I just took down the last piece of Antonio Navarro’s exhibition in the ‘Sala aLfaRa’. The name of his exhibition was ‘Fugaz’, meaning brief, and it really was. Our intention was to gather his artwork in a precious and precise catalog, making the most of what we lived for less than two months in this venue. We still have a vivid memory of the coloured horizontal stripes passing through our minds, a network of very thin lines that entangled our understanding and trapped it like a dangerous spider’s web, almost impossible to leave behind.
Surprise and emotion are two indispensable conditions in art, and both are always fulfilled, beyond measure, in Antonio Navarro’s artwork. His voice remains the same: catching the moment, concentrating on the essential. Back in the ‘Abysses of the Soul’ series, those were deep, sumptuous, hypnotic, black prints, capable of seducing, even to tears, with those immense spots … And now it is all about lines, transforming colours into an infinite and subtle network of intertwined stripes, vertiginous, to the extent of losing their meaning. As if everything merged in a point of our memory, the same black spot of the beginning now explodes and expands, crashing to infinity. The same dizziness that the black tones of ‘The Abysses of the Soul’ caused is now provoked by the hurried horizontal ‘Fugaz’. Both sides of the same ideal, to pursue the essential, and concentrate on the only important issue: to capture the moment.
‘… The question comes down to being alive for an instant,
Even for an instant no more,
To be alive
Just in that minute
When we escape
To the best of impossible worlds.
Where nothing matters,
Nothing at all – not even
The great hopes that are set
All about us, all,
And so they weigh’.
Jaime Gil de Biedma (Great Hopes).
And that is what the works of Antonio Navarro allow, escaping to the best of impossible worlds. The unreality of infinite lines of colours leaves us enough freedom to derive the deepest of our desires, without explanation. In some of the pieces, the hint of a mast, or a dome, or a trail of leaves, gives us, the undecided, clues for the journey, as if Ariadna’s thread helped us escape the labyrinth, a trail to return to reality after we submerge ourselves, each in his own tangle of coloured lines.
The series ‘Fugaz’ cannot leave us indifferent, regardless of the argument contained, it technically solves the difficulty of that impeccable finishing in a masterly way. And the purely plastic contemplation of each one of these pieces provides an aesthetic pleasure difficult to approach with other works.
I do not know what will be the next step in Antonio Navarro’s career, but whatever it is, I have no doubt that we will continue to touch the infinite.