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Ángel Masip

Stimmung I

Stimmung I

2005 / 200 x 120 cm / técnica mixta sobre tabla

Stimmung II

Stimmung II

2005 / 200 x 120 cm / técnica mixta sobre tabla

Stimmung III /

Stimmung III /

2005 / 200 x 120 cm / óleo sobre tabla

una larga espera

una larga espera

2004 / 270 x 300 x 200 cm / técnica mixta sobre tabla, acero, madera y tubos fluorescentes

gran montaña

gran montaña

2004 / 48 x 50 cm / técnica mixta sobre tabla

vistas aéreas / 2005 / medidas variables / serie de 5 piezas / técnica mixta sobre aluminio

Vista galería

Vista galería

Vista galería

Vista galería

Vista galería

Ángel Masip, Like summer air. In search of beauty.


"The noise of something sounded and I forgot everything I knew", says a Zen poem, which I now borrow to head this text.

It is difficult for me to talk about art today. Once again I find myself immersed in a catharsis, seeing how little by little, almost everything I have learned comes from me through skins that fall on the sand, and the sun makes them return, perhaps, to the dust from which they came.

I'm beginning to think that the north was lost in art a long time ago. It stopped having ideals (which, like the stars, are unattainable, but serve as a guide for the sailor) and even words like “beauty” have come to be underestimated, perhaps because of the uncomfortable subjectivity of the term.


There is a dense atmosphere, of mediocrity and skepticism. Banality reigns, rhetorical speeches, easy and lurid provocation.


On the one hand, I have just taken a long tour of the well-known monstrosity of art, of its darkness, of the land of shadows, of its perverse intelligence, of its scathing, sarcastic and mocking criticism. Through the caverns of the morbid and the macabre, where the "new meat" is born, the freaks shout in unison and dress the last of the grotesque and the Kitch.


I have just filled my head with black birds, they are very smart, and very well seen in their court. I come from walking for a long time through the scream and the complaint, using the viscera with the disbelief that the most pragmatic culture offered me.


Perhaps this dark side of creation may have something to do with "the sublime." Edmund Burke wrote about it: “Everything suitable to excite the ideas of pain and danger, that is, everything that is in any way terrible, or related to terrible objects, or it acts analogously to terror, it is a source of the sublime; that is, it produces the strongest emotion that the mind is capable of feeling.”, but he continued further on “(…) When danger or pain harass too much, they cannot give any delight, and they are simply terrible; but, at certain distances and with slight modifications, they can be and are delicious, as we experience every day.”1


I think we all agree; we play in this great Illusion that is life, balancing between good and evil, yin-yang, the polarity and duality of experiences. Richard Klein was looking for an excuse and wrote: “Only by belonging to the sublime can one understand people's fondness for cigarettes and why they like so much something that tastes like hell.” 2

We come to respect our vices more than our own body and life. It is worrisome to continually live on the edge of the abyss, to find the beautiful in the terrible, and not out of awareness, but out of mental-spiritual laziness and passive acceptance.

The same thing happens in art. It is true that in the field of the macabre and monstrous there are magnificent works, sometimes necessary and sometimes revealing; works that strike the viewer's conscience and lead them to reflect on their own self-knowledge, generating delight and enjoyment at the limit of established and learned, aesthetic, moral and/or social values.


But most of the time these are approached with the frivolity of a storyteller and from a position of real ignorance of what "evil" is, disease and death in short. As a good friend used to say: -“Yes, yes! People like bullfights, but from the stands!”.


Other works reflect on art itself, aesthetics and language. Already in the 16th century Montaigne wrote: “There is more to do interpreting interpretations than interpreting things; and more books on books than on any other subject; all we do is give ourselves away.” If things were already like this in the 16th century, imagine how far we will have climbed the conceptual architecture of the discourses generated in art.

Culture is a double-edged sword that allows language to fly, generating hermetic circles in such a way that it loses solid ground, and all creation runs the risk of losing its freshness and the courage to venture outside of it. Tautology. You know I call them.


Other works entertain themselves with being up to date, typical of opportunists on duty, predominant banality, sacralization of objects by context, simple, coarse and vacuous resources for a recurring morbid provocation, typical of the sensationalist methods of the mass media. Perhaps all this is necessary, but it becomes abusive.


Why in art intelligence is almost always demonstrated with a good dose of perversity? The author usually raises, in this way, his ego above the viewer. Does this perversity have something to do with "the sublime"? I tend to think that such a term and concept is too big in the current creation, what's more, I think it doesn't exist.

Okay, from "the sublime" in creation, we have all learned something, but what happened to "the beautiful"?

Very few artists dare to launch an unequivocal message that produces an expansive and positive feeling in all their performances.


I am looking for a new art that uses a constructive and argued intelligence, aware of itself, full of good intentions and that tries to revitalize without prejudice a true beauty. I believe that as things are in the world, artists have the responsibility and the ability to use the window and mirror of art, to show better worlds and reflect our most luminous part.


It seems that courage is lacking.


It is easier to criticize than to propose. Looking at your own navel than taking responsibility as a human being. It may be obvious what I say, but since we are so stubborn, it never hurts to repeat it.


I am one of those who believe that all works of art are already made in some other, higher place. In silence you can perceive and hear all the best symphonies. If you close your eyes you can see the best images, the best paintings and sculptures... Everything is up there, absolutely and eternal; we just channel. The better we prepare our gear and our channel to receive and give, the more sincere and closer to ourselves we find ourselves, authenticity appears, the great masterpieces. The most human and spiritual come from the encounter with oneself and, after all, with the All. We are here to serve. An artist is neither more nor less than a person with the ability to show and interpret life and to reach the field of "the indescribable" with his work; Art, that which from reason can never be explained or reveal its true mystery. Art will always be “something else”, “the other”. The true artist, (that medium), cannot do anything else, and for that very reason he fulfills or must fulfill his function, like the cabinetmaker, the postman and the farmer. So when society and the whole world are the way they are, why instead of improving this a little with our virtues we dedicate ourselves to making it even worse, forcing the staff to receive free psychotherapies and aesthetic and mental toxicity? I think that each one has enough with his own, and the spectator deserves something more than a punch, scattered entrails or an unintelligible sentence. As soon as originality, the new, the flash is desperately sought, all from a great uncontrolled ego that seeks continuous external approval and applause (which is betrayed by a notable internal lack), this type of "consumer" work is created. "typical of this last time.


Tarkovsky said: “Art arises and develops where there is that eternal, tireless yearning for the spiritual, for an ideal that makes people gather around art. Modern art has entered the wrong path, because in the name of mere self-affirmation it has abjured the search for the meaning of life. Thus, the so-called creative task becomes a rare activity of eccentrics, who seek only the justification of the singular value of their egocentric activity. But in art individuality is not confirmed, rather it serves another idea, a more general and higher idea. The artist is a vassal who has to pay tithes for the gift that has been granted to him almost like a miracle. (...) The absolute can only be accessed by faith and by creative activity. The essential conditions for the artist's struggle until reaching his own art are faith in himself, the willingness to serve and the lack of external commitments”.3


I believe that the way to solve the current germ of mediocrity and skepticism is to work in the search for a true spirituality in art. A new art of union and humility. That he does not underestimate the viewer, because he is born and exists. An art without delusions of grandeur for a hungry ego, but for a greater cause of humanity.

A brave art and with a sincere and unequivocal intention to carry a positive message, that loves the shape and the trade that contains it and launches an optimistic and intelligent proposal.


Summer air, is an exhibition that works as a breath of fresh air in a loaded and dense context. A fresh painting, which unleashes a reading of relief and spaciousness. Ángel Masip comes from the island where all this postmodern bullshit is still on the rise, to propose a renewed vision of universal and eternal themes where the human being grows and must continue to grow in harmony: nature, its landscape, and its irrevocable beauty.


Masip demonstrated a few years ago how painting could be done in a time of total disbelief towards it; he ironized about her and used acid and electric resources, hermetic and somewhat playful. This is how, with the patience and skill of a strategist, he recognized the terrain and placed a good job in an environment that was somewhat hostile to painting.


But once he demonstrated his ability to be "rabidly contemporary", he left the irony and harmful nonsense (avoiding falling into a politically correct job), to start a much more courageous, mature and healthy job.


A new painting that allows us to make euphoric leaps between what is represented and the way of representing it, on the one hand we fly over landscapes full of life, veterans, new, eternal..., and on the other we enjoy an impeccable painter's profession, which demonstrates multifaceted respect. -directional where execution time is forgotten for the sake of a higher idea.


The serene and hopeful smile that Masip manifests in his work is also evident in the titles he chooses for his works: "a long wait", "big mountain", "a constant dawn" or "Stimmung", the latter comes from the interpretation that Giorgio de Chirico elucidated as a true novelty in Nietzsche's work: "(...) Such novelty is a strange and profound poetry, infinitely mysterious and solitary that is based on the Stimmung (I use this very effective German word which could be translated as: “atmosphere in the moral sense”.) It is based on the Stimmung of autumn, when the sky is clear and the shadows are longer than in summer, because the sun it starts to get lower.(…)”4


Masip rescues this postulate and makes it his own in an act of mental lucidity, proposing a breather or escape route that many of us were waiting for. And like the summer air, it cools our heated body drenched in sweat and awakens the senses in a subtle but profound transmission of grateful pleasure.


1.Edmund Burke. Of the sublime and the beautiful. Madrid. Editorial Alliance. 2005

2.R. Klein, Cigarettes Are Sublime, Duke University Press, 1994.

3.Andrei Tarkovski, Sculpting in time, Madrid, Editorial Rialp, 1994.

4.Giorgio de Chirico, Memories of my life. Madrid. Editorial Síntesis.2004 (Masip and I were not very surprised, upon discovering our mutual curiosity about these memories, in which a prominent figure of the avant-garde such as De Chirico, reacted years later to the supposed modernity of which he was a part, for an argued disappointment).


Jose Luis Serzo

Text taken from the Aire de verano catalogue. Angel Masip. Blanca Soto Art 2005


reality revisited


(Disclaimer of irony)


 To Francisco Robles and Javier Echeverría without
whose works this text would have been impossible


La crítica de arte hace un abuso manifiesto de las categorías de sujeto y objeto a la hora de abordar la obra of an artist.  This is usually said of certain works that open, for example, a window to the inner world of the painter without it being possible to know very well what that "inner world" is; It is also said that in the work of, for example, a Duchamp, the subject disappears to leave the object exposed, naked, outside the reference contexts in which it should normally appear (this would be the case of los_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ready-mades) exposing the ridiculousness of the personality cult of the extravagant artist.  Also, of course, we find those who criticize these categories in a solvent way, seeking in a more radical way the deobjectification of art through the performación of unsaleable “works” with a salvific aspiration (Beuys) and which involve a display of actions in which, on occasions – such as the case of the accionistas viennese -, the subject's body suffers the harsh consequences of such artistic acts._cc781905-5cde-3194-b b3b-136bad5cf58d_ Others, based on acceptance and the comfort and cynicism of irony, mock tradition, which they equate with any kind of boutade postmodern , provocative and decadent as a flash of a day (such would be the strategy of the Chapman brothers with the Goya engravings).


But making art, without renouncing beauty (Jaume Plensa's commitment) and managing to keep up, not with the times, but simply with the circumstances,  requires questioning , even tacit, of the distinction between subject and object.  A return to ingenuity, to the encounter with life and the world: that set of phenomena with which one must deal and commitments and disagreements that constitute the substratum of a minimally authentic existence.  But with the interpretation of personal relationships as inter-subjectivity, the door was opened to a mentality according to which the human encounter is understood not as a clash or a sharing of vital projects but as an establishment of relationships in a network where the not-subjects who are not part of the network s on entidades (other cultures, a landscape, a natural park, a site, typical fauna or flora, an inaccessible mountain, etc.)_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_  Some entities that can be cut to the scale of object of possible interest for certain communities of subjects._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b5-bb3d5bad esta object opposes, precisely, the work of Masip.


But the way back to the world holds surprises for those who want to recover beauty and approach an encounter with nature other than the domination of an object-thing by a subject-mind.  There where the boundaries between me, those who are not me and nature - that is, between the controlling helmsman, my companions on my lonely journey to nowhere and the domesticated environment that surrounds us - no longer find a starry night, a lively dance at the Moulin de la Galette, water lilies floating on the water or the façade of a cathedral bathed in the evening light.  We find that in the world of which I am a part – but that , at the same time, is transformed and endowed with meaning through my conduct- there is an environment more  than there were; an environment that is capable of absorbing nature and the city.  The latter had already made the former, at first, the object of its fears and abuses and, once guaranteed its control, he had to wash the stains that his overexploitation had caused to splash on his conscience with the detergent of the Law (by converting part of the natural environment into “protected spaces”)  “protected” nature Thus, it becomes the environment a reliquia, without prejudice to its eventual qualification as a place of entertainment, where to release tensions without taking root and where the old uncertainty of an environment in which the unpredictable can happen (as you well know those who have had it as the only face of the world)  is exchanged for a risk controlled and economically managed in the form of pre-made multi-adventure; Universal History does not escape an exchange, which tends to become a thematic of entertainment (as the work of Sergio Belinchón reveals very well).


When we enter the new environment, it opens up the possibility of absorbing and reinterpreting the previous ones, invoicing them according to their needs; a measure that is not that of the human - of a body that is committed to its action in the world - but of the spectral: beings "without bodies" that can adopt a thousand faces, fragmenting their own personality in a masquerade of relationships " cybernetics”, replacing the real community with virtual communities and putting feelings balanced by prematurely expressed emotions. Thus, finally, we find ourselves with the risk of dissolving the natural limits of corporeality, substituting experiences for information, distance for the real time, places and landscapes  for “sites”…


And again, irony, which returns... But irony is a poisoned bonbon for the artist and the thinker, it is a Trojan horse that can make their strength succumb.  Produces a taste for ambiguity y no takes a position, does not judge.  It is difficult to avoid the risk of complicity with, at the same time, maintaining the denounced and strength of the complaint; a denunciation that in Masip takes the form of contrast, showing at the same time nature - with its opacities, its hardness, its edges and projections, its tones and richness of nuances - and the geometric, sober outline - without words that could give rise to to an interpretation of the rest of the content of the canvas- of something like a logo or corporate image, showing the violence of what happens and is not noticed. Worst of all is that whoever is capable of capturing the complaint ya had warned of the danger.  continues to enter the art cc7 8 entered thus -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_circuitos, closing more and more the door to transcendence in the future.  But is it possible that there can be a future where there is no past – because it is taken by the común as an anecdote or as something reproducible to recreate it- nor future – when_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d mutual understanding is replaced by information occur in a time that is equal to zero?


Knight of the Tower

Text taken from the Aire de verano catalogue. Angel Masip. Blanca Soto Art 2005



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