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 .:Abril 2008:.

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Bio by the journalist Michela Tamburrino.

José Luis Fuentetaja could be defined as a soul traveller or explorer of humanity.

José Luís FuentetajaMore than anything else, he cultivates his approach to art as if he were a layman missionary with a spirit open to the new with only one creed; knowledge and spreading his message of purity.

In order for him to achieve this objective, he first sharpened hyper-realistic, and successively, realistic techniques to such an extent, it could allow him to obtain a photographic effect of functional reality helpful to his mission.

José Luís Fuentetaja"The message I wanted to get across was that of a humble life and tell about the life of humble people in the world ".
He therefore set off on a journey that would seize the original spirit of country-life, villages, faces and bodies that could speak a sincere language, never adulterated.

However, as the poet Lopez Julià wrote, he first meandered in towns with sad looks, where anguish has overruled happiness and colours have faded to grey. He listened to noises, especially those that don't have any sound and then moved on elsewhere, giving the journey a meaning of salvation.

Fuentetaja had already understood, in 1969, that he was attracted by authentic street people and started portraying them right on the streets of his hometown that overlooks the sea.
There and then, his main theme became bohemian life and culture. He spent entire winters at the Canary Islands, in the park of Santa Catalina.

He worked and learned by stealing from street people tools that would create an extremely personal painting style.

José Luís FuentetajaHe exhibited all over the world: Toronto, Paris, London, and portrayed a new edition of a gipsy novel by Garçia Lorca.

In Barcelona he produced a marvellous nude-theme drawing collection. He was greatly acclaimed and with the proceeds of his drawings was able to promote his paintings, which underwent several quality phases; from Lines to Cubism, from Expressionism to Hyper-Realism up to his current Realism.

All of this forged him to the point that this is what has been written about him: "He is an artist of ex ceptional character and training, with superb technique knowledge and an uncommon personality when it comes to sensitivity due to his richness and his profound and intense lyricism ".

José Luís FuentetajaHe marched on by stages with great difficulty. Everything in the Western world didn't meet his expectations which lead him to make his first trip to India. The country struck him deeply: a feast of moods and colours that were to him like an injection of new lymph flow.

He travelled through those places more than twenty-five times for his paintings: Bombay, Kathmandu and then a short stay in Benares and back again to Nepal.
Inspired by its beauty, he seized the chromatic magic produced constantly by a festival of light and colour, even when the splendour of monuments and nature's opulence clashed with human's appalling misery.

Nonetheless, this makes part of daily life and it was therefore in Fuentetaja's right to portray it in his paintings. Women, men, especially children, markets, stunning clothes, secular rituals, liturgies everything translates into sensational works with a surge of colours.

José Luís FuentetajaEverything documents his pictorial pilgrimage. It is in the urgent need of documenting reality that the leading spirit of Fuentetaja's artistic existence appears before his yearning eyes for life.

"Beauty's history lies in the lives of humble people - he claims - humanity is the message I want to get across. The use of colour means life; I got the idea of using light from the Middle East because that's where people live. Colour and light, a single positive unit".

The spiritual feeling with the places he visited and the people he met, lead him to portray the foundation of their culture.

José Luís Fuentetaja"All that ease reminds me of my youth, when Europe wasn't fake and artificial".
What can you say about your former job, when you worked in Advertising?
"That it helped me a great deal. I've made up my mind, I'll never wake up early in all my life ever again. I love night time, when I am alone with my thoughts, painting, in silence. The only light that comes es in, comes from my paintings".

 

Michela Tamburrino

2007 © www.jlfuentetaja.com