Solari: the spirituality of this day and age, by Marjan Grothuis, Art on Sunday, Buenos Aires Herald, Sunday, July 28, 2002
For Pablo Solari, a self-taught artist in his late forties, it is the fisrt time that he has a solo exhibition in a gallery.
It has been very successful as most of this paintings were sold and future projects, like exhibitions and commissions for other works, are being planned.
Striking are the colours of his works.
They are bright and strong, sometimes even fluorescent.
Solari says that he usually takes one colour, like blue or green, and uses it as point of departure.
Then he makes it comes back in all its differents hues and distributes these carefully to achive a harmonious whole.
The way the artist juxtaposes the colours is also remarkable.
More often than not the figures he portrays are dressed in, for example, a canary yellow jacket whit a blue shirt underneath an a pink shawl around the neck while the next one migth be wearing sometimes in bright red.
Maybe it sounds like too much of a good thing, but the overall effect is perfectly in roder as the work ‘Virtual Generation’, a homage to Berni’s painting ‘Chacareros’ from 1935, shows.
Possibibly more surprising is that Solari used to make black and white drawings, two of wich are also on show at the exhibition, and introduced colours only much later on in his works: Now I love them and enjoy playing whit them!
Special as well is the way in which the scenes and figures in his painting are cut off at the edges reminding the viewer of photographic snapshots.
Solari says tha this is due to the fact that he sees his works as part of a mural and that if they were put together it would fit and make a whole.
He admits to being a great admirer of murals in general and that ones of Michelangelo and the Mexican artist Siqueiros are among his favourites.
In fact, Solari executed a mural himself in the cathedral in Cuzco in the late eighties measuring three by four metres with another one in the planning for the cathedral of Chapi, also in Perú, for next year.
Solari says that he never went to an art academy although his parents had no objections to it whatsoever: they werw the kind of people who stimulated the talents of their children, but I was not interested.
I had been tu quite a few privates studios when I was younger and preferred to copy Italian and Dutch masters like Caravaggio and Vermeer.
The practical approach is what I like best, just drawing a lot.
It can easily be said that my work is based on drawing.
The artist adds that it was time for a change when his drawings became too realistic: in my opinion photography can take care of that because I am not interesed in portraying reality.
I prefer searching for and conveying the spiritual element of things.
Solari tries to reflect today’s reality in his paintings: I see what it is like nowadays and I am, like so many others, affected by it.
Still, in a work of art I can only incorporate part of it.
Titles like ‘Breakfast on the pavement’ and ‘Those without work’ make his position pretty clear.
Solari says that the last one actually refers to the time when he himnself lost his job in 1996, but that after overcoming the inital shock, he decided to become a full time artist.
Tipically, the figures portrayed in his paintings do not have eye contact with each other and even the viewer is often left out.
They look the other way, are lost in thought or have their eyes closed.
Solari says that this is because of the growing individualism in Argentina with people just fending for themselves.
The exception, however, are the childrens he portrays.
Their big eyes are staring at the viewer, asking for food whereas the parents accompanying them seem to be resigned to their fate.
Interesting as well is how the people portrayed in his work resemble each other, their eyes the same shape.
The arc of the eyebrows and their mouths are similar.
Moreover, they all have lots of creases in their faces, in their hands and their clothes, reminding one of the principles of cubism.
The artist says that he is not interesed in portraying certain people: I imagine them, they are prototypes and I am more interested in the feelings they are able to convey like sadnees, resignation and hope.
The last feature in Solari’s paintings catching the eye is his use of classical elements, like a tringular structure as the basis of the composition anda land scape in the background, just as in 16th and 17th century paintings.
Nevetheless, Solari’s works of art are firmly based in this day and age and tackle problems of today’s world and today’s Argentina without falling into the trap of sentimentality.
Marjan Grothuis, Art on Sunday, Buenos Aires Herald, Sunday, July 28, 2002