I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Loreta Sáez Franco was born in 1976 in Madrid, Spain. She started to paint when she was six years old in her parents’ fine art academy and since then she’s rarely been without paint in her hands. She also studied humanities and psychology in the Compultense University in Spain, which contributes strongly to the meaning of her creations. The artist spent a decade living between New York and London, where she updated her studies in Contemporary Art at Central Saint Martins University, London. She now lives and works in Hong Kong, but is constantly travelling around the world.
Drawing inspiration from the solemnity and spirituality of the Spanish Old Masters in combination with the effervescence and the ephemeral component of big cities where she develops her work (e.g. New York, Madrid, London, Hong Kong), Sáez Franco creates her own imagery that evokes a certain atmosphere of lost paradise. She uses her refined technique to approach deep philosophical and existential matters. Her paintings have no beginning and have no end. They transmit a certain poetic sensibility, at times full of serenity, at other times full of passion and anger.
The emotional weight of her latest works instinctively makes you feel drained by them. They have a psychological impact, each spatula touch contains a novel. It frees the imagination evoking a quasi-religious vision. The energy of Sáez Franco’s process is palpable; light plays across the painted surface echoing dynamism and vigor of its creation. Her strokes are created by a systemic body of movements, which contribute to the visual and spiritual impact of her works. Her paintings invite contemplation and are full of meaning.
Sáez Franco also makes videos bearing a certain reminiscence of German Expressionism, made using extracts from classic movies directed by Charlie Chaplin, Jean-Luc Goddard, Francois Truffault, Alain Resnais, Fritz Lang and Wim Wenders among others.
The core value of Sáez Franco’s art is best represented by the traditional Spanish aesthetics, which emphasize the harmony between human beings and religion.
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