he Dali-esque work of Angel Muriel, simultaneously attractive and repulsive, with weird scenarios that elegantly and humorously illustrate futility of existence, is one of the most intriguing chapters of contemporary Spanish art. The paintings swell out in burlesques of constantly mutating figures; buried in a rubble of tongues and teeth, fleshy mounds taking on all the colours of a frog in a blender.
This is a surprising body-tissue eroticism, a bold desecration of the spiritual nature. Caught up in dark scandals, there are glimpses of sideways glances, bulbous eyeballs and round-toothed grimaces. The works emphasise the fleeting nature of life with its impossibly shifting boundaries. Syrupy faces emerge from the smooth veneers, and are finally swallowed up by amorphous forms. Bubblegum blown heads bloom and float around like balloons wearing mutilated wattles and double chins. These oracles spout incomprehensible psychobabble, their marshmallow soft skin-tag spill over in fatty folds. Piles of voluptuous bodies are deformed with swollen ankles and withered arms, the spawn of a Modigliani and Bottero romance.
Uncomfortable to look at, but nonetheless mesmerising, Muriel’s unusual works are incredibly theatrical. His hallucinogenic visions arise from assigning the psyche a physical form. These hairless human slow-worms ooze from every pore of the canvas, suffering their extreme Elephantitus, questioning the meaning we attach to things through religion or superstition. Here, everything eventually boils down to erotic ecstasy; they writhe in an agony that only death will relieve- and simply hitting these strange ganglions with a Bible will not suddenly make them disappear.
Ángel Muriel’s most recent work of art begins to see light in 2002 and the project continues to the present time frame fitting it all in a surreal context. These very complex compositions are expressed in wooden stands and large format canvases. The entire repertoire of images is the result of work developed over the last decade following the principles of the METHOD that Ángel Muriel discovered ten years ago and has since been applied rigorously.
Its principles were first outlined in 2003 under the title, “the expression of method,” in the Pollock-Krasner THE FOUNDATION, INC. from New York and Javier Rubio Nomblot refers to it in an article that serves as an introduction to the catalogue of the exhibition, “Reunion,” (Crosier gallery. Madrid. 2007).
Muriel speaks of the …,” this way of making or creating methodical, rigorous and systematic is unprecedented in the history of art. It becomes impossible for reasons of space-time to attempt the slightest approach to its principles; one can only point out that what makes it unique and important is that it allows for his “scientism,” a continued action, infinite, endless of what could be termed as an INFINITE PLASTIC CREATION mode.
Close to about 20 works of art, including drawings, paintings and sculptures, make up the collection that the artist will exhibit at PAG.
The meaning of his work: The theatricality
“The creative process is based on the frustration of the artist,” who is disappointed in the real world, is compelled to claim other than those known images, creating another view of the world as a visionary, is forced to discover, revealing a cosmos (different and new), which has nothing to do with the tangible and real that shuns.
J. Beraza Castro has defined his painting “as a key to some of life,” and we have checked it. The ultimate vision of life is that Ángel Muriel is stained with a deep pessimism. Sentenced that “life” is a tragicomedy in which each represents its own role (by force and to our grief) in a common scenario and one that is the “World’s Great Theatre.” This concept, “Calderon,” of life as a representation, as farce, permeates all of Muriel’s work of art. In regards to this, Cantos-Figuerola Ivan wrote, Ángel, armed with his paintbrushes, armed with sheets of newspaper, he speaks, and I think, of the excess, the shaving of the human tragicomedy. He speaks, in my opinion, of the fight, somewhat fatalistic, of the flesh against the Nothing, against aging and the expiration. In fact, the pictures appear to be Ángel Muriel’s personal fight against Fatality. They look like those images, visceral, and excessive, an accumulation of life, from Eros desperate life as an amulet, as a symbol facing a certain fact of death and the annulment. But make no mistake, this shield against the fatal vitalist invented, there is nothing sad, but it has a rather tragicomic background, a playful undercurrent and erotic that reminds us of that “Carpe Diem” of the Romans, which speaks of that “love and live the moment,” which the ancient spoken about that seems to have unfortunately forgotten.
Thanks for not letting us forget Angel’s life, that beautiful longing.
The Colombian writer, Fernando Vallejo, said, “That reality is absurd, cruel, monstrous, delirious, and only death frees us from it.” Assertion that not only does Ángel Muriel share, but completes or ends up splitting hairs to say that “the liberating death is so absurd, cruel, monstrous and delirious as the reality that frees us.”
The vision of reality that Muriel has is very close to the vision of Kafka. Moreover, in this respect the critical, J. Nomblot Rubio, writes, “Work of art such as Muriel tends to arouse the claustrophobia, certain angst, an oppressive sensation, and convenient to know that we are in a well, which is not a nightmare.” He continues, Ángel Muriel’s pictures are scenarios; a single scenario: a kind of bleachers, where the creatures are stacked perfectly delirious, which, are not attending any show, they are one themselves.
Muriel’s work moves close to the ideological principles of the drama of Ionesco. “The theatre of the absurd of Ionesco dynamite reality and psychology of the characters for their lack of logic to sniff the entire ridiculous and nonsense that lies behind the everyday recognizable. Ionesco revolutionizes the scene to clarify not only the absurdity of social conventions, but also the enormous disorientation, anxiety and loneliness of modern man faced with doubt and despair, the fear of death, closer to the dark areas revealed by Freud of the paradises proposed by Marx and religions.
Maria del Mar Bartolozzi Lozano writes, “Muriel chooses to create a world of hybrid figures made with masterful technique in fantasy scenery. He perceives his usual ironic critique of humanity formed by metamorphosed beings, ranging from the metaphysics of De Chirico, science fiction films and comic, with forays into a carnival erotic.” Concerning this last aspect of the work of Muriel, the eroticism, the painter, Pedro del Toro says: They are, therefore (the images of his paintings) somewhat hyper cubical, but not from the geometry mathematical standpoint, nor quantum physics. Nevertheless, Muriel Angel unfolds with great intuition of the entire structural contents of the bodily tissue of their characters, and makes them naked to us showing all its angles, but not all the tight cubbyholes. Without a doubt, it is here where the eroticism of his compositions lies; incurring the fact that the purpose of eroticism is at the end to secrete every nook of the flesh and psyche.
Ángel Muriel is deeply respectful with the tradition especially from the aesthetic point of view and if they cannot virtually relax, if they know how to do this and will discover that their little scandals conceal a chromatic relationship and compositional details that are characteristic of the most elegant pictorial refinement of the Flemish painting. Moreover, others equipped with an atmosphere more dramatic than the more naturalistic approach to Baroque or mystical.
A work in which the author’s own introspective exploration, the idealistic universe and development of the methods of the same remove the most important aspects, which we must add the wealth of the plastic resources, and pictorials, which takes pride in its execution.
The jump to new technologies
Ángel Muriel is an artist with caste, made of good twigs and a special wood, a rare wood does not burn despite the large fires. Ángel Muriel expressed himself as a premature artist at a very young age and could not ignore the voice of his fate, which he followed, dragged by the irresistible force of a strong vocation. “The exercise of art is a form of priesthood, and there is no gift more precious than of creation,” he says.” Our artist did not succumb to the success or failure. He broke down several times, but was able to recover. Believes as Oliver Goldsmith, “Our greatest glory is not to have ever fallen, but in rising every time we fall.”