12 saw a ladder on the ground with its top reaching to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it.Genesis 28 12
The well-known Biblical account tells us that Jacob, one of the patriarchs of Israel, flees through the mountains after confronting his brother Esau. When the night surprises him, he stops, takes a stone as a pillow, falls asleep and dreams of a ladder resting on the earth whose top touches the heavens. The angels go up and down it.
The passage has given rise to countless cultural manifestations and numerous paintings, such as those of the catacomb of the Via Latina, Rafael de Sanzio, Rembrandt, Ribera, Michael Wilmann, William Blake, Marc Chagall and many others. Also the interpretations of the dream of Jacob have happened. The rising and falling angels are a connection between above and below, between the superior and inferior forces; they are evolution from biological life to spiritual life; bridge that unites heaven and earth; elevation and descent ...
If we stay with the connection between above and below, we discover that there are many pictorial forms (iconic or plastic) capable of visualizing this union, suggesting to the gaze a path of ascent and descent: trees, rain, mountains and staggered clouds, columns of smoke, light beams, vertical shapes, ramps, diagonals, zigzags and successive repetitions of horizontals.
Below is the earth, where our weight falls and our step is supported. Below our origin, our humus (the animal, the lower faculties, the irrational instinct) and also the imagined destination where we will end up. Mud of the beginning, root, dwelling and belonging; also return, fall and destiny.
When we look up we scrutinize the sky in search of something else, since the firm step and the land in which the step is affirmed is no longer enough. Desire for ascension that lifts our ancestor homo erectus and raises his head, his intelligence and his spirit, towards the aerial kingdoms of the totality and the cosmos, in the desire to understand (with the development of his "superior faculties") where it is, of what colossal magnitude it is a part. More than anywhere else, the spirit world is symbolically situated in the sky, in the clouds. Above growth, lightness, air, flight, light and its origin: the Sun.
It is not a matter of overcoming the opposition between above and below, but of moving from one place to another, going up and down. Without its grounding, thinking can lose its footing, rise and dissolve into gaseous abstractions. And conversely, it doesn't seem like it can go very far to think that it runs along the ground, crawling, unable to lift a foot off the ground to gain perspective. It is about assuming the movement, perhaps uncomfortable or hard, of ascent and descent, without allowing the gaze and the thought to settle. It is not a matter of looking (thinking) always out loud or in a low voice, but of modulating the voice of thought.
Trees, rain, mountains and staggered clouds, columns of smoke, beams of light, vertical shapes, ramps, diagonals, zigzags and successive repetitions of horizontals ... invite us to raise our heads (above ourselves) to look for what is far away and to recline it (below) to find what is nearby. They invite us to rise and fall, to rise and descend, to affirm our vertical and seek our inclinations. It matters little if we never get anywhere, while movement - and its perceptual increase - keeps us active in desire. What is life. Look but at Friedrich's monk or Goya's dog.
José Saborit Náquera 2018
The same sap. Verses, oils, watercolors.
The paintings in this exhibition are born very close to the book La misma savia. The shared title suggests a dialogue between verses and paintings.
The poems speak for themselves.
The paintings recover a certain initial impulse that moves when painting: painting what moves us, what we love, what surpasses us (the experience of seeing), to interrogate the mystery of what is alive with painting. The intense traditional aroma of oil painting persists there: fillings, turpentine, glazes, long sessions, overlapping layers and time accumulated on the canvas. And the desire to share that restful, slow-cooking flavor with a few appreciative glances.
The landscape is still very present, but not as a description of the external, but as a recognition of the internal in the external, an attempt to give double life to that emotion that equally colors the experience of contemplation and the picture that remembers it, that atmosphere soul, that affective tonality that Simmel referred to with the word Stimmung.
Plant presence grows. Plant resistance. Vegetable heroism (of which Octavio Paz spoke in his Grammarian Mono). Through the green habitat - our first house - and inside us, the same sap can flow. A unitive feeling is breathed with everything that lives, and especially with what has not been twisted and complicated excessively by the stills of culture.
Meanwhile, the sea continues to repeat its tune, for few presences are as persistent as that of the sea. Therefore, always starting again, some painted seas persist that try to show what remains in what changes and what changes in what remains. Nothing like the sea, mythical mirror, insists so much on repeating that paradox that is ours, that of our identity and our body.
The dialogue between paintings and poems does not want to be explicit or illustrative. It is a matter of suggesting relationships between what is said by combining words and what is shown by combining forms, textures and colors. This dialogue can be a source of relationships that intensify perception and, therefore, awareness of the visible, knowledge and attitude. Revitalizing our visual connection to the living world is a first step out of the dark. textJosé flavor.
The words back. They break
against the blue limit of my grammar,
because there is no yesterday
tomorrow or now,
just this succeeding timeless
from the mirror of the sea before my eyes.
"Everything that returns to the same space
–Be it caress, step or resonance–
only one confused
successive moments. "
You try learning you the lesson
while the light,
White's fate is yellow:
no yellow solar,
but yellow time.
Stop under the tree, don't germinate
in the tender expanse of your impatience,
It lies within you, blind in your shadow.
In the deepest vein looms
the glowing surprise
from open eyes to the new,
the first light path,
the only salvation from the maze.
Righteousness does not exist, the sea ripples
and it turns on itself any way.
It's time to go and spill
penetrate the sands
back to spring
in the liquid love of everything that flows.
Moving in the limits that unite and separate landscape and abstraction, José Saborit's painting emerges from a look at the timeless world, contemplative and devoid of anecdotes and theories, an excited look that wishes to endure or find double life through a careful technical combinatorics of the matter on the canvas.
He paints, writes, and works as a professor of painting at the UPV's Faculty of Fine Arts in San Carlos. He has recently been appointed Academic Elect of the Royal Academy of San Carlos.