyes drawings, reminding of old scientific boards, in a fully surrealistic approach.
Born in Madrid, Spain, in 1958, Chema Madoz self-educated himself on photographic shooting and printing in the early 1980’, in the creative burst of the Movida. Taking up art history and professional photography studies in evening classes, he had his first exhibition and won his first award in 1984. Working at first outside, exploring the unique relationship he created between his models and their environment, he then devoted himself exclusively to photographying objects and built over time a corpus that reflects his inner world. Deliberately ignoring the trends of contemporary art, he transmits a poetic and whimsical imaginary with a strict sense for composition and a high artistic consistency.
If Chema Madoz’s photographs can hastily be described as still lifes and even have graphic similarities with the classical advertising pictures of the 1930’, each image is actually a visual poem, a moment of grace turned into a photograph. As a poet assembles words, Chema Madoz works with a vocabulary of objects that he combines, modifies, and assembles to obtain unexpected marriages where surrealism and absurd stand close. The artist collects found objects in his studio, like a trivial cabinet of curiosities waiting to be revealed. Extracted from a timeless picture book, shoes, books, watches or ladders, are objects that have been photographed since the nineteenth century ; Chema Madoz extracts them from their utilitarian banality to realize the dreams they aspire to, defying the laws of physics and realism.
The American photographer Duane Michals wrote that “Madoz lives in a mirror and sees the world head upside down, and backwards”. As seductive as it can appear, the reflect of reality is an artificial image and the photographer plays with the credulity of the viewer who think photography as a literal representation of the world. If the objects-subjects of his pictures belong to reality and do not result from photomontages or post treatment of the image, they only exist to become photographs, ephemeral installations set by the falsely objective image of their presence. In this sense, the objects photographs created by Chema Madoz act as illusions, questioning our perception of reality and its representation. (Text by Florence Pillet)
Image: Untitled, 2010. Gelatin silver print, 60 x 50 cm, edition of 15 © Chema Madoz, Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehof
Opening Reception: Wednesday 12 February 6-9pm
Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
36 rue Falguière 75015 Paris
Hours: Tue-Sat 2-6pm