Miguel Macaya's paintings are an explosion of shadow and a play of lights. The shadow multiplies and settles in the profiles of the bodies, while highlighting their shapes and accentuating their volumes.

At the same time, the shadow occupies fragments of the naked bodies. The whitish skin of a woman observing a vegetable is stained by shady areas: the back and buttocks, the arms that cross to bring hands together. This woman's face is a shadow that stands out against a background of deeper shadow. Only the breast stands out in the fabric as a focus of clarity. Thus, the character emerges more insinuated than certain, more suggested than emphatic. There is a face offered to us in profile, somewhat inclined in contemplation, absorbed and distant. As if the simple contemplation of a vegetable had the magical power to dilute us among the shadows, while we exist and do not exist, creatures emerged from the darkness, condemned to receive only points of light.

Macaya recreates himself in human figures. His portraits play with elements of mystery. Each brushstroke has the rotundity of what we want to capture with certainty, but also combines the suggestion of chiaroscuro. I am particularly impressed by the portrait of a man's face. It is a head that is again placed in profile. It should not surprise us, because the painter opts preferably for faces that are not fully shown to us, that are not exhibited, but that are cut out. Against a black background, the black shirt, the black shadows of the beard and the neck stand out. Then, hands that are raised holding a red handkerchief. We don't know whose hands these are. Who do they belong to? The hands tie, in a gesture that does not admit replicas, the handkerchief to the eyes of the dark man. The hands are therefore intended to deprive him of light, to blind him. I can't help thinking that Macaya's portraits insinuate stories that fill us with questions, stories that are written with blank spaces, stories that we must complete ourselves if we want to discover their continuation. Stories that are sketched on a cloth and have no endpoint. If anything, suspension points.

Macaya portrays bullfighters. A bullfighter dressed in black and gold, who stares at us. He wears the hood resting on one arm, the tie of a bloody red, stiff shoulders, thrown back. However, on his face is written all the desolation of the earth, a gesture of defeat that takes the form of the rictus of the lips, inclined downwards, in a tiny wound, almost imperceptible, on the upper lip, through which any thread of hope escapes. The man's cheeks are spindly. Bones are marked on their cheeks and make grooves in them, as if the skin were the earth. The gaze contains a deep sadness.

There's another portrait that's a bullfighter with his back. The new image impresses by the rotundity of the contrasts it represents. The back is the golden jacket. Gilded of too ripe wheat, of old gold, of ancient coin that has passed through many chests, that have touched many hands. Gold stained with shadows that are diluted in a deep black background. The painter draws very deep and very black wells from where the strength of his figures emerges, wildly solitary. The bullfighter on his back doesn't show us his face. Keeps it turned in profile, completely diluted in the dark.

There is a bullfighter covered with a dark cape and an even darker chaplain. Both of them project layers on his gaunt, waxy face. He himself looks like a bull that would jump from the cloth and throw itself at our neck. Does he hide anger or sadness? Perhaps he hides helplessness? There's a bullfighter sitting in a chair, hands on his thighs.

Another wears a white cape with two golden stripes over one shoulder. All bullfighters have the same expression of defeat written on their faces. Is fatigue or death what we cannot read on it? It doesn't matter. Anyway, sometimes fatigue and death are one and the same thing.

Macaya paints objects, dead matter transferred to the fabric. There are glass jars where vegetables rest, ceramic jars with brushes and tinctures, bulbs with strange shapes, lemons that do not seem stolen from the Hesperides orchard, but remind us of still, almost inert natures. Perhaps they remind us of that poem by Gabriel Ferrater entitled "Tres llimones" ('Three Lemons') and it presents us immobile, about to be observed, at the edge of a road. There is a picture that is a dog that escapes, leaving a great scattering of fruits around it. He must have been the cause of the commotion, but he is another shadow that is trimmed among the shadows. That's all it is. In Macaya's painting, light exists as a function of shadows. Shadows are always the background of light, the place where it is projected. Then faces arise almost always in profile. Never before have we dared to believe that a profile could contain the measure of terror, the rigidity of intuiting human loneliness, the terror of knowing ourselves to be mortal creatures. That fear is written in Macaya's paintings, where hardness is combined with fragility, where the nakedness of bodies and objects reminds us that we are terribly vulnerable. Macaya has the forceful brushstrokes of someone who, when he portrays a person or an object, transfers an entire story to the canvas. Macaya knows how to diffuse contours, but always maintains the fixity of a rictus, that hard form of the contour of a face, the splendid solitude of a figure that looks towards the void. In each of his figures, Macaya knows how to capture the certainty of pain and the uncertainty of living. It is a curious combination that we discover little by little, when we entertain ourselves in the contemplation of his paintings. These paintings rescue the figures and objects of tradition, but endow them with the new airs of almost apocalyptic times.