Once commenting on the works by Chema Madoz the artist Fernando Castro said: "The world is not what it seems to be". This phrase could easily become a motto for the famous Spanish surrealist photographer. For many years the Spaniard Chema Madoz has been creating intricate, psychedelic works, using familiar, everyday objects. He turns a pear into a light bulb, tree rings — into a match flame, and a feather — into a metal edge of a sickle.
Through surprisingly accurate metaphors, hyperlinks, irony, absurdity and paradox, he finds new meanings of things, bringing them to the level of symbols and interpretations.
The artist’s precise photographic resolution is also decisive. This means photographing an idea. The mere materiality of the idea is not the final object of his work, but rather its frame, its portrait. Like the classic snapshots: its precise moment in time. That is why he sticks to black and white photography: there are no excessive elements, it is impossible to guess the time of its creation, and all the works acquire a unified form.
It is hard to believe but Chema Madoz does not process his photographs in any graphic editors – he is sure that digital photo editing is nothing but a far-fetched and flimsy way to reach irrationality. All the objects in his pictures are made specifically for shooting, and there is even a small collection of them in the artist’s house.
The show at the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presents an extensive selection of photographs taken by the artist between 2008 and 2014, in which Chema Madoz provides yet another example of his masterful ability to observe the world of things around us and use them to articulate visual messages, delving deeper into the sensory language of objects by manipulating their latent meanings.
This collection of 119 photographs in black and white on baryta paper belongs to the latest phase of Madoz’s work, which received the Community of Madrid Photography Award in 2012 and are largely presented to the public for the first time.
The exhibition is divided into four major areas that facilitate the walk through the photographs with the least interference possible, as the multiplication of ideas and the resonance between different and also distant images proposed by Madoz requires the viewer’s active participation.