| Goya in Africa |
01 | 12 | 2016
25 | 02 | 2017
The Quinta Del Sordo (Deaf Man’s Villa) was the home that Goya retreated to and lived and worked in from 1820 to 1823, after a prolonged illness that left him deaf. It is here that Goya created his final frescos, which today are referred as the Black Paintings, these images are filled with horrifying scenes that speak to the emotional state of mind that had become dark and very emotional as well as pessimistic.
In 1874, after the move of Goya to France, Emile D’erlanger, new proprietor of “Deaf Man’s Villa “, ordered French photographer Jean Laurent to photograph murals that adorn the diverse stays of the building. These photographs, were used as guide for transferring the mural to cloth and its later restoration. The procedure of separation used by Mtz. Cubells was strappo, an aggressive technique that damages the painting and that requires an intervention later, and this is the reason why the pieces that we see in El Prado, are not exactly those that Goya painted. Nevertheless the photographs of Laurent are the unique unquestionable witness of how they were in fact those paintings: its gestures, its atmosphere and even its deterioration.
These original glass boards that are now conserved in the Institute of Patrimony and Culture in Madrid, are the same images that the artist Angel Haro has had access to, on the basis of a previous research done by the artist on The Black Paintings. The original photographs are serving as a departure point for this work, analysing the gesture and the physical pulse of the paintings that beat in the original glass boards.
The Black Paintings of Francisco de Goya, as well as their series of engravings “The Disasters of War” represented a political challenge when becoming contemporary cultural patrimony, they constitute a shout that is not silenced easily. Being born from the isolation of the painter in its villa of the outskirts of Madrid, they are tied to personal and political circumstances that are found in Goya. Its madness is the madness of its world and its society, and that only thanks to the fact that the artist was in the limits of itself, could portray the horror that it surrounded him when shaping ‘su propio’ terror.
Goya in Africa is a metaphorical expresion on the connection, Angel Haro, sees on Goya’s influence in African art. African artists, specially during the XX century and today, have developed a critical and profound awareness on daily events, often tragic, with all the complexity of the socio political development of the continent. A great part of African artists as well as most of photo journalism is impregnated of Goya’s vision.
The prestigious Fine Art printing studio at Res Gallery one of Johannesburg’s contributors of some of the best contemporary African artists, are the ones that will be producing the series of prints. The collection consists of six pieces intervened by Angel Haro.