Can Realism of the 21st century be considered as a resurgence of nineteenth-century concepts with reference to art? Definitely, concerning the theme and capture by the painter, of the most intimate essence of the form or figure, just as Gustave Coubert expressed in the 19th century, or more recently Martí Alsina or Pere Borrell, the answer would be no. This movement, had as its primary claim, to capture reality, whatever it was.
The sample that Imma Merino presents, flees from the concept expressed above, currently constituting a clear manifestation against the fickleness of conceptual fashion, abstraction or informalism, in many cases artistic styles difficult to understand, which can cause lack of communication to the viewer.
Imma Merino presents a concept of Realism, where in spite of the precision of its treatment, the idiosyncrasy of the subject does not matter. The artist, only mentions a certain attitude towards reality, in which the expression of this, does not necessarily have to be a copy or imitation, although it does fit a certain generalized vision, through offering attractive environments and characters, play chromatic of vivid, soft and neutral tones, neat brush-stroke and an intense and overwhelming luminosity, all to offer a placid and serene contemplation, very pleasant to the viewer, who admires both its technical treatment and the scene or situation expressed in the work, in order to convey a clear and transparent painting that brings the viewer closer to art, without complications.
If art could be explained, as Renoir said, it would no longer be art, because art is sensations, emotions and experiences. Nowadays, what is not foreseeable is not good, and the result is that many works called art, need an instruction book to understand them. The sad thing is that no book can explain the artist’s feelings, the emotion that is felt within you at the moment when you have glimpsed the flame of inspiration.
It is for these and other reasons that it is pleasant, comforting, I would say, to be able to see, feel and enjoy a work that, in addition to being thought and lived, is also felt in the soul of the artist. Enjoy a work that excites us when we contemplate it, that attracts us without hesitation and envelops and drags us as Renoir wanted.
The work of Imma Merino is an enjoyment of the senses and it is even more so when we enter the work with no hurry, allowing it to be part of us or us being part of it, in order to enjoy what the artist has embodied and be able to perceive the emotions that the artist has felt at the time of its creation. That’s when you realize that the space painted by Imma Merino is just an excuse that the artist has used to make us know a world of sensations and feelings, a space that tells us that the work does not end in the limits of the canvas, but these only indicate what the artist has taken to make us understand that beyond the picture, there is still beauty, there is still life, there are still feelings and emotions.
In the work of Imma Merino, not only the shapes and colors placed wisely by the artist are visible, but also her personal universe, that universe born from her entrails and that she offers us through her art, so that we too can participate in it and we can discover the result of his creative freedom.
Imma Merino, the power of the nude and the evocation of water.
Imma Merino investigates the evocation of the nude, the ability to project the evidence of the insinuating contained in the fragility of female beauty. It exposes naked bodies, fragments, breasts, varied female nudes in different positions. In this context, the importance of shadows, of the power of shadow and light, stands out in a very well drawn pictorial work. The color also stands out, which blends with the shadows and the nudes, as if it were drops of water, verifying the power of the water, the strength of the liquid element.
Everything is water, our body is made up of almost 80% water and, due to the importance of the liquid element in all contexts, her series dedicated to nature emerges. It is formed by natural nudes, that is to say by water landscapes; from the water that is poured into an elongated glass, also through the water in the pipes, rivers and the force of the waves of the sea, to the water of the fountains and the forests, contained in the basic green substrate, in the earth. Always water, a deliquescent element that dominates the world and exercises its power in any field.
The nude is water, with shadows that highlight its presence in certain areas, at precise, deliberate moments, because its shadows are colors, chromatisms, tones that demonstrate its strength, structuring what composes a direct reality.
She presents his male nudes in action, highlighting the activity, the movement, since they are always executing a certain gesture. Concerning female nudes, these are more contemplative, presenting them in contexts of tranquility and rest, showing the beauty of the form, increasing the power of the shadow, with chromatic environments, which insinuate and wrap women in miscellaneous attitudes with a mantle of mystery.
She works the detail, looking for reality, confirming the determination of the attitude, but her characters are also shown in sketches, notes and drawings in their fleeting moment. Her paintings are also nourished by more symbolic attitudes, especially feminine nudes, building deliquescent scenes, with shading, watery colors that dematerialize the reality of a naked body, which stands out because it is attractive, although, what Imma is looking for is the perfection of the beauty.
It is remarkable the attitude framed within the serene contemplation of life and the particularities of existence, the resources of detail, focusing the composition, allowing Imma Merino to inquire into the prolegomena of determining the moment.
The occasion, the force of the moment is the one that governs a work that is based on the classic canons, in an attitude derived from the study and the determination. Hers is an enveloping determination in which the most important is the force of the moment, the breath of the instant in a context in which everything flows like water.
I consider some of Imma Merino’s works as “human seascapes”, not only for the area in which they are exalted, which gives indications of being maritime, docks, beaches, but also in the use of their shades, in which the blues and whites, loaded with a very powerful daylight, lateral in most cases, which casts a shadow, are the only thing we can observe from what surrounds their characters, themselves and their own projection. The rest goes to the background, at the beginning in a synthetic way, as it would be the case of the blue and flat water springs, to subsequently dispense completely figuratively, plunging the figure into a vacuum that does not give us the mere possibility of getting distracted from its message: “The urban individual, in a moment of relaxation, of internal silence, of calm, which evokes a parallel world from which they came out, different, full of calm and timelessness”.
The youth, beauty and state of serenity lead the viewer to envy the same characters in the painting, to identify with them. Who has not felt transported to another world by spending a few minutes of rest under a pleasant sunny day? As in a moment of fusion with that light that transports into nothingness, the external to yourself no longer exists, only an immense peace and stillness petrify you in an instant that you do not want to let go. It is a way to eternalize that moment.
Sun, light, well-being, tranquility, serenity, peace. The protagonists of her work seem to have left the world as it is, the bland and ordinary, to be elevated to an almost divine world, eternal in its time of youth and beauty. It evokes immemorial times, as a Greek or Egyptian culture, perhaps a mixture of both, a Greek canon embodied in today’s world.
The wake of her work makes me think of the creative path that leads an artist to perform different themes and how to capture them. Starting from the recreation of reality just as it is, to gradually interpret it by a personal path, portraits, landscapes, seascapes; seascapes that begin to blur by the same action of the water, but once in the picture, the jets, the painting transformed into an aquifer, again portraits and human figure, but now invaded by that blurred humidity of his painting, the bottoms, areas that end up even covering the same figure, to give a new meaning to their own vision and vindication of the subject, women on many occasions.
Momentarily she lets herself be seduced by water, she portrays it in her paintings and finally it is that water, that marine element that penetrates her figures to be transformed as I say in «human seascapes», sea storms that form the serenity of their portrayed bodies.
Her work is not guided by formulations or fashions, and it is with this freedom that all true artists must have, that she interprets with the utmost truth the messages dictated by her spirit and that serve her to carry out her works, always within her way of understanding painting. But this commitment that she has with reality, does not prevent her from working with the visible to reach her essence and in this way, transmit through her fabrics, the emotions, which have led her to create her work.
Pere Ventura Julià – (Art painter)