Pizarrías A text based on Mateo Pizarro’s artwork
There are artworks that are made on the go, for hotel room decorations and Facebook walls. There are texts made to be read in three, five, ten minutes (this one is to be read in 3.1416), essays with mass-produced ideas, “post-tantaneous” soups: they’re not only precooked, they’ve already been digested and therefore we can say they are fecal; and since we’re talking about processed soups, what about the Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibited at the MoMa in New York. It’ll never be like the cans produced by Piero Manzoni in 1961, Mierda de artista (Artist’s shit) in the literal sense. The Cans are only fecal figuratively speaking.
Mateo Pizarro’s drawings are not for the go, you’ll see, one must cook with him and chew the results slowly. Look at the details, get closer to the detailed image: every single trifle invokes the artist’s work day, the sleepless night, the pause to rest the hand, the dose of strong coffee, the location of the Swiss watch. They’re drawings that demand and grant patience.
In these series, what we experience has a name, it is called sedition: when the eyes carry out the military march of reading (left-right-down/left-right-down), the image traced with a pencil is interposed like a breach of spring water between the printing product and our eyes: in it lives the foam of the forms that science does not describe, the bagasse of astonishment that excludes measurement.
I come to the conclusion that in a comic on artist superheroes, Pizarro would be Andy Warhol’s archenemy (and Frida Kahlo would be Catwoman but the other way around).
If the public has an attention span of ten minutes due to the internet and TV, what they’ll see in the drawings is very simple: a dog fucking a chicken on the founding treaty of the theory of evolution: He’s fucked. And what about Star Wars’ Death Star on a Galilei page? It’s even more fucked up. And a sheep with shaved legs and a garter belt: get outta here dude LOL.
A French theorist looks at the pieces, smokes a pipe, and ponders: “Pizarró proposes a corrosion of the alphabet, questioned and an abîme of the sens totalitaire of the written word, of the grapheme that strangles the flock of sememes, a cage. It is not coincidental that the high point of the National States coincides with great achievements of symbolic fixation: the Sumerian cuneiform writing, the Phoenician alphabet, the Greek currency, the Arabic numbering, Europe’s movable type printing. By traverser le texte through the naturalists image, however achromatic, the symbol’s fiction is exposed, condemned; the profound ineptitude of the alphabetic chain to represent the violent opacity of his objects, planets, species, rock and raw meat, irreducible to paper, l’ineffable…”
A feminist sculptor, also a porn star, interrupts him: “What we find here is a series of violations, and look, in Antes muerto que acostumbrado (I’d rather die than get used to it), the representation of Venus suppressed to the rigor of the geometric lines that are, clearly, phallic figures, a symbol of multiple penetration, of the vagina, the anus, the mouth. Venus, that goddess reduced by Botticelli, a blond, harmless, chaste, vulnerable, rickety young girl, that took a few steps throughout the history of nobility art, springs from Florentine painting and a gang of reductionist scientists is waiting for her with their mathematical cocks on the corner of the Galleria degli Uffizi to gang bang her! And the same goes for frogs and flies, positivism is a form of sodomy, they mount them, there’s a montage… and the donkey with its enormous cock, aren’t you secretly jealous – honestly – and afraid he might fuck your wife and she’ll like it?
And in the gallery, where these voices are praised, there’s a guy with a tie that is calculating, an economist dedicated to making the computer model perfect so that it predicts, with a low margin of error, what type of art will quote better tomorrow. He was successful with hyperrealism and his investments in Hilo Chen’s paintings (which he liked because of the mammary glands and bikinis), which gave him substantial profits at the end of the 90’s. Now he is here, analyzing, and he has decided to place thirty thousand dollars on Pizarro’s products. He’s designing his investment model: 9 10 x 15 cm drawings, or 3 20 x 30, or purchase future pieces, which is a new model, risky and attractive, to gain higher profit margins: ‘I’ll buy the paintings you make in the year 2019 today,’ and as a warranty, the collector demands the artist’s life insurance paid by the gallery, where he is made the benefactor to the investor.
The first product he chose is “El origen o descendencia del hombre VII: Sirena” (The origin or progeny of man VII: Mermaid); he feels the bird with the gorilla head has an iconic potential, and can become an image for t-shirts, umbrellas, coasters and eventually create royalties.
Oh, but the economist is deaf to the mermaid’s crude chant which will not be annihilated by Charles Darwin. Crow-male-alpha-winged-ape, the mermaid makes sure to differentiate itself from the centaur and from hippogriffs; she wants to be more mythological and less endangered. A concrete animal, part of the environment, an end to life in itself, and not just a link in the chain of progress, nor an accident on a random drift. Do you hear the mermaid’s chant?
The moment of criticism is near.
In section 1, you’ll have to fill in the following blanks: Pizarro is ________, his work belongs to the school of _______ism, which retakes the ______an motifs, reformulating them ingenuously. His discourse is full of references to _______, as can be observed immediately. He also reminds us of _______, an essential reference in this artist’s universe.
Maybe not. I’d rather invite Mateo to some miniature drawings along these lines like the ones in “Las harmonías del mundo” (The world’s harmonies), and on the pages of some avant-garde magazine; we’ll make a statement of scathing self-criticism, you know.
I am terrified at the thought of the artist hijacking the pages that I write and using them as a canvas, confronting me with that thing I do not express, to present the object that my signs are unable to domesticate before the letters.
I’ve said little about Pizarro’s drawings, I am terrified to be excessively mistaken, to express myself as I would in school rehearsals, in exhibition catalogues. The hay of interchangeable terms, pure empty flattery.
What drawing would Pizarro place before my digressions, aromatic fecal feces, a wicked tongue, Maruchan noodles?
Luckily my sections increase according to irrational numbering, as is Pi. What does this number mean? The number of times the circle’s diameter fits in the circumference. It fits 3.14159… times. And it never has to end. How is that possible? Because any line, like the one that forms the circle, can be divided into infinite parts. From what circle? Any one. Does that mean that Jupiter that is hidden between gases and stone, has Pi inside it? In a way, yes. How?
So far, we know of ten billion decimals of Pi, and there are people that memorize and repeat them in international contests (which attract crowds of fans in Japan).
Mateo’s grandmother, who was invited to read this piece on her grandson’s pictorial work, asks stirred: when are we getting to section 1? What do you think of my grandson’s work, doesn’t it remind you of Leonardo, Durero and Escher, but even nicer?
A few preliminary ideas:
-Because we are strictly speaking about illustrations (to shed light on the text), what type of darkness is characteristic of science? It is the darkness of the irreducible appearance, of those craters that embellish the face of planets like remote acne marks, that on top of lowering their self esteem, make them who they are. Mercury’s personality is on its face, its color, its accidents, not only in the mass that spins on an ellipse.
-Could I then say that the drawing is going against the tide, that if Galilei’s method squeezes constants out of things, Pizarro defends his cravings, scars, his personal marks.
-The scientific treaties tend to make great solitary monuments, places without humor, solemn, like airports at three in the morning.
-It’s about lighting a bonfire in the halls of science and getting a group of friends together to drink beer, tell jokes, and slip through drunkenness until kissing occurs.
-If the visual arts run the risk of ending up being fecal, oftentimes words turn into micturition, pleasant solaces that splash, and are only good for drinking in times of extreme drought.
I’m definitely going to need and epigraph. I better start groing through the works of Walter Benjamin, Bob Dylan and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
A Marxist philosopher tells me: “Your indefinite deferral of genuine criticism is a common ground of postmodernism. Because collective life is shattered, there are no more common values to understand each other. We are alone. That’s where your self-referential games and your evasive dissection of the artwork come from. Your apparent ideological neutrality is, in reality, a cynical way of petit bourgeois individualism. You do not want to commit. You write for hipsters. Faint-hearted. Traitor.”
“That which withers in the age of reproduction is the aura of the work of art.”