Painting, Personality and Politics

June 2019 in Julio Lepez’ Studio, Buenos Aires

Working beside Jeroen Elsen made me think differently about painting and the relationship of the painter to the painted object. Elsen aspires to an object totally independent of him, where his existence, his life and his opinions are irrelevant to what he creates. I understand his position and while I believe in the vision, I don’t share it.

This week, I was talking to a young painter, Paz Bardi. I am not sure it’s relevant where Bardi trained or where Bardi lives. However how Bardi lives is questionably relevant. An non-binary, polyamorous, white, Latinx is not neutral, it is politically charged and socially relevant and part of the fundamental shift in identity which is happening in our societies. They’re part of this movement, redefining how we interact and exist on a everyday. To put it simply when you meet Bardi, that personality, that steady flame inspires the possibility beyond status quo.

The crunch is are their paintings, a political statement, an illustration, a voice from this margin which seeks to change the world. This is where it becomes complicated I am who I am and can my work be alienated from who I am? The positive side of this alienation is that the painting leaves space for the other to project, to question and to become. 

If the work becomes LGBTQ painting it risks being confined to the artist’s paradigm, to a moment and loosing the possibilities that the painting creates. My belief is that painting works best as a mirror when you’re confronted with the possibility of you looking at you. I think I should stop writing now and let the reader discover the work ; open heart, open mind.

You can see more images and IG @pazbardi

Paz, Violencia and Feli, Montevideo, November 2019

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