Monday, November 14, 2016

Hector de Gregorio and the Theatre of Life

Hector de Gregorio: Prayer 1

Art can be said to imitate life, life can be said to imitate art, and often art can imitate art. We live in a world where contemporary artists convey an infinite variety of perspectives and understandings, and in an infinite variety of forms. What they all have in common is that they project the story of self. Doesn't matter how far removed it may initially appear, how abstract, how tangential, how dramatic, or how quiet, it is all about the human journey that each of us are on.

The work of the London-based artist Hector de Gregorio is dramatic, theatrical, luscious, allegorical. In his own phraseology he terms it as "Static Cinema" and at least at first glance it does appear remarkably so. It is like taking in a grand costume drama, a late medieval/early renaissance theatrical story, full of twists and turns, vendettas and tragedies. But there is much more going on here than nice costumes and theatrical poses.

Hector de Gregorio: Love of Hermes

Hector de Gregorio: Solar Nurse

Hectors work consists of pieces of a whole, they are vignettes of larger happenings, of the possibility of bigger and greater lives. They are rooted in larger narratives, ones that we cannot see clearly and fully, but that we know are there, that we can imagine being there.

We are after all, a series of vignettes in our own right. We are a rolling camera of stills, stills that make up an extraordinary whole. A life lived and a life traversed from beginning to end. So, although Hector's work may appear to some to be theatrical allegories, a blend of historical costume and stance, they are really missing the point. 

Hector de Gregorio: Il Musico

Hector de Gregorio: Saturnalia

These are mirrors of self. They are moments in our own lives, but reimagined as allegory, as theatre. We are more than ordinary day-to-day living, we are as Hector maintains, lives lived in parallel. The extraordinary often lies hidden, whether through self-embarrassment, fear of others, or just neglect. But is it there, and it pumps strongly. Ignore it and you live a small life, a twilight life, embrace it, and life life lived large is yours.

This is the type of message that artists serve, It is why they are here, and why they struggle against all the odds to keep on telling you that message, because it is important, not for their career, but for sanity, individual and collective, and that is why artists like Hector play the role they do, and for that we need to be eternally grateful.

Hector de Gregorio: The Guardian of Paradise

Hector de Gregorio: The Gardener

Practically, Hector's artwork is extraordinary. Although these are technically digital collages, the artist starts with conversations with the sitter, goes through graphic and literary research, builds a story around the sitter, and even makes the costumes when needed. Photographs are then taken in order to create the final digital piece.

However, Hector's prints are hand finished. He uses oil paint, gels, gold leaf, embroidery and more, in order to give the surface an individual appeal that directly correlates to the essence of the sitter. It is all about the sitter, their projection of self, and through that, the self of the viewer. It is a clever and heart-felt process, and an inclusive, rather than exclusive one. Sitter and viewer become one, because we are one. Different lives, different experiences, but same sense of self.

Hector de Gregorio: The Equilibrist

Hector de Gregorio: Carnival Man With Salamander

More of Hector's work can be found at: facebook, facebook gallerypinterest

Please be aware that all of the work illustrating this article belongs to the artist Hector de Gregorio. Permission must be sought from him before sharing work. Thank you.

Hector de Gregorio: Centaur With Poisonous Hemlock

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