Born in Madrid (Spain), 1964Lives & works in Madrid (Spain) Very active in: 90s, 2000s, Current decadeRepresentative galleries:Blanca SotoFerran Cano
Video Art Works
Sin noticias de interes (2006)
Heaven came from hell (2004)
Mankind has long speculated on the nature of space and time, on the possibility of other forms of existence, on conscious and unconscious fears, decked out in all sorts of fantastic garb, generating veritable torrents of literature throughout the centuries. The most remote sources date right back to mythology but the need of conjuring up other worlds and imagining other forms of existence has remained with us right up to our days. Today, indeed, there are countless aficionados of the fantastic genre and science fiction in all its most varied artistic manifestations, whether in high-brow or low-brow culture, if such a dichotomy is still valid nowadays.
Modern fantastic literature has sprung from myth and the supernatural, from the humanist-positivist utopia and from the anti-utopian and harrowing satire, from meditations on the future, extraordinary voyages, the exploration of horror. Past masters ranging from Plato to Lucian, from Rabelais to Fourier, Swift and Butler, from Restif de la Bretonne to Mercier, Defoe, Verne, Allan Poe, Conan Doyle, Tolkien, Lovecraft and Wells have all mined this rich vein that has yielded today?s science fiction, a field in which the domination of time, the conquest of space and a future existence linked to artificial life are all quintessential themes.
Oscar Seco has tapped into many of these sources to set up his own particular pictorial universe. After his laid-back opening bow as devourer of comics and Hollywood B films, his work has built itself up on some of the trailblazing feats of fantastic literature and related genres. His personal ideas have sprung from fountainheads as diverse as Alexandre Dumas and Stevenson, Chesterton and Conrad, Faulkner and London, without forgetting the Borges of El libro de los seres imaginarios (The Book of Imaginary Beings) and the prolific Ballard, whose titles, written in the sixties and seventies, often match those given by the painter himself to his own works.
Seco seems bent on using his apparently blasé front to hide complex processes that he develops in each canvas, whether his draughtsmanship, his sheer craftsmanship as a painter or his impressive cultural baggage. But in his work there also lurk different planes of meaning, hints and references that are not visible at a cursory glance. There is something show-off, loud and provoking that serves him as a screen; he knows how to laugh at himself and invites us to take ourselves less seriously, perhaps as the only way to be middlingly serious; he knows how to parody himself, not only when he is fiercely critical of the horrors that mankind has brought about and is still bringing about now, but also when he deals with this other territory that is of importance to him and of which he forms part: art, with all its supposed glamour, its orthodoxy, arrogance and high-handedness. He opts for an ironic stance in each of his themes, chooses games and absurdity as a way of making some sense of the world and shrewdly moots that maybe humour is the most searching critical tool and the only way of taking the things that surround us seriously.
- Restless (E)Motion
Spanish artists reflecting on the emotional uneasiness of the human being